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Friday, November 8, 2013

Yoga and Mama Bean

Today I went to yoga.

Now you might be thinking "Mama Bean, you are not lean, petite nor flexible.  How did that work?"

Honestly, quite nicely.

But this was not the first class for me.

I started doing yoga when I was 10.

No joke.

PBS had a yoga show on and I think I was done watching "3-2-1 Contact" or something.  So I started doing yoga.  I loved it.

My mother freaked out.  It was 1980 and yoga was a hippie, commie, cult thing. 

But I continued to do it and loved every minute of it.  Boat pose was my favorite.  I could stay in Plow Pose forever.

I had horrible asthma and with controlled, relaxed breathing, I could stop many asthma attacks before they became serious.  My doctor thought it was great. 

Told you I was a freak.

I stuck with it for awhile and in college, once I had a single room, I often started the day with a salutation to the sun.  One of my friends in college jokingly used to call me Zen Master because I never seemed stressed out.  I never thought anything about it. 

I went about once a week through most of my 20s.  Then I became a little sad because it got super trendy.  And suddenly, as we Americans do with everything, we made it a competitive sport.



Yoga is about breath.  It's about energy.

And suddenly all these classes became something completely different.  I hurt after class rather than feeling energized.  The teachers were like commanders and not soothing.

So I quit going.  And in the interim I was getting pretty fat so it wasn't as much fun.

I found an awesome yoga instructor about 5 years ago at the Y.  Sunday afternoon. Perfect.  I ended the weekend feeling relaxed and centered.

Then she quit.  And Commando Yogi took over. Blech.

I had a few DVDs.  But I have 2 kids and 2 dogs.  I think I wrote a blog about the one and only time I tried to do a yoga DVD at home.  It ended with my husband interrupting-- after the kids had joined me for the first half and the dogs were underfoot-- yelling, at the top of his lungs "Your dog just shit on the floor."  Namaste. 

If you know me in the real world, my health has been crap this past year and after completing a business coaching program, I'm focusing on a lifestyle change for the next year. Not a diet.  Not an exercise plan.

I have a great life.  I have a great career.  I am married to a great guy.  My kids are amazing.  I have the best friends in the world.  I have a beautiful home.  I don't appreciate or enjoy any of it. 

I'm always running from here or there or doing this or that.  Who has time to appreciate anything?

I think it comes from one too many motivational sessions on having it all and living a full life.

You know what?  I just want to enjoy the life I have.

Because it's quite fantastic.

So I'm trying to sleep more.  That's a whole other blog on the battle that I'm having with my bed.  I forgot how to sleep.  Seriously.  For the past 2 weeks I've been forcing myself to sleep 9 hours. 

And yoga.  I have been meaning to go to yoga 2-3 times a week.

Except my life or traffic or whatever seems to get in the way.

Not today.

Today I went.  I was 5 minutes late.  I was not going to let that stop me.  So yes, I was the douchebag that walked into a yoga class late.

And I set my mat about 5 inches too close to the guy next to me.  Told you- douchebag.

And the instructor was good.  Not super Zen but for the first time in a long time, it was a real yoga class- not a fitness stretch class.  She focused on breath.  I think she was initially concerned when Oompa Loompa me came in, but when she saw me modify poses to fit my less than flexible physique, she smiled.  My idea of touching my toes is more like me leaning over and waving my hands at my feet. 

But after the class, I felt that buzz that comes from a good yoga class.  Where the breeze feels a little cooler on your skin.  When your breath is steady for hours after.  The awareness.

Oh-- and I apologized to the guy whose space I invaded and he was totally fine.

Did I look like a gazelle?

No.  More hippo in heat.  But I went.  I focused on my breath.  I did as many poses as I could.  I stumbled.

Because quite honestly, I'm simply trying to find my balance.

I don't want to look back on the good old days and think "Why didn't I appreciate it then?"  and slowing down is the only way I know how.  I'm putting on my oxygen mask first.  At the pace I've been going, I wouldn't be worth anything to anyone in about 2 years. 

For the next year you're going to hear the word "No" more than usual from me.  I'm focusing on my health and my family.

Because quite honestly, I'm simply trying to find my balance.

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