It was a foolish promise to make to myself -- that I would practice every day. And it was one I've made before.

But I did it again anyway. It's an easy thing to do halfway through the ecstasy of a yoga retreat, when you're feeling gloriously great, I mean, not just great but SRSLY EFFING GREAT enough to write it in all caps like that and maybe shout it as you regally tilt your face skyward in a Warrior I. You feel so good after hours and hours of yoga that you're not sure what you were doing before, but you want to keep this feeling forever. In order to ensure that eternal bliss, you make a promise to yourself:

Dear Jenn, I promise to do yoga every day. Love, Jenn. Namaste. P.S., everything in life is going to be OK, only a few of the pseudo-spiritual, pop-psychology aphorisms on the lululemon bags are spot on, so you can ignore those, and hey, don't worry, you don't have kale in your teeth.

When I made this promise to myself a few weeks ago, I didn't bother telling myself, "this time, for real, do yoga every day." Because I know now that after the ecstasy there's life's laundry. So I chose delusion instead.

Now, several weeks out from this little promise, pshaw, of course I haven't done yoga every day. My body is starting to feel bound up again, shrinking and winding up into the tenser desk-bound version of myself. But one thing did change.


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In the past, when I'd feel this happening, my head would tighten and wind up, too. I'd engage in some self-beratement for letting my body get into this kind of shape -- a gripped, unevenly contorted hard pretzel, nothing like those beautiful, softly twisted ones they make at airports -- but then still hold off a few days before going on a yoga binge of classes and hour-plus home sessions. Somewhere mid-binge, I'd make that old promise to myself again, that one I fall for every time.

This time, though, I squeezed in little bits of yoga when and where I could and (not sure how I pulled this part of it off) I didn't get mad at myself when I didn't feed the daily beast of practice.

Dear me: I haven't practiced yet today. I'll squeeze in 15 minutes when I get home, between work and dinner and, after the ecstasy, well, you know, you might have kale in your teeth, but it's OK.

-- Jenn Fields