Lack of concentration on the mat equals…

I arrived at the studio frustrated, with my feelings hurt, and a tad bit upset because of a certain situation I had encountered prior to arriving at the studio.

When I sat down on the mat, I immediately started to cry.  I hate it when people I love make me cry.  It’s as if I’m not worthy of any of their respect or consideration for my situation.  It’s appears as if it’s all about them.  So there I sat, crying and feeling like the fool that I am for crying.

Class started and for the next 75 mins I wobbled and weaved and shook, a very clear indication that I wasn’t present on my mat.  My mind was clearly on my feelings and my body was going through the motions.

I really felt bad for Tammy because I wasn’t responding to any of her facial cues, but it wasn’t because of anything she had done, it was because I couldn’t find the smile in me.  (I’m sorry Tammy!)

My mind is wore out as I have contemplated the situation all night.  My body is following my mind and is in pain.  I know all of this is my fault, as it always turns out to be, but I’m so tired….

I think a long yoga retreat might be helpful, I just can’t afford them, as they are so expensive.  I try so hard not to do anything wrong, and when I do mess up, boy howdy, I do it with flying colors, sad smile.

My body did benefit from the yoga practice last night as I’m sore, but my mind is still reeling!

Peace, serenity, kindness, long-suffering, LOVE, all of these things seem way out of reach right now.

I did do an up the wall handstand BY MYSELF.  I pored all of my feelings into it and not only did I do it once, I did it twice, with good form.  I was proud of myself during that time.  I held the first one for 10 breathes, the second for less I’m sure because my wrist were starting to hurt.  (Amy would’ve been proud, I didn’t have to have her feet!)

I love my yoga community.  They don’t judge me, they don’t ask questions when I cry, they only project their love and peace in my direction, which I most certainly can feel.

To sum all the rambling up, the lack of concentration on the mat equals a very ungrounded yoga practice.

Namaste!

Serenity Yoga

Last night’s yoga class was very ‘relaxing, calming, and yet motivating”. Here lately, when I’m on the mat, I feel long, lean, and beautiful, then I walk to the car and realize, it’s just the mat’s effect on me.  Laugh.  There’s nothing about me that is long, lean and beautiful.  I accept that, I’m just not one of those people.

I was fighting an aching neck, back and a headache, neither of which would go away until the very end, in savasana. I did feel my back give so the backache left almost immediately after the first few poses, but the rest, held on.

Finding my edge and holding on was very hard.  My concentration wasn’t there. I was on the mat physically, but I wasn’t present on the mat spiritually.

I woke up during the night with the right side of my neck just killing me.  I know it’s nothing we did in yoga, as none of the poses were new to me, so I’m not sure what the deal was.  Spent the rest of the night on ice, and hurting.

I used my breathe to try and calm the muscles, and I suppose the breathing helped me fall back to sleep, but when I would wake up, the neck pain was still there.

I’m slowly learning that in order for this yoga journey to be productive, I have to be ‘present’ on the mat, not just going through the motions.  I can not heal physically, nor spiritually if I don’t find that presence and keep it in the yoga practice with me!

Namaste!

Thursday night killer yoga…grin

The pose to the left is called Ardha Chandra Chapasana or Sugarcane pose.  Yes, I’m trying hard to learn the sankrit names/spellings of the yoga poses.  If I’m going to do delve headlong into this journey, I figure I must do it correctly, what ever that means, for me….

Last night was so challenging, sweaty, and so very FUN!  Yes you heard it from me, f-u-n.  We did a lot more asanas and they were all very challenging.  (My other new intention is to not use ‘hard’ when referring to yoga.  It’s only ‘hard’ if I allow my brain to think it is, especially after Tammy’s reading last night prior to practice.  And if you catch me in the right mood, nothing will ever be ‘hard’ again, just challenging.  And in meeting that challenge, I can say I accomplished that goal, next one….)

I was very mindful as to what I would write in today’s blog.  I could’ve complained about all the soreness and what I couldn’t do, but I decided no, not happening in todays yoga blog.

I wanted to remember last night, to remember that I did a half handstand up the wall, with Amy keeping her feet on my shoulders to keep me from falling.  I wanted to remember that I tried it a second time and had her to ease off the pressure on the shoulders and quickly had her reapply the pressure, I’ll admit it, I got scared.  And that’s ok, there’ll be a next time, smile. (Show up to find out what I mean!)

I wanted to remember to remind myself that I need to start wearing long yoga pants because my hands, heck my whole body, sweats so badly that when I reach back to grab my foot in Ardha Chandra Chapasana, my hand slips off ’cause I’m so sweaty.

I wanted to remember that I must never do the elliptical the day before a yoga class ’cause my legs felt like a hot poker had been jabbed into my quads and I was in pain. Laugh!

When done correctly, yoga should leave the beginner sore.  If you’re not sore, find another studio!  Your muscles should be contracting equally, all over your body.  I’m not necessarily a beginner, just haven’t practiced steadily in a long time and now here I am again due to an injury.  And you know, I think it’s my sign from God to STAY in yoga.  Yoga = minor/less/no injuries…my motto anyway.

I’ve only just begun this journey with real intentions (goals).  When I reach them, I’ll tell you what they were, until then, keep reading and see you at the studio.

Namaste!

Elliptical hell….

Yesterday, Celine and I went to the gym.  She had been wanting to go for a few weeks and with my sick family, I’d been unable to accommodate her.  At lunch, we set out and I showed her around the Payne Center, changed, and made our way up to the work-out room.

It was a decision between the bike and the elliptical machine.  I decided to give the elliptical a try (again), so I showed Celine how to get going and away we went for 15 mins (plus the 3 min cool-down).  I made sure I wasn’t jarring my neck, my shoulders weren’t camping out on my ears and my ears weren’t camping out on under my eye-balls.  I was only able to do the arms back and forth for about 7 mins then I had to hold onto the stationary bars and just do the legs.  The left arm motion was starting to make my neck hurt.

When we finished, we made our rounds to the wisteria room and showed her how things worked and promised to be her coach on a round, as I can’t do the weight machines for now.  Then down to shower and back to work.

I felt pretty good.  My legs were sore, but of course that was natural since I hadn’t really used any of those muscles in anything other than yoga.  Around 3PM I noticed my neck was killing me, and I was so sleepy, I was having a hard time staying awake.  I had planned on staying for a while to catch up on some work, but I was hurting to bad and so sleepy.  The drive home was scary.  It was as if my neck was causing me to need to sleep.  I finally made it home, ate a baked potato because I couldn’t do anything else, took some meds, and literally laid down on the floor.  I just couldn’t go another step.  I finally got up about 30 mins later, and set down in the recliner, turned on the tv (7PM) and the next thing I knew my momma said “sister why don’t you go to bed?” I looked at the time, 8:30PM, I’d slept for an hour and a half.  I told her no, I needed to stay awake to take the dogs out at 9PM for their nightly constitutionals.  I fought sleep for the next 30 mins.  I finally took the dogs out, changed and went to bed.  I slept all night.  I didn’t move from the spot I went to sleep in!

My neck is SORE this morning, but the body is fine.  I’m not sure if the exercise caused the sleepiness, or the hurting neck.  I’ve never had that happen after exercise nor after my neck starts hurting, so I’m not sure what the deal was (is).

Nevertheless, I’m hoping it was a fluke and I was just tired from last week, as I plan on trying another 15 mins on the elliptical tomorrow, as I have yoga tonight, need to save the legs.  If it does it again, I’m calling my neck doc to see what is going on!

Until tomorrow or Monday, whenever I get back to this blog…have a blessed day.

Full class

Last night’s yoga class, for me, was shutting out the storm that was raging outside, and following my heart as I worked on the mat.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am terrified of bad weather.  And as the lightning and the thunder rolled outside, I worked very hard to allow it to do so without me panicking.  I believe I did fairly well, until Tammy would say, “look up to the ceiling and feel the rain falling on your face”.  Naw, I didn’t want no rain falling on my face, especially with the lightning falling along with it, laugh.  Nonetheless, the weather co-operated and didn’t treat us too badly.

Again, challenging is a good word for last night.  We did tree poses, which I find very hard for some reason, and from there we became an airplane and nose dived into a split.  Well, I’m sure there were some who where doing splits, but not me.  I’m not sure when I lost my flexibility, but I have.

When I was young, I was able to do splits, backbends, front hand springs, cartwheels, backbend walk overs, hand stands, you name it, I could do it. Now at my age, I just can’t find that flexibility.  But I go to class with the principles Tammy has taught me, and I’ve learned well – it’s not about what your neighbor is doing, or how flexible your neighbor is, it’s about my practice, how far I can go into a pose, how long I can stay there, and how confident it makes me each time I go a little further into a pose and stay a little longer in a pose.

As we transitioned into savasana, I found myself being thankful for all of God’s mercy and grace.  Last night’s weather could’ve really interrupted my concentration and I could’ve been terrified the entire time, just waiting for the lightning to strike, but it didn’t.  God was merciful and showed me more grace than I deserved.  And then I thought, isn’t that just like God?!  To show His children more mercy and grace than we ever deserve.  I realized that while we know He’s with us during our small trails, why do we always wonder if He’s with us during our super, dynawoping trails?

He’s there, He carries us, and I am very thankful for Him and His never changing mercy and grace!

Namaste!

A week behind…

Ok, so I’m a week behind on blogging.  Would you like to know why?  No, well sorry, you get to read it anyway, unless of course you move along and don’t read it, then so be it, smile.

The first week of January my brother was ill, nothing would stay down or in.  He finally emerged from his sickness on the 7th.  The following tuesday morning his wife woke him up sick.  Her visit to the doctor caused my brother to pack up Lily (my 9 month old niece) and bring her to the house, so we were officially on Lily duty – me, mom, dad, and tinkerbell.  Needless to say, I spent Wednesday-Friday at home with the baby or at the ER with Selena, my sister-in-law.  Then Thursday morning, my brother’s step-daughter woke up vomiting.  He took her, that night, to the ER.  Friday night, they all seemed back to normal, so we let Lily go home.  Saturday morning at 4AM, my mother woke up with the same thing my brother had, are you kidding me?!  Lucky for us, her and thanks be to God (He was merciful!), she spent that day only fighting to keep things in and down.  Thankfully they shared all the meds the docs and ER had given them, so mom didn’t have to make the dreaded trip to the ER. Thus far dad and I have only had a few rounds of keeping things in, but all seems back to normal.  We had no keeping things down issues, THANK GOD!

Needless to say, I only made it to yoga Tuesday of last week and it was an ‘interesting’ class to say the least.  We even named a new Tammy pose, the Jane Fonda Dolphin Pose, I think – ’cause that’s just too long ago for me to remember, laugh.  I wasn’t able to go last Thursday because I sat in the ER with Selena from noon until 6, so no yoga for me.

Saturday, I did a yoga dvd with John Friend. He loves backbends, so I did child poses, ’cause I can’t do backbends, they kill me.  Remember, yoga = no pain!

I’m back tonight, and the weather is nasty.  I’m gonna bet the class will have something to do with the weather.  Who’s betting with me?  Grin.

Namaste!