And then some days, there is no yoga at all. The world moves at breakneck pace, one challenge after another is hurled in your direction, and you are lost to the world. Maybe you're traveling, or ill, or leaning into a tight deadline. Or maybe, for no clear reason at all, you spend your day walking right past your yoga mat instead of settling down to your body prayers.
Whatever the reason, missing a yoga practice here and there is no big deal, even when you've committed to practicing every day. The trick is to make sure that practicing yoga is more of a habit than not practicing it.
And the yoga is still there, anyway. On days without a downward dog, you are simply practicing the yoga of no yoga. It's still with you, isn't it? A memory from a recent yoga class, a pose you spotted in a book, an attunement to your breath and its rhythms.
You stand a little taller at the grocery store (and you notice everyone who doesn't). You relax your shoulders and unclench your fists while driving. You breathe mindfully while waiting for the light to turn green. Maybe a favorite yoga chant or mantra echoes through your brain.
Yoga lingers there in the corners of your brain, occasionally reminding you that it is still there, waiting patiently, like a faithful old friend.
And yoga's freshness and clean-burning fuel last more than 24 hours, I am sure. It carries you, it calms you, it soothes you. And it reminds you that there is more, that there is another way of living in the world. And just that knowledge - and the confidence that you will return to that way tomorrow - is enough to see you through.
The more curious days to me, are the ones when I ignore my mat and my practice, even when there's room enough for at least a few downward dogs. Why do I do that, when I know how good it will feel? Why do I not take the medicine when I know it will cure what ails me? Laziness? Doubt? Fear of seeing clearly? Fear of waking up?
Whatever the reason, when you finally do return to your mat, the no-yoga bears its fruit. You nearly throw yourself into that downward dog, and you stay there for longer than ever before, just because it feels so good to remember you have legs again. You are giddy with relief, thrilled to be reunited with your long-lost friend (You have so much to talk about!). You notice how small you've grown without your yoga, how small and tight you grow in the face of life's inevitable challenges.
And you recommit to your practice, no, you fall in love with it all over again. And you decide once again to practice every day.... almost everyday.