On. Fridays. Yin. Yoga.

Something changed in 2021. Was it the sucker punch of January 6? The winter weather keeping us indoors? Is it because I stopped seeing my therapist?

It’s getting harder to separate the external (pandemic) stressors from the internal (depressive) habits. All I want to do lately is crumple into a fetus shape and stop moving.

How did I make it through 2020? I keep wondering.

This is the only answer I can come up with: my routine.

Of course, the makeup of the routine matters. Every week, I exercised. I kept a strict sleep schedule. I talked to people on the phone. I scheduled daily chores for myself. I sat and worked in two-hour windows, separated by chunks of active movement.

At the end of 2020, I revamped my calendar, in an effort to “earn money.” I actually blocked off 12:30–5:30, Monday-Friday for that explicit reason.

If the description “earn money” seems vague, that’s because I didn’t know how I would do it. Would I successfully pitch some lucrative articles? Would I find a salaried job on Indeed? Would the government suddenly become generous?

So far, the plan hasn’t worked out. So far, in 2021, my schedule has become meaningless. The block of time where I’m supposed to “earn money” has translated as “stress” instead.

And the stress is leaking into every other endeavor. I’ve stopped exercising regularly. I canceled phone calls — said I was “tired.” I’m barely maintaining the cleanliness in my apartment. I literally crumpled into a fetus shape yesterday, on my dirty floor.

When I woke up this morning, I said, “It’s Friday. Whatever that means.”

But then I remembered — Fridays do mean something. Or at least, they are starting to mean something. Lately, on Fridays, I practice yin yoga.

Unlike cardio and kettlebell and vinyasa, when I think about doing yin yoga, I feel like I’m preparing for pleasure, not pain. I picture myself on the mat, barely moving, releasing the deep tension I’m constantly accumulating.

I don’t know how yin yoga crept into my schedule. I didn’t plan for it. The need must have crept in organically, replacing vigorous exercise with calm surrender.

I think it’s time to officially add it to my calendar.

Writer living in Brooklyn, NY.

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