It occurred to me this week that October marks two years of yoga classes for moi. I dug out my original post about my first yoga class. I have continued to go regularly since then. Typically I go to classes on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and hit the gym on Thursdays for some cardio action. Sometimes I do a little yoga at home, too. Lately my lower back has been hurting me so I've been doing some stretches at night. My daughter found me on the floor in Happy Baby Pose the other night.
"Mom, I have two questions."
"One: um, what are you doing?"
I think she forgot to ask me the second question after I explained what I was doing.
I've been giving some thought to my yoga-versary in an attempt to gain some perspective on what, if anything, has changed in the last two years. I do think I've been able to reduce my stress, although I generally credit any stress reduction to the two-pronged approach of yoga and wine. I think I am physically stronger. My core is stronger, but my upper body strength still rivals that of a toddler. I still cannot pull myself into a full wheel without assistance. I can do a headstand, but still need the wall for moral support lest I keel over. I still sweat during class but am not embarrassed by it. Spending so much time wrapped into Eagle pose or perched on one leg in Warrior III has helped my balance, although I'm not convinced I'm aware of any real benefits with that. ("I can stand on one leg for hours, SUCKAS!") And finally, I think I might have slightly more definition in my arse, but I can't really tell because it is covered by a wad of fat about the size of a cocker spaniel.
A couple of weeks ago I got that cortisone shot in my foot and the doctor said I should not go to yoga that day. I opted not to take his suggestion, but I did decide to take it easy by going to the "gentle yoga" class that is held right before the class I usually take. By the way, if you are interested in trying yoga but aren't sure about jumping right in, see if your local studio offers a gentle class. Typically, there are no downward dogs, no planks - nothing that would be hard on your joints. Anyway, a weird thought crossed my mind as I was following along with the gentle postures . . . "I think I might actually be too athletic for this class." Now, that is the first and last time you will ever hear me refer to myself as "too athletic" so please mark it down ("Dear Diary . . . ") I was actually pretty relieved to return to the regular class a couple days later, where I could get back to sweating my way through planks and sun salutations.
After two years, I feel like I have only learned some tiny fraction of what it all means. I have so much to learn: how to make the mind-body connection, how to keep static and chatter out of my brain, how to keep the doubts away. As long as my body will let me, I will keep trying.
May the light and love in me, honor the light and love in you. Namaste.