Exactly one year ago today I had my first yoga lesson. It was hard and awkward, but I loved it. It is a small miracle that I am still practicing yoga and am more enthusiastic than at the start. I haven’t stuck with any sport or exercise regime for more than a few months since I hit the tween years. When I told my sister the news she was impressed.
I’m not always excited to go to yoga; I’m often tired from work and just want to go veg in front of the boob-tube. I’m not even consistently thrilled during practice, but I am always happy afterwards. The harder I work, the better I feel.
I’m still working with Sarah privately. This is probably why I’m still doing it. My original intention was to work privately with Sarah two or three times so I wouldn’t feel so awkward in class. I found that private practices are amazing. She plans around my weaknesses and strengths. She often changes her plans based on what’s going on with me when I walk in the door. If my knees are aching or my shoulders are stiff she’ll tweak her plan to deal with that. When I have trouble with something she’ll back up and over then next few weeks we’ll strengthen the needed parts and slowly build my confidence.
Most often my struggles are rooted in my head not my body. I’m so used to responding with fear and self-doubt that I’ll freak myself out while she is demonstrating the new (and sometimes old) pose. I freeze up most frequently on inversions. She insists that the same muscles are used for down-dog-on-the-wall as in dolphin-on-the-wall, but it doesn’t feel that way. My arms still feel way too weak in that position to hold most of my body weight. We’ve been building my shoulder strength so I expect to face that pose again soon. Friday I did a lovely strong DOTW for at least five breathes and came out of it with control. Yaa Dodi!
Forrest Yoga fits in so well with my OA program too. Letting go of thinking so much and getting out of my head is stressed in both. Yoga helps quiet the chatter in my head. There is no room for negative self-talk when I’m trying to keep my toes active, my fingers spread and straight, my shoulders wrapped, my front knee bent, my back outside foot pressed into the ground, and my hips straight. Oh, and don’t forget to breathe. I love it.
Last Friday we met at my condo for the first time. When she left I was totally relaxed. It was great. I didn’t have to get dressed and drive home. I made dinner and felt mellow and happy all evening.
I am stronger and smaller than I was last year. I love yoga.