December’s Experiment of the Month was to practice yoga.
Remember when I said I’d do yoga every day? Wrong. Dead wrong. What actually happened: I started feeling depressed and hopeless mid-month, and the feelings have been snowballing ever since. Depressed people can still do yoga, technically, but why bother stretching your sorry hide when life has no meaning and you hate everyone everywhere? Why stand up ever again, really?
Procrastination was also a major factor; most days I fully intended to get around to yoga later, then later became never. Even on the days I DID yoga, I probably started after 11 PM. As you may have guessed, staying up too late is still a big problem around here. Christmas parties didn’t help, although they were fun and I regret nothing.
I’d assumed that I could do the seven workouts I have on DVD, but technical difficulties interfered; I relied heavily on YouTube through most of the month. Happily, readers Laura and Beth recommended a couple of fun, non-threatening yogis to start me off.
Here’s what I DID accomplish in December, yoga-wise… All links are to YouTube videos, no links for my DVDs:
December 1 – Stress Relief Yoga with Suzanne Deason – Gaiam 5 Day Fit Yoga
2 – Beginner Bedtime Yoga Sequence – Brett Larkin Yoga
4 – Bedtime Yoga Sequence – Yoga with Adriene — (Thanks for recommending her, Beth!)
5 – AM Yoga for Weight Loss with Suzanne Deason – Gaiam 5 Day Fit Yoga
6 – Yoga for Lower Back Pain – Yoga with Adriene
7 – Yoga for Upper Back Pain – Yoga with Adriene
8 – 15 Minute Yoga for Beginners 30 Day Challenge: Day 1 – Fightmaster Yoga (Great suggestion, Laura!)
9 – 16 Minute Yoga for Beginners 30 Day Challenge Day 2 – Fightmaster Yoga
10 – 16 Minute Yoga for Beginners 30 Day Challenge Day 3 – Fightmaster Yoga
13 – Yoga for Your Back: 30 Days of Yoga Day 4 – Yoga with Adriene
14 – Day 5 Feel Alive Flow: 30 Days of Yoga – Yoga with Adriene —Hurt my back doing this one. Big jump from Day 4 to Day 5!
15 – 15 Minute Yoga for Beginners 30 Day Challenge Day 4 – Fightmaster Yoga
18 – 15 Minute Yoga Quickie Hip Stretch – Fightmaster Yoga
19 – 15 Minute Yoga for Beginners 30 Day Challenge Day 5 – Fightmaster Yoga
20 – No video! I tested out some of the poses/flows I’ve learned from Adriene and Lesley’s videos… then worked out a few more kinks with a tennis ball and foam roller. My current yoga skills don’t address all my bad spots.
22 – self-guided stretching plus the few yoga poses that felt relevant to my knots
24 – 15 Minute Yoga for Hamstring Flexibility – Fightmaster Yoga
27 – PM Yoga with Patricia Walden – Gaiam AM and PM Yoga
28 – 11 minutes of self-guided time on the mat: half Legit Yoga Poses, half Random Stretches that Help Me
30 – The foam roller and tennis ball aren’t yoga, but man, they work so well! Do I get partial credit? How strictly are you grading me?
31 – PM Yoga with Patricia Walden – Gaiam AM and PM Yoga — While the New Year began and thousands of happy Germans kissed and set off fireworks, I was doing a yoga DVD on my living room floor. Some of us will never be the life of the party.
Did this experiment affect the rest of my life? Yes: it kept me up too late. Procrastination kept me up too late, rather. In hindsight, I should have forced myself to do yoga every morning, like Morning Pages. My Morning Pages track record was considerably better.
Should I make a habit of doing yoga? Definitely. It felt good, required some gentle discipline with myself, and may have loosened up my hamstrings a bit.
Would I recommend yoga to other people? Absolutely. Doesn’t have to be hard, fancy, or expensive; just breathe and stretch. You’ll feel better afterward, even if you’re a pathological procrastinator who dreads starting anything.
How do you feel about only accomplishing two-thirds of your goal at most, you lazy bum? Conflicted. My inner perfectionist is cringing and disappointed… 20/30 is not a passing grade, folks. Then again, my miserable side with no will to live kept saying “to hell with it.” Allowing myself to fail at something can be a relief. Either way, twenty days of even brief yoga sessions is a big step up from the three yoga sessions I did from… early August through late November. Progress matters.
What about you? Did you do any yoga in December? How was it? And honestly, why should anyone ever stand up again? Speak your piece in the comments below.