Yoga Week: Oh who cares?

Since November, through sickness and health, solitude and celebration my yoga practice has been unwavering. But this week may be the one to break my resolve.

See yoga connects me. My body, my feelings, my view of the word all become one. Yoga in fact mean “union.”

My breath and movement can explore a tightness that is physical and spiritual. It can consider and loosen without force. The opening is more than a stretch. It’s an opening to new perspectives, new ideas and new opportunities.

There’s yoga for every state of being. When ill, it can be soothing stretches and coordinated breath. Meditation in movement. On other days, it can activate my body. Bathe my cells with renewed vitality.

So, why am I finding many little ways to try and undermine my practice?

Because yoga isn’t selective. It connects to our joy; it connects us to our sorrow.

Right now, I don’t want to be connected. I want the numbness of distracted living. Winter is rough on someone dear to me. I wear myself out caring and caregiving. And there is a heartfelt sorrow as I see his struggles and hope for continued healing.

So I’m working around the edges of lapsing. Moving my practice to the last moments of the day just before sleep takes over. Reducing the chance I will connect deeply.

The opportunity to feel even this deeply is before me.

Namaste

Yoga, yoga everywhere

In my second week, yoga moved beyond the constraints of my brief morning practices. I find myself noticing the breath flowing in and out with the rhythm of ocean waves. Deep breaths that are visible by the movement of my chest and belly. Belly breathing! Once I struggled to relearn and now it comes naturally.

Throughout the day, my awareness moves to tight muscles while sitting in meetings and I consciously soften.

I spontaneously do mountain pose and side stretch when I am cooking or in the bathroom.

Yet I struggle in my practice. Memories of deep poses push me past my body’s edges. Every couple of days aches and pains remind me that my body is in a different state. My heels remain inches off the floor in downward facing dog. I cannot touch the floor in triangle pose.

Oh how intolerable this feels sometimes.

I recognize now that my past yoga practice has a touch of serene boastfulness. I would rise and rotate and settle in deeply to the poses. My minds eye would see grace, symmetry and balance in settings where the sun rose pink and golden over deep blue seas.

In nostalgic moments I press pass my stiff ligaments and popping joints. Twinges pull me back to my edge.

My yoga sessions are different this time around. I know the poses and the adaptations to make my practice safe.

I must practice acceptance and gentleness.

I must float not force.

We shall see what week three brings.

Week two, daily yoga

Gray Heron standing in icy water.

Week one of daily yoga was filled with discoveries.

The most surprising is that I was oblivious to the way my heavy computer bag had gotten me in the habit of lifting my shoulder ALL THE TIME! Here’s what I am doing to my body. (Not my skeleton.)

I really need to resist the urge to intensify my yoga until I heal this. Other observations.

  • Pride of my past flexibility had me over-rotating in my first week.
  • My migraines were practically nonexistent except for one stressful day that I felt too rushed for morning yoga. I managed evening yoga though I was in pain.
  • I love the way my body feels even after a short practice.
  • I started craving healthier foods.

Next week’s focus: unclenching when stressed and relaxing into symmetry. The clenching is both physical and emotional.

By focusing my attentions there during my practice I should be able to heal that shoulder.

The hard work of procrastination

Day 2 of my 365 day yoga challenge. The key is to start the day with my practice.

Over coffee, I assess my return to yoga after years of setting aside. I have lost so much flexibility. Over-stretching is highly possible. I need to be mindful and not go as deeply as I used to. Also, my core is soft and compacted. It’s like my insides have all collapsed into my pelvic bones.

I really should get going.

But first…

I need a catch phrase to sum up my theme for the week. Something that sticks in my mind. If I focus on flexibility I’ll over stretch. I was secretly so proud of my flexibility.

I got it. “Discover tightness”. How about “climb out of your pelvis”. Can I have two? Should I save one for next week. I can always come up with a new one. But what if I run out of ideas for catch phrases? I need 52 for a year.

I run through them in sequence. They work. I’ll take the risk.

Hmm.

I think I need a graphic to help me remember the catch phrase. Something that I can set as my phone home screen. It will motivate me. It will be hard to avoid yoga when I look at my meme multiple times each day.

I do have this new drawing app. It will be great to build some skills. I do like creating my own art for my blog.

Let’s do this!

That might be a bit hard to live up to.

I lay out my yoga mat. A timer will help me relax into my sun salutations. Otherwise I could go too long and forget to wake my do

Cosmic too jarring. Crescendo. Sounds like my phone. Zen sound too synthesized.

Doesn’t anyone have a simple chime.

I log onto iTunes.

There we go…

Wait a minute. $1.49 for a ring tone? That’s more expensive than a whole song. Ridiculous.

How about a meditation app?