I’m having a hard time. I feel somewhat disconnected, unmotivated and even sorry for myself. Things are not going as planned YET they aren’t going horribly wrong either. My reactions to everything would lead you to believe my world is falling apart in terrible, terrible ways.
When I am faced with obstacles that seem so massive and insurmountable, yet if I step back and see that they are everyday stumbles that most people I run into on the street have – I realize that I am lacking the one thing that makes me feel better than anything else:
Yoga has always been part of my life – which is kind of funny since I am an urban white girl born in the 70’s. We didn’t have yoga studios, and in 1997 when I bought my very first yoga mat, I had to call around first to see if anyone had one.
I remember being very young, maybe three or four, and my Gramma that we lived with would pull her “exercise mat” out from under her bed. It was dark brown vinyl on one side with white drawings of different exercises and words I could not read yet. The other side was tan. Her ritual was to have quiet. I could be in the room with her and do my own yoga, but I had to be quiet. There was no tv and no music. Only the light from the front windows coming through the white lace curtains. She moved the coffee table up against the plastic covered couch. She flipped open the mat and laid it on the floor. She then placed her towel over the mat. It was a dingy white, thin and soft like a blanket.
She moves through her practice, her focus was smaller poses, her handicap left it difficult for her to do poses of a more advanced level. She always finished with a meditation which was an especially quiet time. Her breathing was regular – you could count how long it took her to inhale vs exhale and the count would match. I knew from a young age that this was a very important and powerful ritual to her day. I grew older and started school, missing my Gramma’s daily yoga practice – but she kept on, always comtinuing with her “exercises”.
It was when I decided to do a paper on yoga for a college class that I understood the power of yoga, and it intrigued me in such a way that I immediately signed up for a yoga class at school the next semester.
My Gramma learned about yoga from a family member who visited, it was kind of a hip and cool thing to try out, and my Gramma got into it. She practiced regularly and meditated often for quite a few years before her accident.
On her way home from the grocery store, not far from our house, she was hit head on by a police office who was drunk driving. It was a very bad accident. At the hospital, they needed to keep her conscious to keep her from slipping into a coma, yet they needed to remove her left eye. My Grandmother had her left eye removed, while conscious and her only help was her yoga breathing and a local a anaesthetic. She told me that she focused on her breath through the entire procedure and remained calm and peaceful enough that she could pull through it. I don’t remember what else she said about yoga the day I interviewed her, but that one story really changed my life in so many ways. I saw her stronger than ever – I saw the power that yoga gave her. I wrote that paper and the following semester immersed myself into my yoga class.
Since then, yoga on the daily is something I strive for-it really makes me feel balanced, but as chaos introduces itself into my life I freak out and abandon it. I also fall into the camp of “I need to lose weight, yoga doesn’t have enough calorie burning”. In reality it doesn’t matter how many calories I burn if my mind is at peace and my body is strong. I think it is time to focus on a regular practice again.
I know I am all over the place, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that…but seriously, I’ve had so much pressure and anger and frustration and confusion and feeling of being overwhelmed that I stopped and realize that the space and calm that yoga brings is exactly what I am missing. Much like a casual walk on a perfect spring day, yoga provides me with that feeling. The feeling of now.
I have done yoga off and on for years and could put together my own practice, but I like the idea of feeling slightly challenged. I’ve done a few of Adriene’s practices, and the times range from short to lengthy – which let’s face it with my schedule – I need some on the short side. I also want to be challenged and to not end up bored.
Tomorrow starts a new chapter in my weight loss journey – my return to yoga. I would love to pop into a studio twice a week and take a real yoga class, but I can’t financially pull it off right now. instead I will use different videos to bring me back to where I feel grounded and safe. Where the chaos approaches, but it doesn’t win.
Tomorrow’s practice be:
Street Yoga with Adriene
This is funny I went to my blog post this morning to easily find the video I posted – however I copied the link to the hot pocket commercial that ran before the video…lesson learned. It’s fixed now