Now, one month on, things have at least settled a bit. One major stressor has been dealt with, but much healing remains to be done. Things that were strained or broken are being worked on, though there is no guarantee they can be properly fixed. My body still hurts. My emotions are still jumbled. Concentration and discipline are out there, somewhere.
Over the last two weeks , I seriously considered putting my yoga practice on hiatus, if not quitting altogether. It wasn't fun anymore. Everything hurt. My body refused to work with me. I would leave class with my nerves shot, fighting off tears and emotions. I would dash across the street and comfort myself with a double cheeseburger. Or two. When riding the bus to work, I would indulge in donuts, breakfast croissants, and sausage rolls from a bakery on the bus route. When driving, there was always an extra stop for a burger or a soda.
The result? Pounds packed on. No hydration. Muscles that refused to stretch or relax. An expanded belly that prohibits any forward fold (the fat pushes up against my lungs and I freak out because I cannot breath).
So, there I was last night at the studio, asking for a 30 day challenge chart.
Would you run that by me again, please?
That's right. Instead of quitting, I committed to thirty straight days of yoga.
First, I need the discipline. When you know that you will be going to class EVERY day, you will treat your body better. Loads more water. Less coffee. Veggies. No illicit trips for junk food.
Second, I need the peace and quiet of the room. When the door closes, no one can hurt me. No one can get in my brain and put their feet up on the furniture, so to speak. I can work on quieting the voices in my head. I can try to FOCUS again.
Finally, I am doing this simply to see if I CAN still do this. When I started my practice six years ago, I was so enamored of this yoga and its benefits that I did two 60 day challeges back to back. Lost 45 pounds but gained so much more in happiness, pride, and health.
I want those feelings back. And more.
Last night was class number one. It wasn't much better than any class in the past two months. That's ok. It doesn't happen overnight. A little better each day. The best part about last night's class came afterwards. When I told my work-study partner about the challenge, her eyes lit up and she asked, "Want me to do it with you? I will have to take mostly morning classes but we can text each other every day. Keep each other honest. Cheer each other on."
And that is why I keep coming back to yoga. Even when you think you are alone on the path, you're really not. Whether your mat is next to mine or thousands of miles away, we truly are all in this together.