Monday, March 28, 2011

“It’s a dance with the breath.”

White Flowers

Yoga Update (3/21-3/27/11)

First, let me start with a confession.  I am failing at practicing yoga every day.  It’s my social life’s fault, really.  Or maybe it’s my fault.  When I am social in the evening, I don’t know where to squeeze in the yoga, or if I even want to “squeeze” it into the rest of my day.  I know the options: I could do it first thing in the morning, or right after I get home from work, or I could force myself to do it late at night, when I’m exhausted and want nothing more than to be unconscious for eight hours.  Or I could let it go and realize that tomorrow is another day.  My 40 Days of Yoga project will still consist of 40 days of yoga, but it will be spread out a little bit more.  I’m okay with that.

Doing yoga more frequently is not leading to any earth-shattering moments for me.  Is that disappointing to hear?  I hope not.  It’s not a bad thing; it’s just that I’ve been doing yoga for a long time, so I’ve had years to get the hang of it, on and off the mat.  I will say, though, that I am sleeping really soundly these days.  I fall asleep quickly and sleep like a rock.  Sometimes I even wake up without my alarm, which is awesome!  Sunday nights are usually the worst for me because I’ve stayed up late on Friday and Saturday, and I’ve slept late, so going to bed early on Sunday is almost impossible.  But not last night!  Bedtime last night was easy-peasy, and I woke up only marginally bummed that it was Monday again.  (Sigh.)

Here’s a more in-depth look at what I’ve been doing this week, as well as a chance for you to see my hippy-dippy side.  Will someone please light some patchouli-scented candles for me?

* Monday (3/21): I attempt a new yoga class called Detox Challenge Flow and almost give up in frustration.  I have the worst time trying to follow the instructions for this class!  Getting mad during yoga seems like it defeats the purpose of doing yoga in the first place, but I slog through it and feel relief when this bizarre and poorly taught class is over.  Afterward, I try to relax by finding something soothing on youbute.  I end up doing a chakra meditation, which was quite nice.  Recommended!    

* Tuesday (3/22): I stay up late talking to a friend on the phone and skip yoga.  But I do take a few minutes before bedtime to sit quietly in meditation.

* Wednesday (3/23): I make this day a DIY yoga session and have a quiet meditation afterward.  It’s nice to turn off the computer and just listen to my body while I practice yoga.

* Thursday (3/24): Early in the evening, I meditate to calm my anxious mind and depleted spirit.  Later, before bed, I do some Power Yoga, which is not as hard as I expect it to be.  And I am relieved to be taking one of Jackie Casal’s classes again because she is my favorite instructor.  Her classes always make me feel terrific.

* Friday (3/25): I skip yoga again!  This time, I am MIA because I decide to run after work.  After dinner, I head to a birthday party where we discuss various phases of Madonna’s career.  After the party, I am tired and have stayed up past my bedtime, so I crawl into bed ASAP.

* Saturday (3/26): I return to an old favorite, Gentle Hatha Yoga #2.  I’ve done this class many, many times, so it is comforting to do it again.  However, I really feel ready to find a new, awesome class to love!  

* Sunday (3/27): On Sunday night I have perhaps my craziest yoga moment so far.  I decide to make it quick by doing pajama yoga again with some easy poses: cat/cow, downward-facing dog, forward fold, a back bend or two.  Afterward, I sit quietly in meditation…and I begin to pray.  I’m not religious, yet I can’t help myself.  I pray for strength and wisdom.  I pray for a good week.  I pray for my family to be protected, for Matt to be safe, for all of these people to be happy and healthy.  I pray for healing for those who need it.  I keep going until I feel I’ve said everything that is weighing on my heart.  Then I go to bed.

To whom, or what, does a nonreligious person pray?  I don’t know.  And I think I don’t need to know.  Maybe that’s the thing about yoga for me: it gives me a place to deposit these thoughts and feelings, and once I’ve said and felt these things, I can let go.  And that’s good enough for me.

Have a good week, friends.

* The title of today’s post comes from, I believe, something Jackie Casal says during one of her Power Yoga classes.  I thought it was lovely, so I borrowed it.


  1. I haven't tried any yogadownloads but I've heard good things about them. And I love your yoga recap - what a nice way to look back on your week.

    I'm also not religious - an atheist, even! - but I was raised Catholic and I still find myself absently praying sometimes. I feel like I'm just talking the universe, the world, or the unconscious energy that exists in everything. I don't think any of those things are particularly listening to me, but it feels good to open up in that way.

  2. Oh, Chrissy, you MUST try yogadownloads! They are terrific. I recommend any of Jackie Casal's or Dave Farmar's classes.

    Hey, we're a pair of praying atheists! I'm agnostic, but I lean toward an atheistic perspective. There's just something nice about saying what's on your mind, what you're hoping for and what you're worried about, and then letting it go. I feel like it's a way of acknowledging your feelings. For me, it's also a way to make peace with my life. I think I like praying!