THE BLOG

Hello Routine My New Friend

06/01/2016 14:36 GMT | Updated 04/01/2017 10:12 GMT

Routine: friend or foe? It's something that the first day back to work for 2016 had me pondering. This year I actually felt like I needed to get back to work; to set an alarm and reinstate some kind of structure to my life.

And the chat before my first yoga class has just confirmed it. Be it too much Christmas feasting, TV vegging or New Year's drinking, everyone in the class had their motivator for getting back on the mat.

A self-confirmed chocoholic who is partial to a red wine, I sympathise with the over indulgences but two people specifically mentioned their need for routine which threw me completely.

I've always thought of routine as the enemy. It conjures up thoughts of a working week, ties to the real world and - something that fills me with dread for no logical reason at all - a weekly food shop.

For these two however, the novelty of not knowing what day of the week it was had worn off. Whilst some had grown comfortable with their free time, these two people were itching to return to the normality of their busy lives and get back to their routines.

And there it was, spelt out for me: routine can be good.

January blues have become a thing. An excuse to book a holiday, treat yourself to the new shoes / sofa / dress you've had your eye on, and generally mope about.

But how tired is that? These two are on to the next best thing: embracing the return to routine.

You save yourself (and your brain) from daytime TV by getting up and going to work. You switch the sofa for exercise and feel great for it. And, you get your weekends back, appreciating the bliss of your lie-ins after a hard week at work and luxuriating in the time you have with your friends and family.

Routine brings about differentiation. It brings about 'highs' that counteract the 'lows'. Furthermore it heightens your ability to recognise those highs and appreciate them.

I teach yoga to help people find a sense of calm in the chaos, to get fit and feel better about themselves and to see things differently. Appreciation and gratitude are as much a part of yoga as the postures, breathing and your mat which is why this little insight has resonated so much with me.

So, whilst the rest of the world begins its annual discussion of New Year's resolutions and goals for the year ahead I'm simply saying a hello to routine, my new friend.