It sounds like a cliché (perhaps because it is!), but yoga is slowly but surely changing my life. I got married in October 2016, and in the build up to the wedding (those dress fittings…), even on the day itself, I realised just how much of an internal disconnect I was feeling on a daily basis. I’ve lived with body dysmorphia for a little over a decade now and for most of that time it’s just been something that’s always there, as if my mind runs on two tracks: one carries the BDD-related thoughts, and the other carries everything else. (That in itself is pretty damn exhausting, believe me.) Sometimes it has flared up to the point where it has interfered with my life, causing me to cancel plans or become temporarily housebound, but I’ve been lucky that such occasions haven’t been particularly frequent.
As my wedding drew closer, the BDD-related thoughts became louder and more insistent. I didn’t want to look in the mirror at my final dress fitting and began to have regular mini-meltdowns. Every little thought and worry seemed to be magnified through a lens of “you will feel the most beautiful you have ever felt and this must be the most perfect day ever” and after the wedding, I knew that something had to change. That’s where yoga came in. I’d practised irregularly for several years, but decided that if I tried to build a regular, meaningful practice, then maybe I’d be able to cultivate some compassion for myself and rebuild connections that had been lost, and perhaps build connections that had never existed in the first place. During the last couple of months of 2016, I really did begin to feel a shift and while it’s a slow process, as years of thought patterns can’t just be overwritten with a few twists and downward dogs, steps are being taken in the right direction.
Which brings us to this project: 300 days of yoga. My 2017 is a bit up in the air at the moment. Due to various factors entirely beyond my control, I can’t yet make any long term plans, and I’m the sort of person who really does like a good plan. With a view to giving my year a core of stability and continuity, I’ve decided that I’ll practice yoga for at least 300 days this year. I think that’s realistic, and allows for days when I can’t practise due to things like sickness, hangovers, busyness or inhospitable locations (a mud-filled tent at a festival, for example – there will be at least one). I’m going to blog about it here, because I think journaling can really help seal in the benefits of any given practice.
I’m kicking the year off with Yoga With Adriene’s Yoga Revolution (more later, I’m sure, on YWA’s pivotal role in getting me started on the road to change), so the next post will be day 5 of that 31 day practice.
Let’s do this.