iyengar-yogaI started out this year with a list of things I wanted to bring into my life.  One of which was yoga.  I’ve done yoga of various kinds for the past 20 years and over the last 4 I’ve found Iyengar yoga which I absolutely love and for a while it seemed like the studio I had found, the teachers and the practice were exactly what I wanted.  I loved having a special yoga class on Thanksgiving morning and have a restorative class around solstice done all in candle light…but there were things about the practice that just weren’t working for me.  I didn’t like having to work my schedule with their schedule, figure out commute times, and the stress of being late when traffic or life got in the way. Also, I didn’t like the feeling of having to do a preset routine that may or may not be what my body needed that day.  So one day I pulled myself up short and said, this isn’t quite working out.  Let’s go back.

I started to look at pieces of things that were working and that weren’t.  Iyengar yoga was working, but doing it in a class setting wasn’t. Learning yoga was working, but gaining muscles tone wasn’t. So instead of continuing to struggle, I decided to step back and creating a positive winning situation for myself. I already had almost everything I needed at home to do yoga so I created and gathered the other pieces I needed. Check.

So I did that for a while, which was better. I got myself a book which provides a 12 week program for beginner Iyengar students.  Some people struggle with getting themselves to the mat each day, but since I actually wanted to do yoga, it wasn’t an issue. Yay! I liked the routines and I could vary things to meet the needs of my body. However, there were other issues that showed up. *sigh*

I didn’t like the constant struggle of muscles that weren’t able to do what I wanted, wobbling everywhere, having to come out of poses, and the laugh riot of my trying to get inverted with abs that not only wouldn’t engage, but that stood off to the side sipping coffee and chatting with myself while I imitated the Leaning Tower of Pisa. So time to go back again. Doing yoga on a regular basis wasn’t improving my muscle tone. So what would? Um, exercises that would increase muscle tone?  LOL  Ok. So I looked for Pilates workouts for core muscles, cardio workouts for weight reduction and leg muscle strengthening, and upper body/arm workouts. Found things for all of these areas that I was happy with and that I could enjoy doing at home.  Win!

Each of these pieces fit easily into my schedule and have become what I was looking for, a beautiful counter balance to all my writing which helps me improve my health and my quality of life. Another win! Funnily enough, by backing up I’ve made amazing progress. LOL  By going back I’ve improved not only my yoga practice, but by overall ability to be physical.  It shows in everything and in my energy levels. By going back, by I’ve leaped forward in quality of life.  As we head into the last few weeks of this, moving towards Solstice, Christmas, and New Years, what areas of your life are you still struggling with? If you take a look it’s possible that going back could be the key to your next leap forward.