I’m halfway through my 30-day yoga challenge!
Well, tomorrow will be Day 15, so I’m a little ahead of myself. But for all intents and purposes, I’m in the middle of this thing. Let me tell you some things I’ve learned.
1) Coming back to a yoga practice — or really anything you used to be really good at and then you stopped doing — is really hard.
Because you used to be good at it. And now you’re not. You used to be able to stand on one leg and kick the other leg out while sweat dripped into your eyeball and you could hold it there and breathe and go deeper and deeper but guess what? Not anymore, toots. Well, not right now, anyway. The frustration floods in and you despair. Why did I stop practicing? How much better at this could I be right now if I hadn’t drifted away? How long will it take to get close to where I was before? Have I gained a lot of weight or just a little weight?
2) Coming back to a yoga practice — or really anything you used to be really good at and then you stopped doing — is a gift.
Every yogini has bad habits. A bad habit in a yoga practice would be something like cheating out of a posture a few seconds before the teacher calls to release it, doing lazy sit-ups between the postures on the floor rather than really trying to make them crisp and intentional. (I just said “crisp and intentional.”) Everyone has bad habits, including me. Well, coming back in and feeling totally new and raw again, I have the opportunity to change those bad habits. I’m so open to everything, you know? I know how badly I need to be in that room and I’m putty, baby: Change me.
3) I missed this Mary.
There are many Marys. There’s Mary Sewing At Midnight. There’s Leading The Class Discussion Mary. There’s Mary On a Date. There’s Mary on TV. There’s Bookish Mary, Flirty Mary, Mary The Sister, Mary The Daughter, Shy Mary, Mary The Fool, Mary The Selfish, Flirty Mary, Goofball Mary — and on and on, just like anyone else. But you know which Mary I really dig? Athlete Mary. Now, if you would’ve told me in the sixth grade that Athlete Mary existed, I would have said something like “Gag me with a spoon!” because it was the early ’90s and I loathed and despised gym class more than anything in this universe or the next. But it turns out that I’m super athletic in the stuff that I like, like Barbie dance aerobics* and Bikram yoga. The other day in class I was pouring sweat and very intent on my posture; I looked incredibly determined (remember, Bikram yoga is done while facing a wall of mirrors, quelle horror) and I had a pang of love and longing. Because it was like, “Oh! Hi! Hi! Oh, wow! I know you! I missed you. You are such a bada*s, Athlete Mary. Okay, now don’t lose your balance.” It’s been too long since I hung out with that Mary and it feels really good.
4) If it was easy, it wouldn’t be hard. Or worth doing. Or… Just go to class, kid.
I didn’t want to go to class tonight and I drank too much water halfway through and felt like I was gonna spew. Yesterday’s class was so hard and awful and I had to go across town to the other studio to make it work with my schedule. My challenge means that I will do a class on Christmas Day (not a huge deal, but it impacts the day with family, nonetheless.) All of these things are annoying and nobody likes spewing or making a workout a priority when there are so many other awesome things one could prioritize, like chocolate pretzels, for example. But enough. Do you want this or not? Remember why you do. And go to class.
Happy Holidays, everyone. I’ve got sad news to post tomorrow and a big, ugly topic to tackel here on the ol’ PG that I’ve been procrastinating about. That’s all coming this week. Maybe I’ll get the gumption to write it all because I’m meeting my yoga challenge, day by day, pose by pose.