On Day 1, I want to remind you of a very important part of My Next Thing. The time you spend on your THING each day isn’t all that important. There is no doubt that it's good to have a goal for your yoga practice. But the goal isn't to do yoga for 30 minutes per day. It's to unroll your yoga mat each day.
Speaking of yoga mats, since it's Day 1 I’m assuming you don’t own one. I didn’t get my yoga mat until Day 10. If you already own a mat, don’t judge me for doing 10 days of yoga without one. Either way, you can use a mat if you have one today, otherwise find some carpet or improvise with a towel or a pillow to protect your knees like I did. It’s more important to start your THING today than to wait until you have all of the “stuff” you need to start. We’ll talk more about mats on Day 3.
Today I’m going to introduce you to the undisputed CHAMP of free yoga lessons on the internet. Her name is Adriene Mishler. She has been teaching yoga online for 8 years but she’s been teaching offline far longer than that. Her YouTube channel boasts 8 million subscribers. She has one of the coolest dogs I’ve ever seen. She teaches yoga from home and has a squeaky floor. She’ll never say the word chakra without following it up with a self-deprecating joke. She’s turned me - a yoga skeptic - into a huge fan of the practice. Today you’re going to follow her yoga practice that first made me think, “Whoa. That made me feel great. And I didn’t have to touch my toes.”
Click the Day 1 button to get started.
While doing My Next Thing for the past year, I’ve noticed that there are certain days when I can motivate myself to do my THING and certain days when I’ve needed help. On those days, I look for books, podcasts, videos, and all kinds of other resources to help me get going. I combined the best of the best and put them all on the Yoga Inspiration page.
This page will save you a ton of time if you’re looking for something to motivate you to get on the mat. I definitely encourage you to take advantage of it.
Let’s talk about yoga mats. I am not going to tell you that you need to buy a specific mat. You know yourself. If you want the best of the best, a trusted product review website says this reversible lululemon mat is the best yoga mat money can buy. It’s $75. This YOGA Accessories mat is supposedly the best budget-friendly mat. It’s $15. If you’d rather buy in-person, you can browse and touch-test a whole bunch of yoga mats at Target, sporting good stores (like Dick’s or Scheels), and T.J. Maxx.
I bought a yoga mat at a grocery store for $15 and it totally works for me. I also admit that I have nothing to compare it to. My advice: buy what feels right to you, but don’t feel like you need to spend a bunch of money to enjoy yoga. If you’re completely unsure, here are a couple of brands that professional yoga instructors trust and recommend:
Okay, on with today's practice.
For a long time, I felt really aimless during my free time. It’s not that I didn’t want to do anything when I had free time, it’s that I didn’t know what to do. So I would mindlessly end up on Instagram, play board games online, or watch YouTube videos of other people doing the things I wished I was doing (golfing, traveling, etc.). After a few hours, it would be time to go to bed and I always felt like I didn’t do anything worthwhile with my time.
Once I started doing My Next Thing, that began to change. Doing my THING every day was a powerful way to inject purpose into my free time in a way that felt productive. That’s the goal. Your THING should feel energizing and exciting. Today’s yoga practice is especially good for that.
Each time you choose a new THING, you’re building a habit. If this is your 5th THING, you’re pretty used to the routine of doing a THING every month. Not every THING is the same though, so it’s going to be more difficult to keep the habit going for certain THINGS compared to others.
If this is your first THING, you’re laying the foundation for what will be a new normal during your free time. It’s important to prove to yourself that you can do your THING today, tomorrow, and into the future.
Whether this is your first THING or your 10th THING, days 5-10 are important. The initial motivation that got you to choose yoga as your next THING may be wearing off, and you’re looking at a few more weeks of yoga before you choose a new THING. Keep reminding yourself why you chose yoga in the first place. What is it about your life that you wanted to change when you started this THING? Don’t lose sight of that initial vision.
Consider the following paragraph:
Today you’ve got a 30-minute yoga practice. Try to knock it out as soon as you get home from work. Then take 30 minutes and read one chapter out of a book on the Yoga Inspiration page before you go to bed to prime yourself for your practice tomorrow.
It would be absurd if I wrote something like that every day. I’m not going to pretend that I know what works best for you, so I’ll never tell you when and how to do your THING. When you decided for yourself that you were going to do your THING today, you also decided when and how you would do it. You showed up for yourself. My Next Thing is here to make it easy to access resources for your yoga practice, but it’s important to know that motivation lies inside of you.
So I hope you feel good about the fact that you’re here and repurposing your free time today. Have a great yoga practice.