Last Thursday I forgot to do my daily yoga practice. That’s kind of a big deal. For one, I had been doing yoga every day for over three hundred days, so I broke my streak. I can live with that, as I’m not in competition with myself. I know that one missed day doesn’t erase all the other days I’ve done it. Still, when I realized the next morning that I’d forgotten, it bothered me. It’s still bothering me.
I started my daily practice as a way to ground my self-care. I did a 30-day challenge and, after seeing and feeling all the ways it was improving my life, decided to continue. I didn’t have an end point in mind, I just committed myself to doing yoga asanas every day. Whether for five minutes or fifty, it’s reminded me that I can always find the time to stop, get into my body and connect. It’s been my anchor, the way I’ve practiced mindfulness and focused care and attention on myself every single day, no matter what else is happening.
While I’m not beating myself up about forgetting, I am a therapist after all and believe that we don’t just forget things that are important to us, that what we forget is significant. I remember that day I was heading to Belize City in the afternoon to facilitate a PETAL Conversation with the LGBTQ+ community about transgender identity. I was trying to get a bunch of stuff done before I left, finishing up some writing and rushing to bike into town to get online and take care of some things for my business. I remember having the thought in the morning to do yoga, and deciding to do it later. I put yoga – and myself – at the bottom of my list of priorities.
I didn’t forget because I was busy or because I was traveling. I’ve been busy before, and I’ve always remembered to factor yoga into my day. I even lugged my yoga mat with me to New York when I visited in January – not because I need my mat to do yoga, but as a reminder of my practice.
I forgot to do yoga last Thursday because I didn’t think making time to take care of myself was important.
My yoga practice is about me. It is a spiritual practice which opens my heart and allows me to experience compassion for others, yes, and also for myself. It is the way in which I practice self-care, self-love and self-forgiveness. It is the single most important thing I do every day.
Missing that day was a reminder to prioritize myself. It’s made me aware of the ways in which I sometimes put work, money, other people and the things that need to “get done” before my commitment to myself, to my own wellbeing and peace of mind. It’s showed me what is out of balance.
The past few months have been tough. There have been a lot of transitions, frustrations and disappointments. It isn’t enough for me to just shoulder through, buck up and keep it moving. I have to make space for all of me.