Yoga, friends, and letting go

I was in a minor fender bender this weekend. Not my fault, I got rear-ended by a youngster on a slick road on Saturday. She wasn’t supposed to be driving the Mercedes, and she was quite a little brat about the whole thing. She wouldn’t give me her insurance info. . My Jeep has a tow hook, and it did a fabulous job of decimating the front of her hood. Her hood crumpled the bottom of my bumper. So I called in the police to the scene to write up a formal report. The police took care of her uncooperative attitude.

I wasn’t happy about how I handled the situation, because I let the little brat get to me. I kept my composure, but I allowed the situation to replay in my mind. I found myself grumbling, and complaining. Time to let go.

There was a new class listed at the yoga studio on Sunday afternoon, and my yoga buddy Kimberly asked me to go. Yoga with my buddy? Yep, I’m in. It was a really small class, in our cozy little room that smelled of lavender. Having Kimberly to encourage me, and focusing on breathing in and breathing out left me relaxed, and my mind was thankfully at peace.

It’s amazing how far I’ve come in the last year, from barely touching my toes in forward fold to now having my palms on the floor. Going from Down Dog to Plank without huffing and puffing. Not overly complaining about Chaturanga, the slow low push up. I know I have a ways to go, but I’m getting better. Progress is a good thing.

I’m grateful that no one was hurt in the accident. I’m more grateful that my practice has taken me from looking at others and being discouraged by the difference in technique to just focusing on my technique and getting better.

I love this Bunny Yoga poster. It’s so much more my style than the perfect body yoga posters.

Grateful for the calm moments

As I have practiced gratitude, I have noticed that there is a calmness. Some days are more calm than others, but overall I can see that I’m more calm now than ever before.

Like any practice, it takes continuous repetition and focus to see any specific results.

As I practice yoga, I have learned to focus on my breathing. When I focus on my breathing, I am calmer.

As I focus on the things I’m grateful for, I am calmer.

Looking for things to be grateful, I find more things that increase my gratitude.

Today, I am grateful for the little signs that remind me of how far I’ve come in this journey.

Breathing


Breathing, something we take for granted.  Air in, air out.

One of the focuses of my recent practice is mindful breathing to either energize or calm the body.

Mine has needed calming.  The recovery from Harvey is Horrific.  People are still displaced, the clean up and reconstruction will take a long time.

In a City of 5 plus million people; 150,000 homes have flood damage.  There are two schools of thought on that number, the first is the devastation of the sheer number.  The second is the pragmatic view that the number, no matter how big, is exceedingly small compared to the entire population of Houston.

The traffic has been horrible as one of the major toll roads just re-opened this week.  

The euphoria of charity, help, and heroism has dissolved into traffic jams, short tempers, and the “we’re so done” attitude toward pulling out dry wall, carpet, and flooded debris.  Let’s not even talk about mold.  That’s a whole book in itself.

So today, let’s take a few minutes to breath slowly and deeply. In and out.  Be calm, and someone buy some bleach.

Sit up straight, and Don’t Hold Your Breath!

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image credit fit woman.com

Do you ever hear those reminders ‘internally’?  Sit up straight.  Don’t slouch.  Chew your food.  Breath.  Relax.  It’s OK.  You’ve got this.

At church they have told us, so many times, you give out of your overflow.

So how do we ‘overflow’?

It comes from having enough on the inside.

Have you taken the time to invest in yourself so that you are full?  Are you fully full?

I used to take those reminders like, Sit up straight, as negative.  Now I’ve changed the tone of voice in my head so that I don’t sound like a nag.

Now I hear the nurturing words as reminders that sitting up straight makes me look thinner, and gives my spine alignment so that all my nerves are free to send the important messages they need to send out.  Sitting up straight gives all my internal organs room to function.  Slouching crowds my organs, and pinches nerve pathways impeding my health.

Chewing my food allows my body to absorb all the nutrients in the food so that I can perform at an optimum level physically.

Breathe!  Well, howdy that’s an important one.  When I was a child, I would hold my breath while concentrating on a task.  I passed out while practicing a difficult piano piece, and bonked my head good on the keyboard.  I passed out playing a tennis match I wanted to win.  I’ve passed out studying for tests.  Breathing is important, and I have to focus on the act of Breathing in 2, 3, 4 and letting it out slow 2, 3, 4, 5.  Automatic function, my butt.  My stubbornness and focus over-rides the automatic breathing, and the results are less than fun.

It’s OK, you’ve got this.  Do you encourage yourself?  When uncertainty or fear come up what plays in your head.  Are you your own cheerleader when the world is tearing at your confidence?

It’s OK, when things don’t go right.  Try again.  You’ve got this, because you take the time to learn the lesson.  I don’t quit till I win.  That’s one thing I decided 10 years ago, and there have been times when it’s taken quite a few attempts to achieve the goal, but I keep going.  The goals have to be very important.  I don’t put myself on the line this way for anything frivolous.

It’s taken me a very long time to stop beating myself up for not achieving immediately, not being the super star, not getting the job, not being able to provide for my family myself, having to ask for help, even just relying on my husband.  I’m not fully free from the self doubt and worry that comes from not getting where I’ve visualized myself to be, but I’m not as bad as I used to be.

Today, I’m taking a few minutes to celebrate where I am.  It’s not where I want to be yet, but I’m not where I used to be.  Progress is important in self care.  It’s a great day to just be thankful for where I am.

What do you do to be fully, full?  How do you encourage yourself?

My Ponytail drip

  
Yesterday ran like a bad movie that wouldn’t stop.  

In my bull headed fashion, I pushed back with all my might and ended up a mess by the end of the day.  Exhausted, weepy, and grouchy…the trifecta of fun for my family.

When the movie threatened a double feature on me today, I put on my ” Oh, Hell No ” tee shirt and headed to Zumba.

Pony tail drip achieved, sweaty hugs to all my gal pals, and something good happened to me when I got home.  I was able to put on some slacks that hadn’t fit in 6 months.  They zipped without pinching.  Yea Zumba!

Why didn’t I try on those pants yesterday?  I could have had my “something good” a day earlier!  

Happy Wednesday!