It’s New Year’s morning in New Zealand.
I’ve just finished doing the dishes from our New Year’s Eve party last night. I have a little bit of a headache, caused by a combination of too much bubbly wine and too little sleep, and a sore foot, caused by a combination of too much running and too little yoga. I’m writing to you because, for the past six years, whenever I have needed to recommit to my yoga practice, and taking care of myself generally, I’ve found the inspiration, the motivation and the company I needed in this community. And I need it again now.
Today I’m committing to start 2016 with thirty days of yoga, and I’m inviting you to join me. Read on to find out how you can do that.
As you may know, a year ago I stopped running my online yoga program, 30 Days of Yoga. Some of you might remember this post, which I wrote about my New Year’s resolutions last year. In which I said:
So that’s where I was on 1 January this year: Pulling on my big girl panties, trusting that I could and would make this thing work without destroying my health or ruining my family’s financial future. I was looking straight down the barrel of the thing that was scaring me the most — the possibility that they had picked the wrong person for the job and that I was about to fail spectacularly to pull off one of the most innovative and ambitious social experiments I’d ever been part of — and choosing to back myself. I chose to back myself not because I was sure of myself, but despite the fact that I felt insecure, uncertain and afraid.”
So 2015 has been my year of pulling on those big girl pants, backing myself and my team despite often feeling uncertain and afraid. And we pulled it off! By the end of 2015, ActionStation was a grassroots activism force to be reckoned with, or as one political commentator put it:
ActionStation seems to be at the forefront of a lot of trends. Academically, it makes for a useful signal of where things are at, especially in terms of political activism on the ground.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, let the record state that in 2015 Marianne Elliott took care of business. But somewhere along the way, I forgot to take care of myself.
To be fair, I kept up my running, completing my first ever full marathon in November (if anyone ever tells you that running a marathon is easy, believe me, they are lying). And from time to time I would go along to a local yoga studio for a class, every time feeling my body sigh with gratitude. But I stopped practicing yoga at home. I know! I abandoned the practice which had seen me through such difficult times in Afghanistan, and which I had spent much of the previous five years sharing with others.
So I’m going to start 2016 by restarting my home yoga practice. And I’m going to do it in exactly the way I’ve encouraged more than a thousand others to do it – by starting where I am, and lowering the bar all the way down until it is impossible for me to fail. In fact, I’m going to do it by following my own 30 Days of Yoga for People Too Busy to Do Yoga. And I want you to join me.
You can join me in your own way, plotting your own path and recommitting to your own practice in whatever way works for you.
Or, if, like me, you’ve been struggling to make the time for your practice, you might want to join me in using 30 Days of Yoga for People Too Busy to Do Yoga as your guide. I don’t run the full program any more, and won’t be any time soon. But you can get all the course materials (including an eBook of the daily lessons and downloadable videos and audio guides) as an instant download for only $29.
I created this program to prove that you are never too busy for yoga, that yoga will come and meet you exactly where you are: even if that’s in Overwhelm. And that’s exactly what I need right now.
So I chose yoga practices you can do anywhere at all, practices you can do at your computer and short, simple sequences of poses you can do in the morning and evening. The practices are short. That’s part of the secret. But there’s more to it than that.
The other part of the equation is kindness. Because the real reason I haven’t been getting on my yoga mat is less about time, and more about avoiding being alone with my own feelings of failure, as a yogi, and as a spiritual activist.
When we judge ourselves harshly for our perceived failure to do something like practice yoga, the cruel fact is that we are just making it harder to keep ourselves motivated. Kindness, on the other hand is very motivating. So it’s time for me to go back to the basics of my own courses – reminding myself to be kind.
I’ll be kicking off on my personal journey back into a home practice of yoga today.
If you want to join me you can download the materials by clicking here. Or if busy-ness is not your curse (bravo!) you’d might prefer the Beginners version, or the Standard version (which includes a full length yoga practice) they are both also available in an instant download version.
Or follow along with your own practice!
I won’t be posting about my 30 days of yoga on my blog, mostly because I’m leaving for a holiday in East Africa on Monday (I know!!!!!!) but when I can get onto wifi, I’ll post about it on Instagram, so if you are practicing along with me, please tag me (zenpeacekeeper) and use the #30dayyoga hashtag and we can share the love!
However you choose to start 2016, I wish you all good things.
Loves of love,