five is greater than zero

five is greater than zero

When we (OK fine, I) start a new project, I always want to dedicate hours upon hours at a time to the craft to improve.  I started photography before I had kids and could work on learning the settings, the gear, the editing at every free moment I had.  I could feel myself improving quickly because of how often I could practice.  And like anything new, there’s also the excitement…the desire to make the time.  I would have chosen photography projects over eating almost every single day of the week back then! Often with these things, as the excitement fades, so too does the amount of time spent working on it.  With my photography, my first few years were filled to the brim of learning and shooting.  Slowly, over time, I just started picking up my camera out of necessity, much more rarely for the excitement of it.

ashley manley

As time moved on, kids came, schedules filled.  Photography and DIY projects for our house or my pleasure were done at times that revolved around nap times and sleeping schedules…or not at all.

Just over a year ago, I started my daily yoga practice at home.  Much like when I started photography, I was obsessed.  I would close myself up in my bedroom for 30-minutes to an hour a day to get on my mat.  I’d watch youtube videos, read blogs, follow every educational yoga instagram account I could find.  I wanted to learn and do more with moving my body and calming my mind.  I went through my 200HR teacher training purely to learn about the practice and how I could grow.  I didn’t have any more hours in the day, but somehow I found time to make it all fit, staying up late, getting up early.

ashley manley

Slowly, much like with photography, schedules changed as did my excitement level.  The undertaking of a move was so overwhelming and stressful that when I found a few minutes, even when I made it to the mat, all I could do was sit there some days.  My progress stalled.

With the turn of the new year approaching, I really got to thinking about setting goals, finding motivation, and how to keep on keeping on when things are so overwhelming and exhausting.  I recognized that progress happens in small doses not just by declaring I want to do something and having it happen the next day.  All those hours in all those years I could work on photography were great and reaped great rewards, and I truly believe the same could happen in my yoga practice, it was just going to take longer.  I was so stuck on the fact that I couldn’t find the 30-minutes I needed in my day to move, I wasn’t moving at all.

Then I realized, 5 is greater than 0… If i just got on my mat for 5 minutes everyday, at least through the move, that would be better than nothing.  That would be better than sitting on the couch and being swallowed up by the thoughts of the heaping pile of boxes to pack and items to sift through.  Better than not getting on there at all and thinking about how disappointed I was in myself for not making any time for myself.  Better than feeling annoyed with myself for not working toward the goals I so desperately want to accomplish.

ashley manley

In photography, my growth happened quickly and steadily, but in my yoga it comes in waves.  That’s this season though, and it’s part of the sweetness and bitterness of it.  

Maybe you can relate.  Maybe you want to try something new (or return to something old) and don’t have the time to dedicate to it you want or think you need to.  Or maybe you have the time but are struggling to find the motivation to do it.   Maybe, just maybe, five can be greater than zero for you, too.

Even if it’s not yoga, even if it’s not photography, even if you are filled to the brim with to-do lists and life…take 5 for what matters to you, I promise it’s better than nothing.

ashley manley

Want to build your at-home yoga practice in 2019? YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS!