Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mirror, mirror....

It’s funny how things come around. 


I was talking to a fellow student on the yoga teacher training course and she mentioned that she didn’t mind mirrors in a yoga studio – they help her with alignment.  We chatted about people who are very uncomfortable with them.  Drawing back to being in the dance studio facing the mirrors ALL THE TIME I told her that the key to making friends with mirrors is not seeing the reflection as you but simply as a body in motion.


Didn’t follow my own advice.


I went to a studio that has mirrors along the back wall.  Very easily ignored.  Until….  I was settling into warrior II and looked back to check the alignment of my back arm when I suddenly and very accidently saw myself.  OOOpps!  Who the hell is that fat chick doing yoga?  Ugh.  Self esteem level = zero. 


No more alignment checks.


Throughout the decently challenging class I celebrated my ability to hold plank in any number of variations (on finger tips!  One arm!  One leg!) and I held some strong side plank variations.  I seriously rocked it.




With every self high-five there was the caveat, “even a fat girl can do this.” 


The theme of the class was superheroes.  I need to be my own.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Who hasn’t heard this or something like it?  I’ll confess – I poo-pooed it.  Whatever.  Clearly I’m more of a Popeye follower – I yam who I yam.  Until.


There’s always an “until,” am I right?


Last night I went to a class that I don’t usually attend.  It’s a bit faster, a bit deeper, a bit more challenging.  Loved it.  Well, most of it. 


After we warmed up with some vigorous Sun Salutations we went into a standing pose sequence that asked us to hold each pose for a number of breaths.  In every case I came out of the poses early.  I felt like I was fighting the poses and ended up at Savasanna pretty stressed out (thank goodness for Savassana!).


On the way home (confession: during Savasanna) I couldn’t get this out of my head:  Why did I fall out of the poses?  “Fall out” is too passive.  There was no falling.  I left those poses.  Why?  I had no trouble getting in to them.  I held them for a couple of breaths pretty easily.  Then….


Hm.  It hit me – when the poses got challenging; when I got tired; when I got bored I quit.


When I got challenged, when I got tired, when I got bored I quit.




I have known this about myself forever.  And recognized it, admitted to it, for years.  I’ve also lived in denial most of that time.  As I stood on my mat last night while everyone else was still in Warrior III there was no denying it.


They say that recognizing the issue is half of the solution.


I want to go back.  Rewind.  Do that class again.  And do it well.  Do it to the very best of my abilities.  I don’t want to give up on myself.  I won’t give up on myself again.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Confession Time

Confession time: sometimes yoga makes me feel bad about myself. 


There, I said it.


As my practice progresses and my asanas get deeper and stronger I have started to feel my body get in the way.  I know I could get further into a seated forward fold if my tummy weren’t so big.  I know I could bind Marichyasana I if my waist wasn’t so wide.  I can’t even get my rear on my heels in Child’s Pose because I’ve got beefy calves and thighs.  Sigh.  Even the most relaxing of poses is now causing me stress.


Not very yogic of me, I know.


How do I get over this?  Besides dropping 20 pounds, how do I get past it?


I do recognize the upside to this: I have progressed enough that I’m at this point.  I also recognize a new drive in me to do better and achieve more.  I want to be proud of what I can do – and I know that it’s within my range if….


So I’m at a crossroads.  The eternal struggle to lose weight is still present.  But I want/need to find peace again with my yoga practice.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bright Light

So something weird happened. Something… unexplainable.
My grandma recently had some scans done. The fear was that cancer had metastasized and invaded her liver and kidneys. I found out that she’d had the tests done on Friday night. Saturday morning is my usual class. I was focused on my intention – health: my health, her health, the health of those around me that need the thought. My practice wasn’t anything out of the norm. I bent and stretched. Some asanas were comfortable and some weren’t accessible. It happens. But during Savasana I very clearly saw me sitting in easy pose and my grandma sitting across from me. Here’s the strange part: both of us were radiating light from our cores. Blinding light. I felt like I was healing her; like I sent health to her; like my intention found its focus. The great news is that the scans came back clear – no cancer in the organs. Coincidence? Who knows? But it makes me feel good to think I might have been just a little helpful. Since then my intention has been to send thanks to the universe.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Perfect Yogi(ni)

I LOVE that my husband is going to yoga with me!  Most of the time.

That said, it’s so frustrating to see someone who’s not as “good” as I am (not very yoga of me, is it???) hopping around and pressing into some very challenging asanas and vinyasas.  Bakasana to chataranga, for instance.  Like this:  http://youtu.be/RzuuUWOYxss  I can barely get into bakasana and I struggle to keep my feet up for even a heartbeat.  Yes, I’m jealous.  But I also understand that we’re built much, much differently (thank you!).  And you wouldn’t even have to press me hard to get me to admit that I’m really impressed and proud of what he’s accomplished.

He’s much stronger than am I so he easily is able to do things that dare to dream of.  On the other hand, I’m more flexible so I make the easy stuff look good.  Put us together and we could kick some serious yoga ass!

It’s also selfish of me: when he enjoys such awesome successes he’s motivated to stick with yoga just a little bit more.  I mean – how could you not be flushed with good feeling after nailing this???  So I’m happy knowing that we’ll be going to our regular class together for a little bit longer.

My triangle poses were good last night.  Deep and relaxed.  Very focused but soft.  It was wonderful.

Every class offers something:  Sharing another’s accomplishments can feel as good as accomplishing something wonderful yourself.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Life Seems to Get in the Way

I haven’t been practicing much.  Life seems to get in the way.

Last week I had a terrible stomach bug.  Saturday morning I felt well enough to go to my regular class.  I was nervous but for no reason.  I did well; my practice was fulfilling and I left happier than I’d been in a week.  It’s nice that I’ve gotten to the point where I’m OK with settling into Child’s pose if I need to; not judging myself is liberating.

I still remember the class I had after my last post.  Again, I was nervous because I hadn’t been on my mat in some time.  That class was fantastic!  It was warmer (but not hot) so I think that helped me.  I sank deeper into so many poses and they felt soooo good.  Even my teacher commented on the deepness that I’ve been able to access.  I was easily able to get my right hand on the ground for Revolved Triangle.

That said, I’m still working through my injury; still babying it.  It’s time to start pushing just a tiny bit so that I’m more equal on both sides.

I have things I want to do.  Yoga things.  Aerial yoga is at the top of the list.  There’s one studio here that offers it twice a week: once on Monday nights and again on Tuesday evenings.  Monday is my regular class so Tuesday it is.  I’ll have to leave work a little early to get there on time.  Maybe next week if the stars align. 

There’s a week in October that’s going to be split between days in Las Vegas and days at a resort just outside of Vegas.  I would LOVE to find some opportunities to practice while in Vegas.  I think it will be a good antidote from everything that Vegas is.

Every class offers something:  Time away from my mat should neither intimidate me nor deter me from practicing.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Last week was a long week.  I was out of town in a place that didn’t agree with me most of the time.  I’m glad to be home.

In a wise move I scheduled a short private lesson for yesterday morning.  I was offered this opportunity because I gave some feedback to a local studio otherwise it would never have happened.  I would never have even thought about taking a private yoga lesson.

While it was short, it was valuable.  I learned a lot from having the entire focus of a very experienced teacher.  Not only did she help me open up from being mostly sedentary for the past week but she also helped me open up emotionally.  I found myself vocalizing many of my recent experiences about my injury.  She was very affirming and positive and lead me to understand that being forgiving with myself isn’t weakness but a strength that I’m building.

Regular yoga class tonight.  Can’t wait to get back on the mat.  I’m nervous because I haven’t done anything for a week: how will I feel?  How much have I lost?  Was there anything gained last week (besides vacation weight???)?  But I know now that I can and should and will be patient with myself.  Maybe I’ll find myself in my new & improved child’s pose.  And that’s OK.

Every class offers something:  Child’s pose has always been an issue for me.  I see other yogis with their butts on their heels and fail in that comparison.  My rear is in the air.  WHY?  In my private lesson I had the chance to ask.  Seems that it’s not anything I’m doing or not doing but it’s a simple matter of me getting in my own way.  I have muscular calves and thighs; they take up room.  Ta da!  My rear won’t meet my heels because I’m not built in such a way to do so.  My teacher suggested bifurcating (physically moving my calves out away from each other).  That definitely helped me sink lower and find more release.  But the greater release came in the understanding that there’s nothing I’m doing wrong and accepting that it is what it is.