Yesterday morning, I was finally able to transition smoothly from down dog to plank to up dog.
If that sounds like gibberish to you, allow me to explain. Down dog, plank, and up dog are all yoga poses, and transitioning between them is a key feature of most sun salutations, which is a short yoga sequence that many yogis practice in the morning.
It looks something like this:
I do 20-30 minutes of yoga every morning, and this sequence is an important part of my practice. It's been difficult for me to do properly, though. I haven't had enough arm strength to lower myself down from plank (that's the pose that looks like the beginning of a push up) and then up to up dog without touching my stomach to the ground.
That is, until yesterday.
Yesterday, after months and months of building my morning yoga habit, almost 4 years after I first stepped onto a yoga mat, I finally completed this pose sequence.
And it felt amazing. Seriously, it put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.
There's a certain kind of accomplishment that can only be achieved by hundreds of small, daily actions. Heart health, dental hygiene, arm strength - you can't build these things through a one-time effort, no matter how herculean that effort might be. You have to built them slowly, patiently, over time.
For these goals, there are no grand slams. Just base hits.
Which is infuriating, and wonderful. As the saying goes,
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
Today was a victory of habit, an accomplishment built on many small actions.
I'm trying to build a life that I'm proud to live, a life that honors to inexplicable gift of being alive. A lot of my days, it feels like I lose that fight, days that feel like grafitti on a mural.
Not today, though. Today is a victory, today I've lived up to the potential of human life, at least in some small way. And glory glory, I get to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.
Another day, another fight.