My teacher said something in class that I’ve heard before but I really heard it today as I continued to fall out of bow pose like a fish flopping around trying to get back into water. TRUST THE PROCESS. YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU NEED TO BE. She went on to say, some days we got it, some days we don’t. Some days we get frustrated, some days we’re giddy with progress. Some poses haunt us, while some come easier. It’s the same you in all cases so what’s different? The intangible, ineffable, unknowable, that’s what. We have to trust the process and believe whatever we’re doing, that’s simply what we need to do. I remember thinking this 100 years ago when I went to a Weight Watchers meeting. They are positive and practical and know they have a formula that works (for many), so I remember leaving the meeting thinking, “If I just follow the program, it will work.” Well, of course, Weight Watchers didn’t work for me, but the point is the same 🙂
Do I wish I was more flexible? Had less injuries? Was taller, thinner and a dancer? Sure. But this is what I’ve got and I have to believe that I will get better, stronger, more flexible and better balanced. How much better? I’m not entirely sure if that’s up to me completely or your build, physical form and constitution play a role, but I do know I’ll get better.
I believe if you go to class (after class) and trust the process, all good things will come.
I’ve noticed that while in different postures I feel different things, there’s two postures I feel a tingling sensation… one is locust, which I struggle with. It’s hard for me to put my hands under my stomach so that my elbows disappear. However, whenever I pull my hands back I do feel tingling all over my arms. The second is fixed firm when I feel tingling in my legs, notably ankles and knees. It’s not an unpleasant sensation, just more of an unusual one. I don’t feel it in most postures so I wonder if I’m not doing them properly, or only some poses are meant to provide that sensation.
As I try to get my practice back on track, I notice my balance is terrible. I constantly fall out of bow to the point that I wonder what on earth is happening. My flexibility isn’t quite what it was before, but it’s getting better. I am able to take a more long term perspective for now, which is I’ll get better if I keep going. How much better, who knows, but clearly, the more you to go class, the better it is. To bad eating cookies doesn’t work in the same way as I clearly have no problem eating many!
I’m also enjoying the less packed morning classes of late. I’m sure after New Years especially they’ll be packed, so nice to have a little room…
I’ve noticed I do better in yoga (not particularly in life) when I don’t think. I wake up, get moving and go to yoga. I don’t start mentally debating whether I want to, whether I suck, that it’s dark, that it’s cold, etc. Unquestionably, when I get to yoga, or more precisely, when I am done with yoga, I am always glad. I go back Jack and do it again…
I know it’s getting colder and darker here in the East Coast, which will make the crack of dawn classes a little trickier. However, I’ve generally found getting them done and out of the way is my surest best for getting them in.
I also have a physical in a month and I’m hoping a steady diet of yoga (and spin) will bring my cholesterol down, some pounds off and improve my fatigue.
So, I’m aiming for yoga 3-4x a week and spin 2-3x a week. I’ll take 3x yoga, 2x spin. I do find the spin helps improve my stamina for yoga, although no doubt, going to yoga more would quicken my progress. When talking to a friend over dinner the other night she told me that taking different kinds of yoga (hot, vinyasa, etc.) helps her across the board and seems to complement what’s missing from one class to the next. So, here’s to whatever works for you.
For me, the goal over the next 2 weeks is to regularly get back on a schedule, not overthink and to work hard!
How much does yoga impact your life outside class? Do you find it’s helped change the way you feel, think or act? Has it made you calmer, more patient, more compassionate?
In my case, it’s definitely as a serious interest. I write this blog, follow a lot of yoga blogs and people on twitter, instagram, etc. I look for new articles and insights on having a yoga practice. I monitor how I feel and if I notice any major physical differences… I am considering taking a “yoga” vacation.
I am clearly a struggling yogi. As I’ve often written about, my practice is a work in progress. I am certainly not a flexible person and making progress in the postures is slow, slow and slow! I have to push myself to attend more and in winter, I fear this is ever more challenging. I am still hopeful to get more of the “out of the hot room” benefits that are spoken of so frequently. I feel that when I leave the “old” me returns and the doubts, criticism, impatience and confusion reign supreme.
More important, I keep going back. I try not to judge myself and I am a believer in if you keep practicing, good things will come.
What’s your yoga philosophy?
So, I have missed classed the last 2 weeks. That’s the longest stretch I’ve had since I started Bikram yoga in May 2014. Work was extremely hectic and I put in super long hours. I basically got home, ate, went to bad and woke up and went to work. Repeat. I even worked on the weekends. Needless to say, glad that hectic period is over. My fatigue also kicked on (not surprisingly with that schedule) so I basically collapsed all weekend and managed a spin class Monday.
Knowing I had to get back to yoga, yet dreading what 2 weeks away might bring, I was hemming and hawing all day. I told my husband I was too tired, I was looking for excuses to drag this out more (why, I’m not sure as I know that would only make it worse)
I luckily know the machinations and meshugas of my mind, so I ignored it and went to class. When I walked into the studio, they greeted me by name and I already felt where I belong. Preparing for the worst, I told the teacher I hadn’t been too class in a little bit. She didn’t look too concerned. I did buy and add the Replenish packet into my water bottle–hey, trying to stack all the odds in my favor.
During pranayama breathing I did have pangs of “I don’t want to be here.” Luckily they passed. I made it through class and I actually did ok. I feared I’d back track much more. Sure, I was a little stiffer, my harder poses were a little harder still (hello seated bow), but not terrible. I didn’t regress as much as I feared. I made it through class. I did it. Back in the saddle. The hot room. The torture chamber.
I feel stiff and achy and I expect the next class may be more painful.
Your practice, like mine, doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect. My advice: go to class! Sometimes yoga is just showing up and being in the room. That is all.