Beginning With Poetry
Measuring A Year: That One Little Word

Revving Up For a New Year

Happy New Year!
Happy Monday!

In an attempt to keep things  fresh, relevant, and fun (for me . . . and maybe for you, too), I'm going to be making a few changes here on the blog over the next few months. Nothing drastic (although you never know . . . ). Just different. Change is good, y'know? 

On Mondays I'll still . . . 

Begin cup

but not every Monday.
Just some Mondays. 
And it'll be just a little bit different.

"Change only happens in the present moment. The past is already done. The future is just energy and intention."
               --- Kino McGregor

So here we are, at the beginning of a new year. A time when many of us make resolutions or goals or intentions for how we want to move forward in the new year. And I know a lot of those resolutions or goals or intentions have something to do with . . . moving more. Getting stronger. Improving our balance and flexibility. Working on our fitness.

Maybe even . . . trying yoga.

So today, I'm going to Start Your Engines with some yoga talk. Because if there's one thing that revs me up and gets me moving, it's yoga!


I've been doing yoga for a long, long time. I actually credit yoga with . . . saving my life. WHUT? Yeah. I do. If not for yoga, I doubt I'd be doing most of the things I do today.

I don't talk about it much, generally, and I think I've only mentioned it once or twice here on the blog, but I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed with it shortly after Erin was born, and it took a while before we got it under control and I could move again without pain. Of course, some of my joints are completely trashed now (both wrists - and especially the right one, and one of my knees), but thanks to a combination of good medical care, new drugs, a decent attitude, and commitment to moving every day . . . here I am . . . 30 years later and still able to do (pretty much) anything I want to do!

At a time when I could barely lift my arms over my head (let along think about sitting on the floor), my rheumatologist suggested I try . . . yoga. I thought he was nuts. I had done yoga before my RA diagnosis, so I really couldn't imagine it would be possible again. But I gave it a try. It was really hard at first. I took it slowly, though, and kept at it. Before long . . . I was moving easier and feeling better. My flexibility increased; my pain decreased. I got more confident about moving again, and I saw how important a regular and consistent commitment to moving (even when it didn't feel so great) was for my body. It changed me; it saved my life!

So . . . I am totally committed to practicing yoga.

Yoga offers so many benefits. Gentle movement is good for your joints. It builds strength - and especially core strength. It improves balance and flexibility. It makes a mind-body connection, which is helpful for reducing stress. It can offer spiritual growth/self-actualization if that's your jam. It is a great thing to do at any age -- but it is particularly beneficial for aging bodies. And more recent studies are showing it can even help reduce brain shrinkage, which is a huge benefit. (I've included a link to a Psychology Today article in the "curated resources" section below.

Before the pandemic, I went to studio yoga classes once or twice a week. I did stretches and sun salutations at home every day, but mostly my yoga was studio-based. The pandemic changed all that, of course, and I had to scramble to figure out an at-home way to do yoga. I tried a few for-pay online based yoga programs (they often offer "free trial" periods), finally making my way to Yoga With Adriene. And there it was: My new at-home yoga "studio." Now, I do yoga every day, and I love it. (This is one of my pandemic silver linings.)

I know a lot of you are already familiar with Adriene, but for those of you who aren't . . . here are a few things to know: First, Adriene offers a huge and ever-expanding catalog of classes for free through her YouTube channel. Next, each month Adriene pulls together a collection of her classes organized around a "theme" and publishes a calendar with links to the daily classes. Again, free. And then, each January Adriene offers a brand new 30-day yoga series featuring all-new classes suitable for every level of yogi. And, again . . . free. (There is a for-pay subscription option, where subscribers get access to Adriene's Find What Feels Good app and a few other subscriber-only goodies. I have chosen this option after enjoying her classes for a couple of months. I feel like what she's offering is worth my financial support. But the fact that her classes are offered free - and ad-free - is just . . . amazing.)

I know several of you are thinking about giving Adriene's online yoga a try. Or maybe you haven't really given it a thought before. But today, I'd like to give you that little friendly nudge - to Start Your Engines and . . . Try it!


Right now, Adriene is offering a brand new 30-day yoga series called Breath. It's free. It's YouTube based. It's for every body. It's for YOU. (Click here for more information or to sign up for daily email reminders.) It's a great way to stick your toe into this whole yoga thing . . . or, if you're already a yoga-person, it's a great immersion into yoga breath technique. 

"Yoga is not for the flexible. It's for the willing."
            --- Anonymous

If you're thinking it's too late now because  you missed the first days . . .
I say . . . Nope. Your "day 1" can be any day you choose! Who says you have to start on January 1?

If you're thinking 30 days is just too much. . .  
I say . . . No worries! No one says you have to do 30 days in a row. You can set your own yoga schedule and spread the days out however you want.

If you're thinking your body isn't a "yoga body". . .
I say . . . Every body is a "yoga body." (Even if arthritis has trashed your joints.)

If you're thinking you aren't "flexible enough" for yoga . . .
I say . . . We do yoga to become more flexible, not because we're already flexible.

If you're thinking you don't have the right clothes or equipment to do yoga . . .
I say . . . Got sweat pants? Got a t-shirt? A yoga mat is helpful, but you can just do yoga on your floor if you want.

If you're thinking you can't do those moves . . .
I say . . . Yeah, at first very few people can. But if you keep at it for 30 days, you'll be amazed at what you'll be able to do! And Adriene suggests modifications, so yoga can work for everyone.


So, what do you think? Have I convinced you?
Are you ready to roll out your mat and give yoga a try?
Start YOUR Engines . . . and c'mon along.

"The body benefits from the movement, and the mind benefits from stillness."
            --- Sakyong Mipham


For further exploration, check out my Curated Resource List:



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Seeing as how you have answers to every excuse I have for not doing yoga, I think I need to actually give it a try. I don't do yoga because I'm not a "yoga person" and am not flexible, but I think I need to try it before I completely dismiss it. Who knows? I might even become a convert (or at least feel better)!


I started doing a private lesson of yoga with my DIL, (who is a certify yogi), and I love it. She moves at my level, (I am not flexible, and have had two back surgeries). Of course some classes I fell better than others, but I keep showing up!


Thank you for going deeper into your story here, Kym. You mentioned RA recently—and I did a quick head-spin...b/c...pain? I’d never even glimpsed it here. And now I see why. Your EDD commitment to yoga (et al.!). We’re about 15 years apart in age. I want you to know that your approach to fitness and creativity and self and strength and aging and partnership drew me to your blog in short order. In one word: inspiration. So...yeah. xo


Thank you for this post - I have wondered about those yoga jellies and I think I will order some today because the one thing that keeps me from doing yoga every day is the pain in my wrists. My daughter love Adriene and when a new series starts, she sends me a text every day to see if I have been on the mat - accountability to others is my thing 😊


Great post Kym and wonderful links too. I had forgotten about the yoga jellies and, like Juliann, I have so much pain in my wrists when I do yoga. I think I will order some today as well:) I'm not usually fond of on-line exercise or yoga classes, but I will say that Adrienne is great! I have signed up for the "Breath" program. I missed yesterday, but as you say, there is no harm in skipping a day. I can take the classes in my own time - what works for me and my body.


A few years ago there was a beautiful little yoga studio near my office and I went to class 3 days a week after work, but as it goes it didn't survive. It's end was the end of my yoga practice. I am one with an aging body, in flexible and bad, bad joints, but I am going to give this a try! I might even break down and get a jellie or two!


I love this post for so many reasons. Yay for Adrienne and yay for plugging the paid subscription. I do that, too, and I think it's absolutely worth the $10/month plus I feel like I should support her since I can afford it. I love your list of excuses and the answers for each one. And thanks for the link to the yoga jellies, my wrists sometimes bother me if I do yoga several days in a row.


I have tried yoga classes in the past and always felt frustrated because I'm inflexible and couldn't do all the moves. I've tried some of Adriene's classes and her modifications work for me, so I started her 30 day program today. I really hope I will stick with it this time!


I'm in for the jellies too! My palms are my problem because of thumb things. :-) I've started the 30 day and have had a couple of privates at the Y when no-one comes to class. I struggle with the pace - I just want to get-it-done but I'm learning! Thanks for all this Kym!


Have you been spying on me? I was literally planning on starting Adriene's January program later today! I am still trying to get outside for some aerobic exercise every day, but this year I really want to build my strength. Way back in the day I used to go to a yoga class every Saturday morning; at the time, the studio was just up the street, making it easy to get up and walk over. Then it moved to a different location and was no longer so convenient, and I got out of practice. But I'm ready to start again. And I'm ready to get stronger!


I signed up last week after you and Carole both talked about it. Then promptly tripped over the printer cord and banged the hell out of my knee on Jan 1.

HOWEVER-- because of you two, I decided not to let that be my excuse, my out. I've missed my body flow classes at the gym since before the pandemic, when a shoulder injury took me out in late 2019. I modified day one, and was so moved that I made it through, I actually cried at the end (and sent a note to my Body Flow teacher about how much I missed her class).

Now, day 2 and 3 are in the books, and my daughter and I actually practiced together today, without me knowing it, 3 times zones away from each other. When I texted her to let her know I was done, I saw that just after I told her I was starting (and turned off my ringer) she texted that she had also just pulled up the video. Synchronicity...

Thank you for all of the links today. I will share them with my daughter, though she is much more of a yogi than I am, there may be some things for her to learn.

Warmest regards,



I do love yoga, and everytime i do it i can't figure out why i don't keep it up. I've been using some yoga today to heal/move my SI joint back into place. Now if I can just keep myself doing it so i don't keep popping it out!


Some excellent inspiration here! Thank you for the links... I am thinking about it, but not quite ready to jump on the bandwagon.


I started the 30 days with Adriene this time. I was going to do it last year but never did. We had a yoga instructor come to work years ago and it was nice and I also took classes at a local High School through a Adult ed. I wish I had read your post before I ordered some other wrist things through Amazon yesterday. I also order a knee pad as my hips, knees and hands hurt a lot. I can't always do everything on the daily yoga video but I do my best.


This is quite an inspiring post Kym.


What a lovely way to start the new year! and those jellies look amazing! (gonna have to check them out :-)


I also did yoga at a studio but gave it up for a number of reasons. My daughter is a certified yoga instructor, although not teaching, and she mentioned Adriene. Late November I started working through her beginner classes. They are challenging enough for me but I did sign up for the 30 day yoga journey in January. So far so good. I know enough to modify. Once yoga saved me from back surgery. Now it is reducing my anxiety. If you find the right teacher, yoga can be wonderful. Thanks for the all the links. I plan to explore some of them.

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