One Year of Yoga Stats:
Pounds Lost: 0!! (Life happens. Cookies happen. What are you going to do? At least in yoga no one cares about your muffin top.)
Yoga pants purchased: 10 pairs, at least?!
Yoga/Fandom-based Blog Posts Written: 105!!
Body parts with substantially less pain: Back, Neck, Knees, Ankles, Hips
Body parts with more tangible muscle: Arms, Legs
Animals with whom I have done yoga: Cows, Pigeons, Cats, Stone dogs
Times I have drawn pictures of myself doing yoga instead of doing the dishes: Dozens and dozens
Places I have been Upside Down: Air BnB house, various trees, my front door
Place most often used to practice Tree Pose: Every bathroom in the local area while waiting for my kids
Most Important Life Lesson: Life, like yoga, is a non-zero-sum game. Treat it as such.
Happy yogaversary to me…happy yogaversary to me… happy yogaversary to me and anyone else who happened to start their yoga practice on June 12! Happy yogaversary to me!
That’s right, today marks one year since I started my yoga practice in earnest. (That’s not counting a few one-off classes I took here and there over the years.) That makes it a year and two days since I had felt so crushed by stress that my teeth were chattering with the strain of keeping it together. It was at that point, while sitting around a campfire, that a good friend recommended I try yoga class at a local studio. Serendipitously, there was a gentle yoga class starting there within days.
From the get-go, I knew this time it would stick. My teacher was informative, kind, encouraging, and eternally-patient with those of us who could just barely move let alone down dog. In fact we started moving around in chairs and against the wall, just barely inching along further week by week. But inch along we did, and eventually I came to feel like I was giving myself a much-needed deep massage. Towards the end of that session, we had managed a sun salutation. And I could do what I couldn’t before.
Come the Fall, I suddenly found myself with all my children in full day school for the first time. It was quite the departure from the freelance/but mostly stay-at-home mom gig I’d held for the decade previous. I was sad for the time that had ended, I was looking for work. I also was just starting to relish a new phenomenon in my life: free time! I used it to try every possible yoga class in the immediate area, getting to know different teachers and the different cultures at play in every different class (even in the same studios). New poses came around every corner. On occasion, when I pushed it too much, aches and pains did too.
And then I took a walk with an old friend and happened to just mention my struggle with chataranga – and she happened to know just what I meant! A new yoga bond was born and she introduced me to yet another studio, one where I found challenges beyond what I could have imagined. Here there was another wonderful teacher, a nurturing artistic soul of the type that gives you hope for the future.
At the same time, with my mind freed a bit from the constant juggling of hands-on parenting, I found new thoughts were creeping in from the sides – and inspired by a friend, I took the plunge into starting a blog. Writing has always brought me personal clarity as well as fun, and suddenly it was in my life again. Yoga got my mind into a place where the thoughts could arrange themselves in orderly and (to me at least!) enlightening fashion. The word yoga means “union” and here it truly has allowed me to bring together my passions into a new whole.
I got a part time job in November but fortunately this studio had classes that fit this new schedule. Soon yoga practice fell into a pattern of class every week and some kind of practice each night. That’s pretty much how it has continued, and for me it has been a welcome, stable part of my psyche. There are challenges (darn you crow pose!), there is the occasional break-through, there are moments of calm that wouldn’t otherwise have happened. But mostly my year of yoga has in a way given me back my agency. For a scattered, stressed, strained climber on the ever-rockier mountain of mental health, yoga gives me a foothold. I look forward to the views from the footholds I’ll get over the next year.