Eden M. Kennedy

mission accomplished, pal

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works a straight job and is just about finished writing her first novel.

Day 10: Commitment, part 2

Another commitment I've made this month is that I'm practicing yoga every day. EVERY DAY. I'm 10 for 10 so far. The Yankees should draft me.

I used to be a horrible yoga commitmentphobe. Ashtanga yoga being what it is, practitioners at the white-hot pearl of the oyster will practice six days a week; me, I was never good for more than two or three days a week, and this was before I had a baby and didn't know I'd soon be kissing the freedom of an unscheduled, unaccompanied, un-spit-upon minute goodbye for several years. No, daily practice was for vegetarians, college students, and people who didn't drink. Being none of those, I had a hard time relating to yoga culture in general. All that chanting was kind of hard on a lapsed Catholic, frankly, and the whole patchouli requirement was just embarrassing. But two hours of yoga, daily? No. I didn't want to exhaust myself. I also had this intimacy thing where I was afraid my teacher would get sick of seeing me every day. I stopped going to yoga altogether after two of my teachers came to my baby shower. I mean, now they'd seen me wearing shoes! They'd met my husband's business partner! THEY WERE GETTING TOO CLOSE.

Well, this summer, after ten years of bobbing and weaving around the yoga maypole, I realized that maybe a little trust wouldn't be out of place. So I went on a weekend retreat, and then, because I'm so wonderfully logical, I stopped practicing altogether. Yes, being utterly broke helped justify a three-month hiatus from my mat, and I was (and am, until an advance check comes through) still somewhat broke when I made the crazy commitment to plunk down $150 for the privilege of getting up at 5 a.m., driving through the dark in my pilliest, stretchiest clothes, and arranging myself into positions God himself wouldn't dream of until the second bottle of wine, for the entire month of November.

The thing about a commitment like this is it's really freeing. It takes away all choice. There's no sleeping-in option; you don't get to bargain and tell yourself, Oh, I'll just work extra hard tomorrow. No, you'll work hard today and tomorrow, so don't bother hitting the snooze button: you made this bed and too bad if you only got to spend six-and-a-half hours in it. Plan better tomorrow.

So, yeah. Some days, the crushing need for a nap hits at 11 a.m.; other days it doesn't creep in until I'm picking up Jackson from school and suddenly lose the ability to comprehend why any of us are wearing pants. But seriously, the normalizing effect a sustained amount of bending and breathing is having on my frayed personality and cement-filled joints is so wonderful it's kind of alarming. You know, alarming in a quiet, snail-drawn carriage sort of way. Like, Weird! Snails!