I’ve been going to hot yoga four to five times a week the past two months. It hasn’t been easy to get in that routine. It’s been exhausting and hard. Like so many, when Covid came to the US, my exercise routine crumbled. My yoga studio closed for some time and even once they opened, I wasn’t sure it was safe to return.
By the end of July, I knew I needed to get back to my practice. I had followed along with a youtube video now and then, but I really felt like I couldn’t keep up a consistent practice on my own. Yoga without community is not yoga to me. So I took a leap and asked Instagram something like, “Hey, does anyone want to join a yoga club? I’ll send a weekly playlist of youtube videos if you want to do them with me, but I really need support and accountability.” I thought I would get two or three people who would be interested.
I had twenty. Twenty accountability partners.
My goal was to do yoga every day for the month of August. That’s when I was returning to work and I knew this year would feel unlike any other. I needed healthy routines in place from the start.
With the support of my twenty partners, I did yoga every day for the month of August. Some days were harder than others to show up, but at the end of each day, I showed up. I kept showing up.
When September was days away, I asked the group, “Anyone want to stick around for another month?” And we did. We kept yogaing on our own terms, for ourselves and each other.
I know virtual connection is not the same and is not a replacement for real, live community. But any connection is still that, connection.
By the end of September, I had returned to in-person teaching. I was reporting to work and teaching actual human students. I figured that any risk that I am exposed to is at work, not in the yoga studio, where we are distanced and masked. I told the group I would be returning to in-person yoga classes and wouldn’t be sending the playlists anymore, but I would always be cheering them on and practicing with them in mind.
I was in a yoga class two weeks ago and something was different – in such an obvious, almost tangible way. My studio always has pretty short savasanas, maybe three to four minutes, and I find it hard to rest that quickly after a powerful flow. It usually takes a minute for me to remember to relax my shoulders, and another minute for my temples. But in this one class two weeks ago, I sank quickly. I fell into this relaxation so fast that I felt like I had to be caught. I had the visceral feeling I was being carried.
As I laid there I thought, Who is carrying me? And who has carried me all this way?
The answer came quick: those twenty accountability partners.
And they didn’t give me just one profound moment of relaxation. They gave community, they gave routine, they gave reliability, and yes, even hope.
Back in the spring, my routine was one of lethargy and defeat. Not anymore. Now, I am practicing consistently and prioritizing my physical and mental health. That wasn’t the case before I asked for help.
At the end of July, I knew I needed a change and somehow had enough boldness to ask for support. Now, nearing the end of the year, I know a heap of gratitude is due for my community and myself. Asking for help is not easy, but it is worth it.
One thought on “WHEN I ASKED FOR HELP”
I feel this. I finally went back to exercising in October after taking all these months off. It has felt so good (and so hard) to be back “in my body.”