The one thing about yoga, is that you can always return to the mat, at any given time, and know that you have arrived "home". It doesn't seem to matter how long you've been away, you are always welcomed back. I started practicing when I was in high school, and over the years I found my practice wax and wane as other interests and pursuits took up my time and drew me away from the mat. But I kept coming back. Again, and again, each time asking myself "Why haven't I been doing this all along? I love this!"
Good question. If something feels good, and I love it, then why did I keep abandoning it? I guess the amount of stuff I would attempt to cram into those 24 hours each day was pretty demanding and something had to give. I made my choices, and priorities, and continued on my merry (or not so merry) way.
Most times I would end up back on the mat because of an injury. Curious, no? I'm a very athletic person, and very Type-A, so when I do things, I tend to throw myself head first into each and every activity with all of the passion I've got. This can be great in some instances, but in others, it can lead to not listening to one's body, and result in injuries. And this is what I do. Each time I injured myself, or my body got sick, I would return to my yoga practice. It became a cycle of destruction, and each time it became worse and worse. Doesn't sound helpful, or a way to really honor myself, does it? Eventually, I got a bit smarter, and started to focus more on my practice, but once again, things happened. I decided that I could use that time for other things that needed doing, things that I thought would be of a better benefit to me. Even when that voice in my mind kept prodding me to unroll my mat, I ignored it. Bad plan. Really, really bad plan. I should have listened to that voice, but perhaps that is the thing about humans as we plan, evolve and grow. We often make decisions with our heads, without truly listening to our hearts. We make mistakes, we learn (or try to!) from them and move forward.
At the end of the day, do I feel guilty about being so wishy-washy with my practice? Yes. But I'm realizing now that it doesn't matter what gets you back to the mat, just the fact that you're there is what truly counts.