Move Breathe Thrive, Yoga

New Year’s Resolution: 12 Breaths

January 5, 2016

Well, we made it through another year and I’m happy to say hello to 2016! I started to notice towards the end of 2015 that I was slowing down, and I mean slooooowing doooown. Think snails moving through molasses. And it was with everything. I noticed that I was super sluggish all the time, getting out of bed was hard, making dinner was impossible, cleaning? Get outta here. Even getting myself to the studio to teach was becoming difficult. Then we spent our holiday break from work road tripping up the Oregon coast to Seattle. It was a beautiful trip, and loads of fun, but sitting in a car/RV for 2400 miles sure takes a toll. I’ve had my fill of sitting on my butt doing nothing and I’m happy to say that I am ready to get back in motion!

Today is my first day back at work since December 22 – so I thought it was going to be a pretty brutal awakening today. But as I went to bed last night and had to turn my alarm back on (sigh), I decided that, since it would be so hard to get up anyways, that it was the perfect time to reset my schedule and allow myself some more time in the mornings. I set my alarm for 530am. Even better than that, I woke up at 5am without my alarm. In keeping with my resolution to get motivated again, I got out of bed, fed the pups and gave them some love, made a pot of fresh coffee, and then got a little yoga flow in before my husband got up at 6. It wasn’t much, and my body is so so soo tight and achy (hellooooo hamstrings!), and it fought me every step of the way. Even my lungs seemed fatigued and my breathing was strained and shallow. But I did it. I got up, got moving, and man do I feel like a whole new person.

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It reminded me of the inspired, motivated, alive feeling I get every Tuesday and Thursday evening after I am done teaching yoga. It always awakens my soul, but by the time I wake up the next morning, that adrenaline is gone and I’m back to dragging myself through the world. Finding that connection to my breath and body is what fuels me. It inspires me to take good care of myself by exercising, eating well, and honoring myself. If I could just get that yoga high in the mornings then I think I could carry it with me throughout the day, and live a healthier happier life.

So, I first thought I should do 30 minutes of yoga a day. And then I snapped myself out of that madness, and I told myself that I should set a New Year’s Resolution to do 3 or 5 sun salutations every day. But even then I could already feel the dread of yet another commitment begin to rise up inside me – “What if I’m running late and I don’t have time, what if I have a runny nose and can’t breathe, what if I’m sick and achy don’t have the stamina?” I realized that I don’t even need to do that much, I just need a small commitment, something I can maintain, something I won’t fail at. I need this resolution to be attainable even on the worst of days, so I don’t have an excuse not to follow through. Ever. So I’m going to simplify it, and resolve to achieve something much smaller, in the hopes that it will inspire me to keep this positive momentum going throughout my day.

I find that for me, and I think for a lot of people, it’s not so much the actual workout or activity that we fight, it’s getting into it. It’s making the decision to do it, and then following through and just taking that first step, that first intentional breath. So starting today, I am going to vow to do one Sun Salutation every morning. Just one. I’m going to take the decision-making part out of the equation and just choose to be a person whose daily routine includes greeting the day with one Sun Salutation. Just 12 intentional breaths. It’s not a decision anymore – as of today, it is a part of me. And if after that I feel like going back to bed, then I give myself permission to do so. But if afterwards I feel like I want to keep going, then I give myself permission to do that too.

I challenge you to join me in taking 12 intentional breaths each day to fuel your body and your soul – to start each day on the right foot.  For me it’s yoga, but maybe for you it’s walking or weightlifting or pushups. Find yourthing, however small it may be, and just choose to make it a part of who you are.

I’d love to hear how you will spend your 12 breaths in the comments!

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