Monday, April 4, 2011

Yoga Drop-out?

Sunday Self-Portrait

Yoga Update (3/28-4/2/11)

I’m not sure what to think of this yoga project right now.  Last week, I skipped yoga three times!  I have no excuses, other than that I just didn’t feel like it.  I noticed that I rode my bike on the days when I skipped yoga, which is funny because I’ve never thought of bike-riding and yoga as mutually exclusive activities.  It seems like my pattern here is reiterating something I learned in college when we had two cross-country practices in one day: I really don’t like being forced to work out twice in one day.  Once per day is fine with me, thank you very much.  I like to exercise, but I also like to lay on the couch, reading a book and not exercising.

Given these not-so-startling realizations, I think getting through the rest of my 40 Days of Yoga is going to be a little tough.  As of today, I’ve done 12 days of yoga in just under three weeks, which isn’t bad, but I’ve got 28 days to go.  And my Texas spring fever is going to make me itchy to spend my exercise time outside.  I don’t do yoga outside—I feel too self-conscious to do tree poses in front of my neighbors, who are already wondering about all the self-portraits I take on my patio.

The problem, I think, is that there is no real “goal” with this yoga project, other than to do some yoga every day for 40 days.  But what counts?  I decided what counts is getting on my mat or pajama yoga, which doesn’t require a mat.  The point is the ritual, the breathing and the stretching and the quiet time that yoga brings.  The point is NOT how much time I spend doing it, or how many wheel poses I do, or how long I hold warrior 2.  I spend enough time in my day trying to quantify things; I don’t need to do that during this project.

So with that said, I shall continue to pose my way through the next 28 days of yoga, even if it takes me longer than four weeks to complete it.  My goal here is to love the practice itself.  And love, unlike many other things, cannot be quantified.

My yoga week, in list form:

Monday (3/28): I feel motivated on Monday and spend my yoga time with Dave Farmar, doing his Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga #3.  Dave’s class is so awesome, and I am reminded of this every time I do it.

Tuesday (3/29): My rebellion begins and I skip yoga.  What do I do instead of yoga?  I ride my bike to and from work, and I celebrate a very good day at work by eating dinner and relaxing.  Despite the lack of yoga, it’s still a great day.

Wednesday (3/30): I make this day a DIY yoga day, late at night.

Thursday (3/31): I continue to rebel by skipping yoga, riding my bike, and drinking wine.  Or, as I like to say now, I practice Edith Wharton yoga, which consists of lying in bed while holding an Edith Wharton novel at eye level.  It’s a variation of savasana, you know.

Friday (4/1): I make a stunning realization: part of what’s bothering me about yoga this week is that every time I do yoga, I’m doing warrior poses.  Warrior poses are terrific, but they’re kinda hard on the hips.  So instead of warrior poses, I opt for downward dog, forward folds, shoulder stands, plow pose, and the best, savasana.  Ahhh…

Saturday (4/2): I skip yoga AGAIN!  While skipping yoga, I watch a racy movie, Dangerous Beauty, and contemplate a world where a woman has three choices about what to do with her life: she can be a nun, a wife, or a prostitute.  And in this world, marriages are arranged and wife = husband’s property and baby-making machine.  What would you choose?  And what if, in that world, the prostitutes are the ones with all the education, money, and power?  It boggles the mind.  I think I know which one I would choose…

Sunday (4/3): I decide to multi-task by running in the early afternoon and doing yoga immediately afterward.  I usually stretch after I run, and this time, I unfurl my yoga mat and make my stretching more of a yoga session, trying to focus on my breath and holding the poses longer than I might if I were just “stretching.”  My run and my yoga session are great, leaving me free to enjoy that glowy post-work-out feeling.

And now, speaking of yoga, I’m off to do today’s yoga practice.  Namaste, sweet readers!


  1. I go through phases with yoga. Sometimes I manage one class a week and other times I can't get enough. Right now, I'm a little addicted, which is nice! It helps that I go to a studio and it's right after work. I like ending my day with some me-time on the mat.

    And I know what you mean about the "goal" of yoga. I have little goals - like doing a handstand (I'm close!) or doing full poses instead of modified ones (my legs are so inflexible!). But mostly my goal is just to do it regularly and commit myself to my practice. When I'm there, I'm there. I have a hard time living in the moment and yoga helps with that.

    Oh, and post-run yoga sounds glorious. I usually do a few yoga poses after long runs. Legs up the wall was a life saver during marathon training. :)

  2. A handstand--how awesome is that? I love it.

    I know what you mean about staying in the moment. I'm a hyperactive planner, so I'm always thinking about what's next and not necessarily what's right now. My job requires a lot of planning, so it has exacerbated this tendency of mine, and I even have a hard time staying focused at work, which is ironic!

    Oh my goodness, I love legs up the wall! I should be doing that more often because it feels SO GOOD. That pose after running is reason enough to go for a run. Ahhh...

    Thanks for your comment, Chrissy. You are encouraging me to stick with this yoga project! :-)