19 November 2016

Here. We Go. Again.

The third Saturday in November and Autumn has finally reached North Texas. A definite chill is in the air. Long overdue. I should feel rejuvenated. Refreshed. Renewed.

Today, however, I am heartsick.

Went to class last night. Good and hot. Started strong but faded near the end. Given the recent state of my practice, it actually felt good. I was looking forward to the next class.

Late last night, I received a message from the studio owner.:

"I'm closing the studio tomorrow. Would love if you could take my last class at 10."

I stared at the screen, momentarily stunned.

"What?" was the only response I could muster.

I could see she was typing a response, and then it hit me, and I understood. I took a deep breath, thanked her for allowing me to be a part of the studio, and gave my love.

This afternoon there was a message on the app, and an email in my box. Dwindling attendance combined with her steadfast refusal to violate the integrity of Bikram Yoga by offering 60 minute classes meant that keeping the studio open was no longer viable. She held true to her beliefs to the end. It was a heartfelt, sad letter, and I feel empty right now. Not only because I will miss the practice itself, but there are a lot of people that I will see little of, if at all, for now. As part of work-study, the studio was also my main social outlet, and a place where I could be alone with myself when everyone else had departed and it was just me, my music, and my mop. Sometimes I would sit in the hot room alone, in the dark, and just let go. Shed more than one tear in there.

So, once again, I am a "yogi" looking for a home.

The plan: go to my Yin class tomorrow. The rest of the week, I will be working (including Thanksgiving Day). After that, I have nine days off, during which I hope to check out a few studios -- some hot, some not -- and see what works  Then I will figure out how to pay for it. I can't wait around for a year plus like last time. Just can't.

Namasté.



04 November 2016

Reclamation (Part 1)

Hello, all!

Again, it has been quite a while since I have been here. I haven't practiced much yoga, either. In fact, it has been rather a difficult summer. I was depressed. I found very little joy in life. I medicated with food. Lots of food. Lots of processed, sodium filled, chemical filled, fast or ready made food. When I did take class, I usually left early. Nothing was working. Nothing was fun. For the last five (six?) weeks my only visits to the studio were to clean. On those nights, I would stop at the convenience store for a king size Almond Joy and a giant soda. Sometimes there would be a second stop on the trip home. Cooking healthy or buying ready made healthy food was out of the question -- who had the time or desire? Not me. My sleep was poor and I always felt miserable. At my annual checkup in late September my weight was 264 lbs. On the bright side, all of my blood work came back within norms, meaning that I've not done any irreparable damage. Yet. My doctor was very pleased with the results but said that with a BMI of 36 I needed to drop some weight. Thirty pounds at least. Bear in mind that when I started my yoga practice I weighed 278 lbs.

So, here I am on my 49th birthday, starting over for the umpteenth time.

The fact that I turn 50 in one year has me freaked. I guess the idea that I'm on the downhill side of this existence has grabbed me by the short hairs, if you'll forgive the coarse description. The idea of death scares me. Logically, I know that no one lives forever. Emotionally, I know there is so much more living I need (want) to do. To make that happen, I've come up with The Reclamation Project.

Starting today, I'm keeping a journal. Not of everything I eat or drink (although that sometimes will appear) but of what I do, how I feel, and plans I make. I will keep track of what exercise I do each day (yoga, push-ups, walking, whatever). In addition, there will be challenges along the way. The first one is to meditate for seven days straight. The next one might be to drink only water for a week or ten days (I just read an article by a woman who did exactly that. Sounds horrid). There will be a yoga challenge in there somewhere, but it will not be of the 100 class variety -- 30 will be the limit. I've learned that 30 strong, mindful classes beats the hell out of dragging your tired ass in there for 60 or more. Finally, I'm going to truly contemplate the things I want to do before I die. Not a full on bucket list, but I want to see new places and try new things. Thirty years at the same job made me blind to those things over the horizon. I need to live, not just exist.

I have already tried a couple of new things. First, I renewed my love of writing. Poetry. Haiku. On my Twitter page, I have found some fabulous poets who have taken me as one of their own and I'm writing almost every day. Second, in an attempt to rejuvenate my passion for yoga, I now take a yin yoga class each Thursday evening. It is almost the complete antithesis of Bikram, and I really enjoy it. I will write more about it soon.

So there we are. It's my birthday and I'm a mess. That said, I have felt much more positive the last couple of days. Two nights ago, I walked back into the hot room for the first time in weeks. I was weak. I was gassed pretty quickly but I made it through the full 90. Most importantly, for the first time in months, I felt like I belonged there again. Like I mattered.