Look at that line. I’ll get this back!Source: skybeagle
Hahhahahahah! I wish I knew who made these awesome pictures I find so that I can give them credit! Dying.
Sunday night I had a really strange Yoga experience. I guess by strange, what I mean is different.
Let me preface this by saying that I have never felt like a full on Yogi. When I go, it’s because I have Yoga as part of my Fitness Plan. I’ve never been the girl who walks around with her Yoga mat slung on her back each day, feeling good about the fact that she just “gets” Yoga and that Yoga just “gets” her. And to be honest, this has always been frustrating to me. I knew where I wanted to be. You name the time and place and I’ll get down and dirty in a mud pit with 20 other athletes. But put me in a Yoga class and ask me to be 100% successful? It just doesn’t happen. Ask me to close my eyes, hold a pose, and be still? I can’t. The problem is not my body. The problem is not my strength. The problem is not my flexibility. The problem is my mind.
I never feel like I am fully in it as I should be. I try my hardest. But there is always a wall. A wall that doesn’t allow me to have a truly changing experience- the kind you read about in Health Journals with pictures of beautiful people in Child’s Pose, feeling connected to their soul and all that comes with it. Up until Sunday night, I had chalked all this up to “Well, guess I’m just not good at Yoga.” But is that all? I realized that my own personal issues are holding me back from being the Yogi that I want to be.
My discomfort with my own emotions holds me back from a lot of things in my life. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. Even now, my stomach hurts just typing this, knowing it will just all be out there. However, these blog columns are all about honesty. And life within your comfort zone isn’t much of a life at all.
On Sunday night, I decided to have my own Yoga session in my room. Away from people, off the record, and to just try to center myself before bed. You know when you have a thousand thoughts in your head, but absolutely none at the same time? That’s where I was at.
I started with just sitting and breathing.
Inhale for 8. Hold for 8. Exhale for 8. Repeat. Focus on the numbers. No, stop thinking about work. Okay…4, 5, 6- okay, definitely don’t think about THAT. Okay, focus, Eesh- 4, 5, 6- Did I ever put that dish away? Remember that dumb thing? Could you have done that differently? Okay, seriously, Ixchel, stop thinking about that! Breathe. Focus on yourself and the breath. You are enough.
I opened my eyes.
You are enough.
Eyes closed again. Where did that come from? And what am I feeling in my chest right now?
Okay…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
I remembered some self meditating techniques that my doctor in high school told me about. She said to be still with myself- truly still- and just say all the things that I love about myself. I would say, “Well, I have an amazing family.” She would reply with, “No, Ixchel…what about YOURSELF?” I remember I used to hate that. It felt silly. But this night was a little boggling and different, so I decided to try it.
Um…you are nice….you are thoughtful. You is smart, you is kind, you is important. Haha, no, take this seriously. Okay…You are talented. You are sympathetic. You have a lot to offer.
That feeling in my chest again.
You are beautiful? Um…you…I don’t know.
Then it started. 3 or 4 tears came out as quickly as the tug in my chest became tight. I didn’t know what was happening, but for once, I allowed it to. I let myself have this experience, and then I had to stop. In my mind, 4 tears was 4 tears too many. That is something I know I need to work on.
I have never been able to talk about my feelings. And I guess from a Yoga standpoint (at least from my experience in numerous classes), allowing yourself to just “be” is just as hard. It’s allowing yourself to be with yourself and just go with all that entails, whether it be good or bad. It’s when the teacher says, “Let go of your current heartaches and worries with a loud exhale,” and trying not to laugh because you’re so uncomfortable.
Now, why do I feel so afflicted speaking to myself? Why did it make me cry a little bit? I’m not entirely sure, but I now know that I am capable of such an experience. Then, today an old friend said to me, “Geez, you have even more walls up that I can remember.” I was just being sarcastic (cynical?) like I usually am, but ended up hurting his feelings in the process when he asked me to come visit him. His comment made me mad for a second, but then I decided to just listen. And little by little, I will chip at the walls that I have created for myself and therefore confined myself to.
It may not be Yoga for you. It may be running in public. Or approaching a personal trainer. Or setting foot in the gym in general. But whatever it is that frightens you, subconsciously or not, tackle it. Ask for help. Dig deep. Figure out why you feel the way you feel. It’s easier to solve once we understand. Don’t do what I did and just find a scapegoat or downplay it. We all have the power to make the choices that create the absolute life we want. Shouldn’t that be for fitness as well?
I wish you all that “a-ha” moment. When you’re in the middle of your bedroom floor on a Sunday night, feeling water on your cheek and thinking, “A-ha…so I am human.”
It’s okay to feel frustrated. It’s okay to feel stuck. Be who you want. Live how you’d like. And like one of my favorite ladies, Cleopatra, said, “Ginesthoi.” (“Make it happen.”)
“I want to know if you can be alone with yourself…and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”
Ginesthoi. Namaste. Happy Living.
Yoga for the Splits
Print this out and practice these poses everyday to gain flexibility for the splits. Start by holding each pose for 30 seconds on each side. Work your way up to 1-3 minutes as your muscles start to open up. When you’re ready to try the splits use a block or pillow under your front leg for support until you feel ready to go without.
Need more help? Check out my favorite stretching videos.
MY GOD. I have been trying to find something like this for the past few months. Whoever made this is a freaking goddess. <3
Concur the unthinkable<3
The sun looks so lovely! And where she is practicing looks wonderfully peaceful.
One of the most beautiful yoginis I’ve seen… gorgeous practice <3
Yaaaahhhhhsssss!!!!! Go girl.
(via becomewhatyouwant)Source: isabellelovespeanutbutta