There are no grades, no promotions, no logs or tracking of progress – and gold stars are explicitly forbidden. It’s just me and my mat and a constant struggle to soften. Nobody cares if my leg is straight, nobody cares if I bent just a smidge lower today than yesterday, and nobody cares how my shoulder muscles look in Warrior 2. Just me. I’m the only one who cares. And because of this, I am constantly challenged in my practice, too often manhandling myself into a position, stepping outside of the moment to worry about my progress, and refusing to yield.
I do yoga for fun. Mostly, I go to calm my constantly tense body and ever-racing brain. I go because my cortisol levels told me I should, and because I’m a calmer, happier, saner version of myself after 90 minutes of moving in flow. It’s more therapy than exercise, although I’m surprised at what good exercise it is.