THE YOGA CHALLENGE
My family teases me because every week I search out the Alibi so that I can read my horoscope. I like the notion that the stars can give me a little guidance, although I admit to only a pop culture understanding of astrology. My horoscope for the first week of November urged a focused exploration of a new opportunity, pointing out that November is the month that thousands of people challenge themselves to write every day. I remembered watching a great Tedtalk about the potential for sustainable life changes just based on committing to something for thirty days. 
So what does this have to do with yoga? I decided that my November challenge would be to commit to practicing yoga everyday for 30 days. Why? Because Dragonfly Yoga – the teachers and my fellow students — is a space where I can be simultaneously alone on my mat and surrounded by an incredible community. I wanted to deepen my understanding of yoga and what it might hold for me. These are the kinds of moments I cherish:
Angelle’s gentle reminder “what a friend we have in yoga.”
Cypresse doing a shoulder-stand, holding herself up between two chairs, and with a little encouragement, I found that I could do it too.
Hunter patiently leading us through Ashtanga poses every Monday and Friday, the very routine unveiling the newness of each moment on the mat.
Lori nurturing the community through book club, candle light mediation and, of course, asana practice.
Allegra explaining the story of Hanuman flying across the ocean and encouraging us to embody that loyalty and action in our pose.
Emily explaining how to breathe wide and expand out.
Liz making all poses seem possible, even if a little crazy.
Michele taking the great leap of opening her heart and this space, encouraging us all through practice by asking gently “yes?” after demonstrating how to ease into a pose.
And then there are my fellow practitioners, who have supported me through handstands, backbends, and camel. People who have been next to me as I sweat buckets, touch my toes, fall on my face, balance, straighten, open, fold, and rest.
Has this changed me? Starting Saturday with a yoga class with Cypresse is a very different space than starting Saturday with errands. My weekend starts with movement and introspection and that difference has holding power. Yoga after work helps me let go of work and come home open to my family, wanting to tune in to them, for real. My husband and daughter made space for me to set this goal and reach it, and I hope this experience creates space for them to make new choices in their lives too.
Angelle is right, what a friend we have in yoga.