Boom Went The Wall

Today was the day. The day when the physical exertion of this experience finally reached a peak I just couldn’t climb. Until today, I’ve been tired, and pushed to my limit in every class and lesson, either from a strength standpoint or through the struggle of enduring the pain that sitting on the floor causes me. But the inspiration and excitement has far outweighed the physical tax, and I’ve gone home each day feeling invigorated. Tired but happy.

Not today. Today I was just glad to go home. I hit the wall physically, which reflected poorly in my focus and concentration and overall mood. This morning started with a power class which is already a big challenge for me because my strength and stamina are not where they need to be (or should be, but that’s ego talking). But I managed to shake off my sense of failure and ready myself for the rest of the day.

Until we discovered we would be doing another full hour flow class today. That really shut me down, and when the teacher AFTER that flow class started to run us through yet ANOTHER set of sun salutations I basically shut down. No go, thanks anyway.

I really struggle with where to draw the line in terms of my edge- obviously you never want to push your body past it’s safe endurance, but I probably call it quits early in most cases. I’m a comfort gal- not super into the discomfort thing, which means I tend to stop when the edge is simply
in sight instead of crumbling under my toes. And of course, not pushing myself to the absolutely limit doesn’t lead to the rapid improvement I’d like to see. So knowing this, it can be easy to beat myself up over stopping when my legs start to burn, or dropping into child’s pose just because I’m tired. How do you tell your physical edge from your mental one?

This afternoon I definitely found the physical edge. When we started back up right into physical action (rather than lecture and discussion) after our second hour long class of the day, I basically called time out for myself. I wasn’t at the mental edge, although I was incredibly cranky about the day’s progression; I could have pushed myself through it. But I didn’t. I stopped and sat on my mat, basically refusing to do another surya namaskara A (call me crazy, but I feel like 4 hours of that on Tuesday was enough for this week). It was hard to acknowledge that I have the weakest stamina in the class (although I expected that – hello sitting on my ass all day), but I didn’t second guess my decision, or punish myself with guilt and self-abuse. My back simply couldn’t take it and pushing through would do more harm than good.

Still it’s disappointing to come home discouraged and grumpy for the first time. The past 10 days have been so amazing and uplifting, it’s a bummer to lose that euphoria. Today I hit the wall. Probably only the first of many, although let’s all keep fingers and toes crossed that the days remaining are more good than bad.

It had to happen sometime. And hey, you haven’t lived until you’ve burst in to tears at the chiropractor out of sheer exhaustion.

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Yoga: Week 2 Day 2

I’m trying very hard not to turn this blog into a non-stop rant about yoga, and the power of yoga, and how amazing this whole experience is, and yoga yoga yoga. I understand that not everyone is on this obsessive love trip with me, and the constant gushing and touchy feely talk (not to mention Sanskrit- doesn’t everybody speak Sanskrit?) can get a little tiresome. But, omg the power of yoga, and this experience IS so amazing and yoga yoga YOGA!!

I am not a super emotive, sincere type person. Not that I’m a big fat liar and cheat, I just feel more comfortable with snark and sarcasm than direct feelings. Basically I’m Chandler. So while I can happily announce to anyone within hearing that my DVR changed my life (true, but lame, story), the bold statement that this experience is changing my life seems too bold, or too honest to say with a straight face.

But it’s so true. This HAS changed my life. Not a 180* turn around (I ate cheese fries and a milkshake for dinner- not very yoga), but this is absolutely the catalyst for an entire different life than I would have led a couple weeks ago. No joke. It is virtually impossible to be in a bad mood when you are practicing yoga regularly, and I’m just so full of love and joy and desire to keep learning and share this knowledge with everyone.

I’m so centered and cheerful it’s almost gross.

The challenge is really going to come when this month is over and my days no longer consist of 7 hours of inspiring teachers opening my eyes to every facet of the pathways of yoga. When I have to keep up the learning on my own. I can’t imagine not feeling this fired up, and hopefully I will find myself with teaching opportunities that keep the coals burning, but no doubt it will be more of a struggle to maintain my enthusiasm once the honeymoon period is over and real life begins again.

And I’m pretty sure I’ll still be a smart ass.

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Yoga: Day 3

I am so tired.

Not just because of the physical aspect, although that is certainly a factor. I’ve done 4 hours of actual class in 3 days, which is more than in the past 3 months, so of course my physical body is tired (and sore!). But the majority of our day is spent sitting and listening (and talking) and taking notes. Learning. And it’s fascinating, but also completely exhausting.

I am so overwhelmed by everything they are teaching us. It’s like spending your whole life in one small room, and suddenly being given a peep hole out into the world at large. You always knew it was there, but the depth and complexity cannot be anticipated or expressed. We are getting a crash course in things people literally spend their entire lives studying without achieving full mastery. And we get a few hours.

I knew this program would be intense. I knew it would be tiring. I knew there would be reams of information thrown at us. I didn’t know just how incredible it would all be to hear, or that I would wish for even more information and depth on every topic. How unfinished it would feel to barely scratch the surface of the multitude of facets in yoga.

My mind feels opened and expanded and I’m so curious to learn more. I don’t feel confused and overstuffed mentally like you often do when given massive amounts of information in a short time. But I’m sorry that the program is moving so quickly. I’m worried that it will all fly by, and I will get overstuffed and this wonderful knowledge will leak away.

I’m glad I chose the intensive, because I don’t think a single weekend every month would provide the same experience. Being completely immersed in everything yoga is absolutely incredible. I feel like we’ve been at this for a week already, and it’s only been 3 days. And yet a 4 hour session flies by. This is really a singular experience, and I’m so grateful to have it.

But I’m also probably going to become insufferably consumed with my physical/ spiritual transformation and embarrassingly out of touch with reality by the end of the four weeks.

That should make my blog fun*

*I can’t even tell if this post makes sense. I know it didn’t go where I was intending when I started it, but I’m so brain dead right now all I can do is type out whatever crosses my mind. 7 hours of instruction into Sanskrit and the yoga sutras will do that to a person.

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AM Radio

Who decided that the radio in the mornings has to all be “morning shows” with various idiots blabbing away constantly and no music? Is this really what people want? I’m assuming this is a decision based on the prime time slot and commuters going to work, but I find it hard to believe that the majority of people would rather sit in traffic listening to inane chatter than singing aloud to their favorite songs. I know I wouldn’t.

So why do they all do it? Is the idea to make people feel less lonely if they’re in their car alone? Seriously, can anyone explain this persistent fact that every radio station regardless of genre has talking in the morning? I find it really irritating, especially when I’m stuck in my husband’s car without my satellite radio (which is also much talkier in the morning but at least breaks it up with some music), and only his CDs (we do NOT share taste in music).

Tomorrow my drive is super short to the studio by my house, but on Thursday I’m definitely bringing along a mix of my own. Listening to the factual errors* and general stupidity of the DJs on my preferred local station does not put me in a very yogic mood.

*I really wish I could remember some of the moronic things I’ve heard these people say. Once the woman said that corned beef was beef from cows that had only eaten corn in their life. Nope. Even worse, she “learned” it from the Kardashians. And believed it was true. I have no words.

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I Am Yoga: Day 1

I started my yoga training today. Day one of a month of 9 hour days, learning all about the intricacies and spirituality and physical applications of yoga. I probably won’t blog the entire experience (you’re welcome), or I may fall completely down the rabbit hole and be unable to stop (sorry, not sorry). Either way, I figured you’d love hearing about opening day.

Sunday night: OMG. It starts tomorrow. EARLY tomorrow. Like, before I usually get out of bed. Tomorrow. I’m excited. But I likes thinking “one more month. One more week.” That’s better than actually starting. I don’t even know what I’ll need to be out of the house for 9 hours. I can’t survive without constant access to my stuff. Like a baby. OMG this is going to be so fun. And so hard. Mostly hard. And it’s starts tomorrow. Eeep.

Monday, 7am: I should get up. I’ve got to get ready.

7:30: I hope I packed everything I need. I’m bringing a lot of food. Should I bring more food? Holy hell my bag is heavy.

7:50: here I go. Shit.

7:55: we are starting with an hour class. I hope it’s only an hour. Wow, it’s really crowded. and hot. And HUMID. Shit.

8:15: Cramp. I may not make it through this class.

8:55: oh, that wasn’t so bad. But I’m SO SWEATY. I hate being sweaty. Savasana is the best. But I may not be able to get up.

9:15: cool, we get to split into pairs for introductions. So someone else has to tell everyone about me and I don’t have to. Oh. But I have to tell everyone about HER. Talking. Out loud. In front of 20 people. Super.

9:35: phew! That wasn’t so bad. Even if I did completely avoid eye contact and probably looked entirely spastic.

9:40: these people have better answers than me. Can I redo my interview?

10: sitting on the floor is not so great.

10:30: this is like school. I hope I don’t have to read out loud because I don’t know how to pronounce some of this stuff.

11:15 yay, Savasana adjustments. That’s like a neck massage, right? Sweet.

11:45: break time. I guess I’ll go home and eat lunch? So glad I packed it and brought it and carried it in my bag of bricks.

12:30: ok. Time to head back. And I still have time to run a couple of errands!

12:37: right. Forgot the library isn’t open on Mondays. Good thing it’s in the exact opposite direction of everything else.

12:40: wow, the post office is super crowded.

12:45: the lines moving really fast! Excellent.

12:50: what happened? Why aren’t you moving anymore? I’m next- get out of the way!

12:55: shit I’m going to be late.

1:02: made it! Where am I supposed to put my stuff? I’ll just take it in with me. Oh, this room is small.

1:30: sitting on the floor sucks. I’m too old for sitting on the floor.

2:00: this history of yoga is fascinating. But she needs a white board – just spelling the names out loud isn’t enough.

2:15: I don’t know how to take notes anymore. What did she just say? I was busy writing down half of what she said three minutes ago.

2:30: I don’t think I can sit on the floor anymore. There isn’t one comfortable
position. These bolsters do nothing. I don’t care if the hugely pregnant lady is also sitting on the floor. This is brutal.

3:00: Sanskrit sounds like Russian. I feel like I’m doing a Russian accent when I say these numbers. This helps me in no way whatsoever.

3:25: there’s definitely no way I can do surya namaskara A 5 times in a row.

3:40: same deal with surya namaskara B.

3:50: Savasana is the best. Too bad my back is freaking out from 6 hours on the floor today. I wonder if they’ll mind if I bring a chair tomorrow? Or a recliner?

4:00: that was awesome. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

All in all, it was a really great day. I w been worried about the physical component because my strength and stamina are pretty low right now, but I didn’t give enough anxiety to the seating arrangements. I’m so excited to progress in this program, but I am REALLY not looking forward to feeling my back in the morning. Hopefully along with increasing my knowledge of the asanas I’ll also gain some super human ability to endure unsupported seating on a hard floor. I better try to be super early tomorrow so I can get a spot where I can lean against the wall. Maybe that will help.

I’m so excited!! 5% complete!

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