Good Yoga

Last night, I fell asleep, too fast.
But I had such a great yoga class!!!
It was a very giggly practice.

I always smile at myself. Anytime something is hard, tiring, frustrating, or I think I want to sit down, I try smiling at myself first. It usually works, but when it doesn’t, I just make funny faces at myself until I feel better.

Lately, I automatically start standing head to knee by smiling. My internal dialogue goes “shift your weight to your right foot. Look in the mirror. Smile at yourself. Interlace 10 fingers….” I smile again once I’ve kicked out, because I KNOW whoever is teaching is about to tell me to kick from the hip, and I’m about to do the exact opposite. This gets me every time! For whatever strange brain-body reason, as soon as they say “kick from the hip” I pull my hip back and farther under/behind me.

Last night, I kicked out, smiled, and right away started sorting out my hip direction, before she could correct me. I got it on my own just as she focusing in on me. I was so excited and grinned at myself in the mirror. Normally, no one ever notices all of the faces I make because there are so many people in the room.

But, Heidi caught me grinning and goes “HEY! That’s a yoga smirk! Something just clicked in that little head, of hers! We should all smile in yoga class! It’s just yoga. Don’t take yourselves so seriously!”

Then, of course, we were all keyed in to it and paying attention. So every time I did it, someone would notice and start smiling too, and another and another and another until all 7 of us were grinning and laughing. It was good, funny, fun.

I also saw my toes in floor bow

For the FIRST. TIME. EVER!!!!
(that’s Andrea, not me)


5 thoughts on “Good Yoga

    • Thank you!!! I’m so excited!
      I always feel uncomfortable when people watch me then get down on their own practice. I started doing Bikram yoga when I was only 12. There is a HUGE difference between a 12 year old body and a 20, 30 or 40 year old body. 12 year olds don’t have any bones, they’re just all rubber bands and Gumbie. It’s easier to start there and maintain it, then start later and reverse it. I’ve had 15 years to acclimate to the heat, internalize the little tid-bits they throw at you every class, learn to stand quietly between postures, and control my breathing. I did alllll of that first. Then I focused on form. I quit looking around, divorced every expectation, let go of what I thought I should have and just built the foundations. It took me forevvvver to truly understand what it meant to lock my knee. I *just* started kicking out in standing head to knee. I can’t tell you, how upsetting it is to watch hundreds of new people kick out and pass me in that posture over and over and over again. Or how irritating it is to try right while seeing people go farther with a bent standing leg, or pointed kicking toes. I had to get rid of all of those thoughts before I could progress.

      All of the depth in my practice has seriously only started showing up in past two months or so (that may have a tiny bit to do with eating though). I cheer for myself, jump up and down, throw my self a half second yoga party for progress and I let the set backs go. Yoga practice, not yoga perfect.

      I think every person in the room is equally challenged. I have no doubt that the guy laying on his back for the entire class is devoting maximum effort to his practice. And, if anything, he’s working a whole lot harder than I am. I long ago learned to check my demons at the door.

      It makes me sad to see people walking out of the hot room critical of their practice or upset with themselves, and makes me want to hug them. So I do. I throw them a half second yoga party. And I try to remember something good from their practice to remind them about…. And on occasion I may have been known to stop class to high 5 friends when the finally reach a goal I know they’ve been working towards.

      That’s kinda long winded and may not even make sense… I just came out if class- you know, yoga brain. But just keep trying. Your bow is perfect for where your practice is right now. Throw yourself a half second party for getting one foot instead of skipping it all together. Try every day for the second foot… Because at some point you’ll surprise yourself and it will just be there… That worth like a full second yoga party!

      • You know what’s weird, I was actually laying in class tonight thinking “I wonder if I can reach both feet yet…” because it’s been so long since I tried. And you know what? I DIDN’T TRY! There’s some hold-back there and I’m not exactly sure what it is. It’s not shame – I am absolutely fine struggling, fine falling out, and absolutely fine with “sucking” at a pose. I’m sure part of it is fear (because of my back) but that only really goes so far. It’s something for me to chew on.

        … I have yoga brain right now too. I’m having trouble completing this response. 🙂

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