27 December 2011

Full Circle, Resolutions, and other Bullsh@t

From my first post, 01 JAN 2011:

 Hello, world! My name is Mark and I have decided to try my hand at blogging. The subject, for the most part, will be my experience of practicing Bikram yoga. For those who do not not know, it is commonly referred to as "Hot Yoga", since the 90 minute class is held in a 105-degree room. I have been practicing since April 2009, and have found wonderful benefit from it, which I will relate as I go forward. Hopefully I will have the willpower and desire to keep up with this -- I've never done this on a regular basis. I hope to be interesting enough to have you, my reader, to return, or to perhaps try Bikram. Unfortunately, as I write on New Year's Day, I am fighting my first ever case of pneumonia, which is going to set me back a bit. I'll write when I can and I hope you enjoy it! 

Indeed, it has been almost one full year since I started this little blogging experiment. For once, I actually had set a couple of goals for myself. I wanted to improve my practice. I wanted to learn more about the yoga itself. My stated goal was to attend 200 classes this year. I wanted to eat better, live better, and be healthier.

Well, so much for that.....

To be fair, there were some good (or great) moments. I was able to do Eagle properly for the first time. I got to take a class in a different city from a fantastic instructor. I overcame a panic attack. I even tried creative writing.

Mostly, though, there was a lot of struggling. One new instructor, then another. Got run over by the "yoga truck" more than once. Questioned my desire to continue. Beat myself up a lot, which I have always been very good at. Then, to top it off, the studio abruptly closed. Hopefully, it will reopen in mid-January. Still no word on whether or not we will keep our work-study positions. If not, my practice may be dormant for a very long time.... 

In November, after visiting the studio in Arlington for a one-off class, I wrote the following:

"...the longer class went on, the more I felt like I didn't belong. Not just that I didn't belong in that room, but that I had no business being there, doing yoga, at all. The yoga felt very foreign to me -- not just because I was extremely stiff and had no sort of strength or balance. I felt really weird just being there trying to do the postures -- worse even than during my very first class. I was completely uncomfortable and unnerved. As I lay on the floor, sitting out most of the floor series, I kept asking myself, "Why did I even come here? I'm just kidding myself... I'm really not cut out for this stuff. I could easily stop practicing and few if any would notice my departure. Why not just give this up? Face it, I could do this for the rest of my days and I doubt that I will ever really improve. I mean, really, two years of this and I still can't do Triangle? I still sit out postures? Why bother? I tried, and I failed. Move on."

As I type tonight, I feel pretty much the same way." 

Unfortunately, for the moment, that feeling still holds.
Now, as the calendar turns to 2012, I sit here with a nasty chest cold, and I am trying everything to avoid ending the year as it began -- with pneumonia. My diet is a wreck once more, and I'm still smoking. I have not progressed much, if at all.

Today, I got a catalog in the mail from a nutrition company. I started thinking once again about what I'm going to do in the new year to feel better, look better, etc. Another cleanse? Getting my diet back on track? FINALLY giving up the smokes? Getting back in the newly renovated hot room?

The resolutions haven't changed, because I haven't changed. 
Will I EVER change?

I see so many other people do so many things to improve themselves... and not only at the studio through yoga. Some have begun working toward a 5K, 10K, or marathon. Some have disciplined themselves in their diet, and have achieved results. Others have quit smoking, and stuck to it. 

Why is it that I cannot will not do these things? Why is it seemingly so easy for other people but next to impossible for me? I can see the writing on the wall... I will try to do better for a while, then I will get tired or discouraged and fall right back into the same old crap. 

Really, who wants to read about that?

I read so many blogs that are fun. Uplifting. Joyous. Yes, inspiring. 

This isn't one of them... at least right now.  
I am questioning how useful this blog has been. 


20 December 2011

Holiday Wishes

A few thoughts as the festivities draw nigh:

1) If you are traveling, I hope your trip goes well and you get there and back safe and sound.

2) If you are in the military (of any nation) and the holidays find you far away, know that we truly appreciate what you do. Godspeed and I hope you are with your loved ones very soon.

3) When you are with your loved ones, hug them. Hug them again.  Hug them harder. You just never know when (or IF)  you'll get that chance again.

4) If you are at odds with someone, extend the olive branch. Make peace. Just try.

5) Never forget: There are a great many people in need. Give what you can. The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, your local homeless shelter, women's shelter, your local food bank... all would appreciate whatever you can give. Food, clothing, cash, doesn't matter. It all goes to improve someone's life (and therefore the world) just a little bit.

6) Never forget (2): Our four legged friends need a hand, too. The local Humane Society or SPCA can always use food or bedding for their charges...

7) Eat, drink, and be merry!!! Just have a designated driver so there are no Holiday nightmares.

8) Laugh out loud. Do a silly dance. Tell someone just exactly how special they are to you.

However you may celebrate, I hope your holidays are truly magnificent and memorable!!!