21 January 2015

A Tale of Four Classes

After practicing little over the past month, I've been able to string some classes together this week. It has been an interesting four days of yoga, to say the least...

Sunday morning 10AM: My first class in seven days. OUCH!! I was so tight and stiff. Everything just hurt. One of the staff told me that at one point, as he passed by the room, he saw me on my knees with my head in my hands. I don't remember that at all. It was one of those classes where nothing went right: weak, chasing my breath, falling out of postures at almost every turn. The high point of it all? The shower afterwards...

Monday 6:30PM: A very hard day of work with little time to prepare. Bad food choices and poor hydration contributed to the feeling that this class would be no better. Funny thing though: when I tweeted out that I was heading for class, a friend sent back a simple message:

"Do the posture!"

I don't know why or how, but suddenly I was galvanized to go in there and give it my all.
All I can say is: "Wow".
It was hot and the room was nearly full but it didn't matter. I was strong. I was focused.  I was in a yoga zone that I have never known. I did every posture. I think I sat out one set near the end. I cannot remember. All I know is that I think, for once, I completely surrendered myself to the yoga. I felt so calm and peaceful! Thinking of it now makes me wistful, to be honest. It was such a beautiful thing!!

Tuesday 6:30PM: Having issues with my job. Remarked that I could "...either go to class or choke someone out." Thankfully, I chose class. After Monday's high I was eager to see if I could build on it. I even set up in the hot corner on the front row. I tried to be as deliberate and strong as on the previous night but it just wasn't meant to be. It was a good class for the most part but I did have to exit the room between sets of Fixed-Firm. The heat was bouncing off the mirrors in that corner, and I started to feel a bit of panic. I got back in and finished class, but I just didn't feel as good. 

Wednesday 6:30PM: Woke up with sore hamstrings and leg/foot cramps. Not enough water or potassium. Spent most of my workday in a 36 degree dairy vault. All day, I thought of how nice that hot room would feel. I was not disappointed. Once again, I was on the front row (I didn't get there early like usual and the back rows fill up first). I started strong, working deeper into Half-Moon and almost getting a hand behind a heel in Hands-to-Feet. Even my Awkward was better, especially in the middle part. They always say, "The higher the toes, the easier the pose..". Not always, I backed off a bit and found it easier to balance. However, Triangle got me, as usual. I just couldn't hold it. I dialed it back a bit from there until the long Savasana. On the floor, sat out the second Camel and the first Rabbit, but finished out from there. All in all, a good, solid class. 

So, four days, four classes, four outcomes running the entire spectrum from disastrous to blissful. For the first time since resuming practice eleven months ago (can it really be a year already?), I felt the magic of this yoga again. For a short while on Monday, I felt like I stepped out of myself into a newer, better version of me. 

I need to get back there. That's the Mark I want to be. 

One more breath. 
One more posture. 


09 January 2015

Just give me a minute...

I need to get some things out...

I love yoga... once I get to the studio... It is really difficult to get there some days -- especially, for me, during the winter. I just want to eat, drink coffee, and hibernate. I bet I've gained 12-15 lbs. since Thanksgiving. As a result...

I feel like a failure a lot these days. Seems like I'm just "treading water" in the room. In some respects, I have regressed -- I couldn't tell you the last time I was able to grab my heels in Hands-to-Feet pose -- mostly because I cannot suck enough of my stomach in. I feel really tense, and extremely inflexible.

It seems like I'm in a fog most of the time. Perhaps it would be better to say I feel like I'm underwater. Every so often, when I can break the surface and take a breath, I can clearly see the things I need to do to better myself -- I can see the path. Then, I sink back down into the everyday, mindless, numbing daily routine. Before I know it, days have passed before I realize I'm right where I was because it is the next time I "break the surface" and realize I haven't done anything -- again. Did that make any sense at all ?

I am thankful for work-study. Twice a week, I get to spend an extra hour in the room while I clean it. More sweat. It's quiet. I can think. It's peaceful. Best two hours of my week sometimes.

I still have horrible eating habits. In some ways it has improved, but not today. Lunch (coffee for  breakfast) was leftover fajitas with way too much rice and tons of chips with almost a pint of hot sauce (all this while watching "Hungry For Change" for the umpteenth time on Netflix). I ate until I couldn't eat anymore, then I ate more, as if I might not eat for a week. When I go to the store, I grab a cookie or two for the drive home. Sometimes I stop at McD's on the way home. I have taken to buying donuts every morning at work... after stopping at another McD's for breakfast and coffee. Food has fully replaced nicotine for me (but at least it is now 11 months since I had a smoke!).

Sometimes, I just want to give up. Quit. Pack it in. Nice try, but you fell short. Get fat and die early like my mom. Smoke my way to pneumonia, cancer, and respiratory failure like some of my relatives. Be diabetic and lose limbs like so many people I've seen.



I can't do that. 
Long way to go.
Just take another step.
One more breath.
One more posture.
One more breath.
One more posture.

#just breathe