First 2013 Resolution – A Regular Yoga Practice
by Terry Laughlin

Posted on December 30th, 2012

I’ll share my 2013 Resolutions one at a time. I’ve always felt that the ideal complement to TI Practice is yoga practice. Not just because they’re so similar in spirit, but because one of my primary life goals is to be strong, supple and agile at 85 — and, should fortune allow it, beyond. Whenever I do yoga regularly I’m convinced that there’s nothing better I can do on dry land to make that likely. I always feel better in body, mind and spirit when I combine swim and yoga, doing both several x a week.

Problem is, I fall out of practice and find it hard to resume. So my initial idea was to mark the calendar with a Y each day I did yoga for at least 10 minutes, with a goal of having at least 200 days marked by this time next year.

But as I wrote Small is Beautiful in my previous post I decided to walk that back and resolve only to do yoga for 5 consecutive days, for a minimum of 25 min. Then build on that.

Three days ago, I signed up for a 10-class card at a local studio. Step 1 completed.

I took classes that day and the next. Taking classes has always been easy. Day 3–yesterday–was the test. Practicing yoga alone at home has often required a resolve I lack.

At 6pm I began preparing a lentil veggie soup for dinner. At 6:30 I reduced the heat to simmer, then had 40 minutes until it would be ready.

I put on comfortable clothes, and took my Enso Salubrion clock – which I use to regulate (enforce) writing periods – set it to 25 minutes and began doing asanas. After 25 minutes the tibetan bell chime rang and I was so thoroughly immersed I kept going for another 5 to 6 minutes. Three days done and I’ll have my first 5-day string complete on New Year’s Eve!

Isn’t that’s just how achieving a resolution should feel?

And now I’ll set my Enso clock and resume working on the ebook I’ve resolved to complete by the end of Jan.

9 Responses to “First 2013 Resolution – A Regular Yoga Practice”

  1. Jill Hummelstein says:

    What kind of yoga did you sign up for?

  2. Most of my experience is with Iyengar; this was ‘warm’ vinyasa – 90F. Not quite as unpleasant as I thought it might be.

  3. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race says:

    I added Bikram back into my training and Friday is so pleasant now. A ,owning swim followed by a mid- morning session of stretching and sweating.

    Good for you for making it 3 days…..enjoy the next 2 days and building from there.

  4. Benjamin says:

    Does Yoga do anything to stretch out the muscles? Possibly being advantageous for muscle growth?

  5. Congratulations on your goals Terry.

    i highly recommend yamuna body rolling as a possible adjunct to your daily practice. I’ve been doing it for over 12 years now; i don’t go anywhere without my yamuna silver ball.

    i’m also an avid yoga student/teacher, mostly in service of my movement practice. I find anusara yoga has a poetic sensibility that really helps me stay with it.

    As far as having a private practice, i came to realize over time that i enjoy my physical activity in the company of others. So rather than beat myself up, i just make sure that i get myself to the place(s) that provide that for me.

    there are a few great books out now on habit forming. i’ll be glad to look them up if you can’t find them on amazon.


  6. Marc Schmeisser says:

    In my case it was the other way round: I have been practicing yoga for a while and three years ago I discovered TI swimming a perfect complement. You’re absolutely right: the ” spirit” is very similar… Both can be be understood as ” meditation in movement”. I’d like to encourage you to practice daily!(=5-6 times a week) This is the key… Even if you only have few minutes.. Try to develop your practice at home… Ask your yoga teacher how to do this, he /she will help you…make it 30 days in a row and it will become as normal a showering or toothbrushing

    Best Regards

  7. Gina Bloom says:

    As a swimmer and yogini for (gulp) decades, I love the harmony of having both yoga and swimming as part of my life. They both involve fluidity and power and energy. I’ve practiced many types of yoga but as long as you take the time to learn the asanas (poses) correctly, which also means understanding and enjoying the strength of balancing energy in opposite directions — vertically from head to toe, horizontally from extended fingertips, it is a fulfilling experience for mind, body (& spirit, for those who embrace that aspect).

    So when I swim, I benefit from yoga = fluid power. Focused but smooth energy. They couldn’t be more harmonious. (And yes, just like getting to the pool, you have to get to the yoga studio and/or create a practice at home. Terry’s home practice method is great!) And you’ll feel good from both — sometimes fantastic.

    Yoga recommendation? Vinyasa flow, taught by teachers who are experienced in Iyengar, Ashtanga or other classic traditions. A good class will include meditation and often some great or very interesting music!

  8. Best part about this blog was the idea of winding back a goal. As spoken about already goals need to be attainable, do not set yourself up to fail. Many of my new swimmers come in with very unrealistic aims. One lady in particular who was learning to swim for the first time, started with us in September with the intention of participating in the Melbourne Ironman the following March. Though determined this lady was finding swimming very difficult and the concept of “less is more” one of my favourite phrases was incomprehensible to her. No pain no gain was her mantra. I constantly tried to set smaller targets for this swimmer and we have slowly progressed. She did not complete the 2012 Ironman swim in the time allotted. We run both a weekly TI squad and an Open Water Squad during summer and she has been a regular attendee. With regular small goals set and achieved I am sure she will manage the 3.8km swim in the 2013 Ironman.

  9. […] are now in February, it’s time to report on the 2013 resolution I made public in my blog post First 2013 Resolution — A Regular Yoga Practice posted on Dec 30. As I wrote then,  one of my primary life goals is to be strong, supple and agile […]

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