Thursday, December 31, 2009


I haven’t spoken of it much because, frankly, it’s become SO routine, but this was the year I resolved to do yoga absolutely-every-single-day-without-fail. I started during WoYoPracMo and I just kept going.

During the first couple of months, it was challenging, but then it stopped being difficult. It just became something I planned for without fuss, like sleeping, or eating or brushing my teeth.

Some of my practices were short and obligatory but I started to notice, especially in late summer and autumn, that my practices were 30 minutes or more. That sense of ‘getting it out of the way’ faded. It stopped feeling like a burden and took on the feel of a beloved ritual that was deeply ingrained and perfect, no matter how long or short.

I expected to do a lot of Astanga over the course of the year, but I was surprised to find that daily practice gave me the space and motivation to experiment with other styles of yoga, new teachers, different class formats (audio, video) and different levels of intensity. I discovered that I'm very firm and opinionated in my likes and dislikes. I discovered that I was fond of yoga styles I had never considered seriously.

The biggest surprise of all (and it shouldn’t have been) was how much I grew as a teacher over the year. I'm a better teacher after a year of focused daily practice. My instruction is far more precise, my cues are clearer and I ‘chatter’ a lot less in my classes. I can teach a greater range of postures and because my verbal instruction is so much stronger, I’m able to walk around and observe more, adjust, offer advice to my students (or just sit around and chill while they warm up in sun salutations).

My jokes are no better, but there’s probably no help for that! ;-)

The more astute among you might have noticed that I’ve been in a bit of a funk. This is actually pretty routine, but it came late this year. Usually I’m already grumpy by mid-December (I hope it fades away quickly). When I’m feeling low-energy, I shy away from the full Primary Series. I've been tempting myself to the mat with fun vinyasa audio classes.

Because today is my LAST practice of the year in a year that I practised daily, I wanted to end on a high note, so I did the full Primary Series with Beryl guiding the way. As of 12:30 p.m. today, I accompished my goal: Yoga Practice every day in 2009! I ended the decade with an OM.

I surprised myself and had a really great practice. Couldn’t bind in Marichyasana D or Supta Kurmasana, but I made a point of trying absolutely everything except Janu Sirsasana C. I even did Setu Bandhasana! By the time I reached the closing sequence, I was feeling excited about Astanga again.

I’m already looking towards the sparkly, brand-new year. It feels like a clean slate. For WoYoPracMo, I’m very tempted to try for a daily full Primary in Janaury. I think it would be a good ‘jump-start’ for my practice in 2010.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Brooks Hall said...

Congratulations! That is so awesome! Happy New Year!

Arturo said...

hi Kai
happy new year. my practices where similar last year for other reasons-difficulty in getting to the shala. i like your follower's widget.

alfia said...

Happy New Year, Kai!

I had the same resolution last year, but unfortunately I did not have your willpower. Perhaps this year...

Boodiba said...

That's amazing dedication!!!!

roselil said...

Beautiful !! Both the way you managed to carry out your resolution + the way you describe your thoughts about how this affects your way of teaching. Great to be able to follow you via your blog so thanks for posting and posting and posting and posting ...

V said...

Happy New Year, Kai!

Kaivalya said...

Thanks for your congrats and good wishes, everyone! Happy New Year to all :-)