Thursday, September 2, 2010


If I practiced running with nearly as much energy and intention as I practice yoga, I could be a superstar. Seriously.

Yesterday afternoon I went for what I can loosely call a run at lunchtime. It was 95 degrees but not humid, so I figured it couldn’t be that bad. Riiigght. Basically I jogged from shade patch to shade patch for around 30 minutes and called it a day. I was not even tired from the exertion, but my soaked running clothes told me it was enough.

Last night, when all I wanted was to lay in the air conditioning, Bill convinced me that what I really wanted to do was go to Power Yoga. And you know what? He was totally right…yoga always makes me feel better. Actually, Bill always encourages me to go to yoga and I really appreciate that extra push out the door.

There were only two of us in class (apparently I was not the only one inclined to sit at home in the air conditioning). As I have mentioned before, I love small classes. I like the energy of a large class, but I love the personal attention of a small class. And trust me, I need that personal attention.

I think that people assume that because I spend hours each week practicing yoga that I am some super bendy yoga master. This notion is laughable…really, it is. I have made strides in my practice but my postures are far from perfect, my stomach muscles are less than strong, my shoulders are still tight and I cannot, among many other things:

1) ‘Float’ (jump lightly from downdog to the top of your mat); or

2) Go to low push-up with dropping my knees.

And this is why I love small classes…they provide the opportunity for an hour and half of almost personal instruction without paying the $75-$100 it usually costs.

Last night, when Kim instructed us to ‘float’ to the top of our mats for about the 15th time I found the nerve to speak up “Um, I don’t float…I land like a frog.” It is very unsightly, me trying to jump lightly to the top of my mat. And I suspect that many other people have this issue, but man did I want to solve it. As luck would have it, the other girl in the class needed help floating too. Enter a 10 minute floating lesson. Yes!! Granted, I had to use several props, but I floated! (to almost the top of my mat).

We then finished up the class and Kim led us through my favorite end-of-class series of Shoulder Stand, Plow, Deaf Man, Fish before savasana…she as clearly indulging me.

After class, I took the opportunity to talk with Kim about strategies to get me into low plank without dropping my knees. Kim showed me some basic moves and told me she was going to be watching me next class to make sure I was practicing.

Practice is ongoing, it is never ending and it is a source of learning and growing...which is exactly why I love it. Practice.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Waiting

Lately I have been living every second of my days with a sense of anticipation, of waiting.  I blame autumn in New England - the ingrained excitement for the school year to start, for the leaves to turn, for the air to be chilly and to wear sweaters and jeans and make chili in the crockpot. 

I also blame myself because I often crave change and find myself looking for it around every corner.  The worst of it is when I try to bring about change and I am left waiting to see if my efforts have paid off.  Will I be able to lift more weight?  Will I be able to run faster? Will my twists be deeper? Will I be thinner?  Will I be more successful?

Will my life be more satisfying? 

Yup, thats the ultimate one.  We provoke change to make our lives more satisfying.  And that is not a bad thing.  The problem arises when we are so busy waiting for our lives to change that we cannot focus on having a satisfying life now, with no change.

I spent some time looking through Yoga Journal online to help me learn to be satisfied with my life now and to stop looking to the future for fulfillment...when I realized that of course I know how to achieve that.  I have to find satisfaction with where I am now and not where I will be...the same as I am constantly preaching.  But it is oh so hard to practice what you preach.

I have decided that I need to embrace this waiting.  I need to accept that the waiting is my now and instead of looking forward, enjoy the feelings of uncertainty and the process of change.  I ask that you all bear with me...this is not an easy task.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Funk Holiday

I am in a funk this week. Funk. Funk. Funk.

When I am in a funk it comes complete with laziness, tiredness and an overall sense of boredom. Generally, the only way to get out of a funk, for me, is to do some kind of physical activity. The problem is that when you are feeling lazy, tired and bored, the odds of dragging yourself out the door and on a run or to the gym are slim. What is a girl to do?

My rule is this – if you are truly in a bad mood and just do not want to workout that day (even though you KNOW it will make you feel better), go ahead and give in. For one day. That’s it – that is the deal you make with yourself. You get one day of funkified self-pity and then you move on.

So yesterday I gave into it…I just wallowed in my nasty mood. I was just plain bored all day, didn’t even try to take a break at work, skipped yoga and basically did nothing other than clean the cat litter…because nothing helps drag you out of a funk like cat poop, right?

It would be very easy to wallow in it (the funk, not the cat litter) today as well…it is easy to be lazy, tired and bored. Being healthy takes work.

But I already used up my funk holiday, so today I will drag myself to the gym and do a New Rules workout. And I will go to yoga tonight – either Victoria’s vinyasa class or Kim’s YinYang class, depending on my mood. And I know that when all is said and done, I will feel better for having been active and having worked toward living a healthy life.

Being healthy sometimes means giving yourself a break, giving into what your body is telling you. Giving yourself a break from the constant stressors of daily life. It is okay to be in a funk…but only for a little bit.