August 29, 2008
Moments in Yoga and "Real Life"
[Special Guest Post by Little M]
Note: this is another great inspirational guest post from LittleM, enjoy!--Crabby
In principle, and when I’m in something resembling shape (Hey! Trapezoid is a shape), I love extreme yoga.
Sometimes it loves me back. Sometimes it doesn’t.
I remember the first time I tried one of Bryan Kest’s DVDs. Like being in class, only more ridiculous. I’m face down, in chaturanga (that’s something like a deformed pushup, for those of you not into the Sanskrit), nose about 5 inches from the mat, dripping from my forehead onto it, and Bryan’s droning authoritatively on about: “This … yoga … has a tendency to expose our weaknesses. So that … we have the opportunity … to make those weaknesses … strengths.”
You can imagine that the blood was rushing in my ears after Sentence One so much that I barely heard Sentence Two. I wavered between nodding – in the miniscule part of my mind that was still conscious – thinking, “Yup! Suuuuure does!” and calling him something unprintable.
(Not his fault that I had no tricep or transverse strength at the time. But I digress.)
Gradually, I got better. I got through the DVD and its variations. I went to workshop. I had focus. I could do crow pose (balance your knees on your triceps, use ab muscles for control – nifty) and wheel pose (push up using the whole back of the body, from triceps to hamstrings - also nifty).
And then life happened. (Again.) And I lost it all.
I know from comments here that so many here are much better at the discipline thing. Of remembering right then – before you do the dishes or finish the report or run across town for the meeting or text someone in your family with just one more thing – how much better you feel when you’ve done your regular fitness thing.
But it gets away from some of us. I mean waaaay the way away, until you start wondering if it’s true what they say about losing a pound of muscle per year after 21 or so, and whether that’s going to affect anything besides your pant size, like blood flow to the brain since the heart is a muscle – and whether that’s – eventually - going to affect your performance review at work.
So I rearranged the schedule yet again – whining the whole time – and paid the membership to a new gym (a 24-hour one this time!). And took my resistance bands. And did my HIIT. And did a different set of yoga DVDs to prep for strength, to see if there was any possible way I could get back to that place where wheel pose, (that bada** combination of flexibility and strength) while never a walk in the park, was a challenge I had the body confidence to meet.
But I was scared. I mean, it had been more than a minute. I didn’t know if I could get it back. I didn’t know if I’d ever get it back.
I also knew – gritting my teeth a bit – that I was never going to find out if I didn’t try.
I felt my strength in my arms. I planted my feet. I breathed in deep (like they always tell you to), looked at the world – upside down – and I thought (aping the guy on my HIIT CDs, who sounds much more convincing when he says it):
“Nothing to it.”
And up I went.
So now I have a whole different question: What am I going to do with that moment – the moment between “yes I really can do this” and actually doing THE THING, when you thought you’d NEVER be able to do The Thing, or never be able to do The Thing AGAIN – once I get off this mat??
What do you do? How do you use it? How do you carry your “moments” from “fitness” back into “real life”?