January: Not Ordinary Time in Yoga Studios

Last night before class, I asked the teacher, Amanda M., if now that the holidays had passed we had entered yoga “ordinary” time like in the Christian church calendar, those regular days when we go about the business of ordinary living.


The first Monday of 2019.

“No!” Amanda responded emphatically. “It’s January. There’s nothing ordinary about January in yoga studios.”

“Really?” I asked. “Why not?”

“Because it’s when everyone returns to the studio.”

A major ah-ha went off in my head. It was true. I had been in some sparsely populated Monday night classes in December (I was keeping my eyes on my own mat so I wasn’t noticing overtly.) Yet Monday, January 7, the first Monday of the New Year, was full of people.

My youngest son’s girlfriend gave me a Yoga Journal calendar for Christmas that has daily practice tips, from how to get into Parsva Bakasana (side crow pose) to how to meditate. Most people probably view yoga as primarily a form of exercise like CrossFit, which is completely fine. I guess like other exercise routines, you start out great at the beginning of the year with the best of intentions and then life happens.

Side Crow

Now that I think about it, I’m fairly certain there will be some attrition from January class attendance as the weeks roll on, but I hope not.

I know there is an infinite number of reasons people don’t keep resolutions. Like making lofty weight loss goals, time management, or disappointment in physical results.
And while my Yoga Journal calendar is meant as a 365-day motivator, which is awesome, I think what may be more important for folks who don’t have a movement habit in their lives yet, many yoga studios also do 30-day challenges in the first or second month of the year, which can be very helpful in forming a new habit.
Here’s some more sage advice from another teacher: Move your body as much as you can. Drink clean water. And meditate.
For me, when I first began going to yoga regularly it was because every time I came out of a class, I felt wonderful. And then I just kept coming back because I wanted more of that high and before I even knew what was happening, it had become one of those habits I couldn’t break.




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