When I first came to BYA (Jessica's first school) at the beginning of August 2010, I was just one of the thousands of folks who had purchase a great deal on Groupon. However, once my 20 classes were used up, I was craving for more, and when the 100-day challenge was announced in December, I didn’t need a whole lot of convincing. And as they say, the rest is history—100 days turned into “we’ll see what happens,” which turned into the need to meet the challenge of 365 consecutive days of yoga.
Why did I do it? As a new-ish mom to a then 2-year-old and a 10-year-old, I needed to reclaim myself; I needed to feel I had something that was only mine. That may sound selfish to some, but I’ve discovered that’s one of the beauties of yoga—it’s ok to be selfish; it is only by focusing on yourself that you can improve yourself (mind, body, and spirit) and thus improve the life of those around you. So while I’ve spent over 700 hours away from my family during this year, I can say that every minute in the studio has made me a better mother, wife, human being, outside of it.
This year has also taught me that we need to be patient, listen to our bodies and accept where we are in the present moment. I am just now beginning to realign my body after years of dance training in unnatural body positions. My victories are small, take a long time, but are oh, so worth it in the long run!
I couldn’t have done any of this if it weren’t for two very important groups of people: my family and my BYA family. My children and husband sacrificed a lot but never stopped believing in me, encouraging me, and if necessary, kicking me out the door to make it to class on time. Once I was out that door, I had my teachers and friends at the studio rooting for me. I am so grateful for all the knowledge, experience, and expertise my teachers have shared and their ability to do so in a loving and supportive manner. My BYA family also consists of the best people and most amazing yogis I have met in my life. Your support and encouragement lifted my spirit when I most needed it, and even if we don’t officially know each other, know that your energy in class, a friendly smile before or after, made all the difference.
A final example of the wonderful community we have at BYA is an act of true kindness I experience during my challenge: sometime during the spring, due to a scheduling hick-up, I thought I would miss class and break my streak of consecutive days. As soon as she heard that, one of my yogi friends immediately offered to watch my son so I could take class, despite the fact that she is not particularly fond of little people. The offer, this simple act was so spontaneous, so honest and wonderful, and so perfectly exemplified what a true yogi should be.