Time: 30 mins
Title: Managing Being
Australia Day! Surfing! Fun! A day off… until I freak out and can’t handle it. After surfing and then seeing a movie with Billy, I couldn’t focus. I felt panicky. So I ended up going for a short thirty minute run. I then felt a little more relaxed and was able to do my daily practice. I was calmer, but still not able to focus on yoga. So I pulled out Erich Schiffmann’s Moving into Stillness book and started flipping through it for inspiration. I decided to pick poses I didn’t often practice and try them out. I ended up doing a bunch of reclining poses, several fish variations, and then working on my splits. I was able to breathe and be with my body, and to be impressed by some of its flexibility.
After practicing for half an hour, I got restless, so I decided to try to treat my body a little. I ran a bath and soaked in it for 20-30 minutes and meditated on accomplishments I’ve been lucky enough to achieve in my life so far.
Somewhere between the run, the yoga, and my bath, my mind quieted enough for me to have dinner with Billy and then to focus my attentions to a Powerpoint for tomorrow morning.
Time: 20 mins
Tonight I practiced several of the poses I practiced last night. I just needed something easy I could do without thinking. Similar to last Wednesday, I intended to practice in the morning but didn’t get to it until late tonight. I felt crazy today. For about 80% of my day. I was really regretting not getting to my practice in the morning. I’m wondering if Wednesdays are an extra-stressful day for me… or if whether I’m currently pre-menstrual. I tried to really focus on how I felt today so I could identify the reasons I felt upset and stressed. For some reason I just wasn’t able to manage my feelings or my stress today. By the time I got to my yoga tonight, I was anxious to get to it. So I copycatted my last night’s practice and tried to slow my breathing and leave the rest of my day behind.
By the end I felt better. No feelings of enlightenment appeared through the practice, and no epiphanies occurred at the end. But I still felt better. And that’s enough for now.
Time: 60 mins
i'm continually surprised by the change having a daily practice has made in my life and in my yoga practice. today i attended an early morning practice with martine. i was tired. (when am i not?) but as i moved through the practice, forgetting my outside life, i concentrated on nothing but breathing. i shrugged off the things bothering me and found myself in a beautiful room with an amazing teacher. i found revolved triangle to be so much easier than i remembered. i found myself in a headstand in the middle of the room. i found myself in full wheel for several breaths longer than i thought possible.
as soon as the class had ended, though, my head was back to crazytown. i was thinking about the stresses of the day that lay ahead. i began crying as i talked briefly with martine. i was feeling upset, and i felt stupid for feeling upset when i have so much and am so lucky. i am healthy and intellegent and have a home and a love to go back to at the end of the day. and yet, there i was. crying in a yoga room with another 14 hours of my day to go.
from this point, i showered, bought myself a coffee, boarded the train, and went to work. after working for a few hours, i found that i was unable to focus. my mind kept focusing on why i was upset and i needed a way to relieve the anxiety and the pressure i was feeling. i decided to push play on my iPod and go into an empty room to breathe for a few minutes. however, on the way, i got pulled aside to work on a project with a quickly approaching deadline. two hours later, i felt better.
Time: 25 mins
Title: Yoga swagger
I got up late today. By late I mean in time to get ready for work, but not in time to have any time for running or yoga. All day I focused on deadlines, with the plan to leave early so that I could have enough time to workout. But the deadlines didn’t let up, so I didn’t leave until pretty late. So I got to the gym and started working out around 530. I spent an hour and a half doing cardio to try to make myself feel better; to try to make up for the candy overdose I had last night. The 80 minutes of cardio didn’t make me feel better. And they didn’t make me feel good about my body.
After the cardio, I was going to go home to do yoga. But since I was still feeling bad, I was afraid I might not do it when I came home. So I decided to do yoga in the boxing room. I invaded it (bc other people were using it for some personal training) and yoga-ed. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I had my headphones in so that I could tune out the rest of the room. I upped and downed dog. I warriored. I felt strong. I went upside-down several times in several ways. I pigeoned. I felt strong, confident, limber, flexible, and… calmer. Amazingly. Calmer.
As I walked out of the boxing room, I noticed my hips swinging. I noticed the curl of my lips. I noticed that I was better. I had a yoga swagger and I couldn’t believe it.
Time: 1.5 hour assist Martine (yoga day off)
Title: Practicing Presence
Today I tried to really pay attention as Martine corrected and quietly pushed students. I tried to mimic her approach and hand placement as I approached students. I feel nervous that students won’t like or won’t “get something” from the way I touch them. But today, as I touched students, I noticed some of the students breathing into my touch. I felt excited that that was happening and felt that the students and I were growing together.
It sounds a little cheesy as I write it, but that synthesis made me feel more a part of the class than I did for the past two weeks.
Today was scheduled to be my yoga day off. I did spend a few minutes in handstands with Martine and then in some L’s against the wall with one leg extended up once I got home.
Since I was taking the day off from yoga, I tried to remain really present with my body through the evening in other ways. I gave myself a facial mask. I soaked in the tub. I curled up in bed and read. I tried not to snack through the evening and stay present with my hunger and need for food.
At some points it was a real struggle. But, when it was hard, I thought about WHY I wanted to struggle through it: so that I could be more at peace in my life and set a good example for my future children.
Time: 20 min + 1.5 hours
Title: Music & Meditation
I ran and then did an early AM personal practice. My practice this morning focused on soothing my nerves about driving (on the left side of the road!) to St Leonards and covering for Martine—who EVERYONE LOVES as a teacher. Since I made a yoga playlist last night, I wanted to test it out before my class. So I grooved yogically along until I needed to leave. I felt pretty confident as I went to teach.
Class went really well and I think the class really enjoyed the music. I looked around to estimate reactions, and no one looked really upset at any point, so I took that as a good sign!
The class was pretty packed, and it was difficult to run around and give everyone a press at the end of the class. But—I made it. (We just ended up finishing a few minutes later than the hour.)
For the meditation, I borrowed inspiration from Yoga Journal about “What is stillness?” I framed stillness as an antidote to all the stresses that plague our daily lives. I used some of the words and imagery from YJ and others from my own head.
As I began the meditation portion of the class. I was anxious that I wouldn’t be able to lead the meditation for a whole half hour. But I did. And I loved it. And I think they did too. After class, several students asked me where I normally taught and/or when I would be back to that class. So that reinforced my confidence and felt really good.
Time: 25 mins
Title: Opening up and Letting go
I was feeling closed off—emotionally—from some people close in my life. I wanted to open myself up, so I decided to do some backbends and hip openers. I thought that by exploring vulnerable areas of my body, I may feel more open emotionally.
I put on some motivating and positive music (me, practicing to music again?!) and tried to open up. I had a lot of fun with the music and began dancing a little in the middle of a song. I was enjoying the whole experience to the fullest.
As I wound down and finished, I was relaxed and smiling. And I thought about how I could potentially incorporate a little bit of freestyle dancing into a yoga class… which I might just try this weekend!
I didn’t think about my emotional state for a while. I got busy at work and forgot about my needs. However, as I waited for my soup to warm up at lunch time, I found myself thinking: “Why am I wasting energy thinking about being upset at what someone in my life is or is not doing? I can’t control others. And I can’t carry around all of this.” So I decided to let it go. Just like that.
And I’m gonna attribute that mid-day realization to my morning practice. Which means opening up my body really did help me let go.