I had been working on a post for several days that was touting all of the benefits of my yoga practice. I have gotten emotional, physical and friend benefits from yoga (not THAT kind of friend benefits you silly goose!). I had been basking in the glow of success and achievement with this for a while now and then… there was yesterdays yoga class. Actually yesterday was the second one that was like this, and let me just say-it was no damn fun.
Yesterday we were working on some warrior pose. I don’t know which one it was. I didn’t care which one it was. I was hating it. It started out not so bad but as the class went on it got harder, I got more tired and tears started running down my face. I wanted to leave the room. Not just leave-I felt like running out and not going back.
My body hurt and my brain was rebelling and all I could think was… who do you think you are fooling? You can’t do this. You will never be able to do this.
All of the stuff that I had written in the other blog was true. I know this is good for me. I know it’s helping. But it is also true that it takes all I can do to do this stuff. Sometimes I am so tired that I spend a lot of the rest of the day in bed. And sometimes I just want to quit. Quit isn’t the right word. I wanted to have a temper tantrum and tear up my yoga mat and kick a wall. And just say Fuck this. Fuck yoga and hope and all of this shit… I can’t do it.
But I stayed. I didn’t leave the room. And I didn’t leave my mat.
At the end, our teacher did a meditation. He usually does a short one and then leaves the room for us to “enjoy the fruits of our yogic practice”. Yesterday and the other time that I really struggled, it just so happened that he did longer meditations. Yesterday he told us to think about why our bodies are how they are. How they got that way and as we go through our day to think about that some. Even during this meditation my mind was rebelling.
My mind said my body feels like this because I am an idiot and haven’t taken care of myself. My mind says my ankles are killing me because I am fat and its my own damn fault. And my mind told me that these were the things that my yoga teacher was thinking about me. And I layed there and cried.
Later in the day as I was telling my daughter about my day I saw things a different way. With a little time-I could choose to say that my body is like it is because I was severely disabled for a long time and I have a lot of muscle atrophy. I am more mobile now because of the knee replacements but that doesn’t fix the back and neck issues or the fibromyalgia. I could see that aknowleging how things are and how they got that way wasn’t a personal attack on me. It was actually probably meant in a really supportive way.
Our minds can mess with us. We have the choice of how we want to interpret things. In the past, my initial interpretation was the one that stuck. I am learning that often my first interpretation of a situation isn’t right. That is only part of the point though. The other part is that life isn’t easy. Its damn hard a lot of the time. Its these hard times that make us strong.
I am divorced. I felt like a failure at marraige but I felt like I made a good decision to end bad marraiges. I worked hard to become a nurse and for a long time I haven’t been able to work. That was hard for me to deal with for a long time but I have come to grips with my limitations. There is a need in me to see something through. To show myself I am not a quitter and that I can be tough and strong.
I also realized as I am writing this that I am a little out of balance. When I started yoga I started with kundalini yoga and that calms me down and soothes my soul. Kundalini yoga is more spiritual-less physical. We chant, we focus on breathing and it is lovely. It energizes and relaxes at the same time. I did Vinyasa yoga for a while and that helped me in a totally different way. There is a flow and grace in Vinyasa that really puts me in my body in a really pleasant way. I wasn’t great at it but I liked it very much and it helped in a different way than kundalini. And now I am doing Iyengar yoga. This one is very different than the other two types. If I were to compare these types of yoga to music I would say that kundalini is like tribal rhythms. I could get down with some shamanic drumming and kundalini yoga and let my mind be calm and my spirit soar. Vinyasa is like symphonic music…less from the gut, more visually lovely. And Iyengar yoga… well its like music theory. The nitty gritty of how it all actually works. Its like getting in and having to learn the notes and manipulate them. Maybe for a while I will try a home practice that incorporates all of these different types since they all seem to help me in different ways.
I recently read the book Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton and she talks about yoga in her book. She says something along the lines of… some days its all you can do to show up and get on your mat. Just sitting there and not running out of the room can be a big accomplishment some days. I felt that the other day and she was right.