I feel so free. I feel that my life is my own again. Who would have thought that waking up an extra 45 minutes early and doing something I love (practicing yoga asana) and leisurely eating breakfast afterwards (instead of scarfing down oatmeal while driving to work) would cause such a shift.
Instead of work being the focus of my life, as in "gotta get up and get ready for work" or "gotta get home so I can get to bed before work in the morning", work is now just part of my day. It is just one of the many fulfilling things I do. This in and of itself has lowered my stress considerably. It has made me feel as though I have my life back, that I am truly working to live instead of living to work. That's not to say that I'm not living or enjoying life when I'm working; I love what I do. Certainly those moments are as important as any other. It's just that time spent at work is not really play… it's work.
I have also noticed significant freedom in my body. The Yoga Sutras are clear that we need a consistent, steady practice over a long period of time. Knowing this and having practiced yoga for six years I cognitively understood that practicing even just a little bit each day (instead of 2-3 longer practices per week) would lead to greater shifts in my body and beyond. So I guess it's neither surprising nor profound that my flexibility has increased significantly in just three weeks. However, I'm still amazed. It is amazing how quickly things shift when we focus our attention. It's amazing that with this new found flexibility in my body, I am more physically comfortable in asana practice, in meditation, and off my mat; my ability to be more present, to live more fully has expanded. Who knew?
The answer to that is, I did. I knew. We yogins all knew and have always known. And yet, the shifts are profound. The effort is worth it. Yoga truly does give time; it gives life. Roll out your mat and just do it!