#YogaEveryDamnDay is a hashtag alongside of a challenge created by yoga teacher Rachel Breathen. It began as a monthly Instagram-based challenge do yoga-something (meditation, pranayama, asana) every day for one month. Rachel’s intention was to remind people that yoga is more than a pose, but a multifaceted practice that can have immense value when practiced every day. It has since become a mantra for many yogis old and new.
Today, I did yoga. Let me revise that: Today, I woke up at 5:40am to do yoga. And now it’s 8 hours later I’m resolving to do Yoga Every Damn Day for the next month.
There’s a variety of motives that have led me to this resolution. And apparently I think they’re important enough to tell you about.
Motive #1: I’m starting a damn yoga company.
I think I could theoretically drop the mic and end the post here, but let me expound. The more I talk about “starting this yoga company” to my friends, family and everyday passerbys, I see such a mix of interest, questions and excitement in their responses. Luckily everyone has been adoringly positive and supportive; however, I know many of them have no interest in actually incorporating yoga into their lives. And unfortunately, I can’t say that I have reason to blame them; I only started yoga officially TODAY. *
My prior experience with practicing yoga was as such: during soccer’s off-season in college, a few of my teammates and I went to take a free class at our campus rec center. It was quite possibly the worst 45 minutes of my life: I couldn’t do a single pose correctly and I was bored out of my skull. I’m sure that many people whether they’ve tried yoga the one time or not, they hold a similar impression. Since that grueling experience, I have only since done yoga a total of 4 times (not including today), and that was simply because I’m afforded free classes at the yoga & cycling studio I work and train at. I’m happy to report that these 4 experiences were much more enjoyable than the one in college 8 years ago. Still, I didn’t chose to make yoga a large area of my practice as I was busy preparing for my 56-mile bike race and I only had time for my butt to be on that terribly uncomfortable bike seat.
And then came Baye.
One Saturday morning I attended community yoga day during which a new friend of mine, Baye Cobb Tilson, took more than 75 individuals through the most fun, energetic, heart-lifting vinyasa flow that often had us all cracking up in the unexpectedly overcrowded room. I was so intrigued by her style and charm that I had to learn more. Combine this experience with the fact that 2016 had led me to work closely alongside yogis on a daily basis and as a lifelong student of health, fitness and nutrition, I’m fully aware of the psychological and physiological benefits of yoga to individuals and on a community level.
Two months and many hours of discussions and dreaming over iced coffees and rosé later and Baye and I are starting a damn yoga company! I’m excited to share Baye’s charisma with the city and positively influence countless ‘tribes’ of individuals through the practice of yoga. And we’re going to be downright authentic about it. Which is why I’m taking on this challenge, so that I can relate and relay to others: who have had a bad yoga experience, who are just simply not willing to give yoga a try, and who don’t see yoga as sufficient physical exercise… that they’re wrong. Just kidding! But perhaps that they should give it a chance, that old ideas can be washed away and that their mind and body can be transformed through their yoga practice. If you want to stay skeptical, I’m fine with that. But I ask you to stay tuned as I document my journey, a yoga newbie, taking on #yogaeverydamnday for the next 30 days!
My next post will delve into Motive #2 for #yogaeverydamnday: that I promised myself I would start meditating three damn weeks ago.
NOLA Tribe Yoga
*Disclaimer: our chief yoga instructor, Baye Cobb Tilson, is a certified yoga VETERAN. She’s the pro that will be taking your flow to and fro… while I quietly “om” in the background. *