Sunday, April 4, 2010


Us SoCal folks had a bit of fun today. There was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake off Baja, Mexico, and the effects were felt throughout the region. I was just on my way to my first yoga class--after a week off due to travel--when it hit. My CD towers were swayin', my cats were freakin', and I had a moment of "Hmm. Perhaps I should consider moving away from the windows." But then it was off to class. Californians get remarkably desensitized to earthquakes.

Or so I thought! At yoga this evening, a normally average (15-20 student) class was down to eight. I don't know if it was Easter or the earthquake, but something scared the students off. As we stood up for pranyama breathing, there was a little aftershock. The teacher politely reminded us that the emergency exits were open and that we just might want to move out from under the heaters.

It turned out to be a nice, intimate class, and by the end I'd had a couple of revelations about just what happened this past week while I was on spring break in Mammoth. And, of course, how yoga ties into all of it :-)

First, I'm making progress on the fear front. A year ago, I would not have gone to Mammoth. I would not have taken up my friend's offer to stay at their lovely condo and try an unfamiliar, cold-weather sport, leaving my kitties, a warm climate, and stacks of papers to catch up on behind. I tend to have a little social anxiety, so just saying, "YES" to their wonderful offer was big for me.

Another part of this overcoming fear thing, of course, is trying new things. I have always claimed to hate the cold and heights, but at my friends' prodding, I got myself out on the ski slopes, despite the 20 degree weather, snow, and wind. And I loved every minute of it. The gentle lift to the top of the mountain, the mounting anticipation, the sight of the wide trails and disarming vistas, to say nothing of the actual thrill of skiing--I just drank it all up and had fun, on the slopes and hanging out with friends. (Well... my friends might tell you about the time I called them in a panic from the mountain, but in hindsight, it's just a funny story :-)

The second realization I've had this week is that Bikram yoga gets you into rockin' shape. I skiied three full days in a row, and although I was tired, I did not get nearly as sore as I thought I would have given the amount of new activity I was doing. Those Awkward pose squats prime your legs for some ski turning and wedging, alright, and being flexible means that you can fall and not get injured as easily. I was just grateful for the physical ability to enjoy myself out there.

What ties this all together is that getting yourself into the yoga room is overcoming fear, one posture at a time. Before coming back to yoga last summer, I definitely would have let this spring break opportunity slide by me. "No, thanks," I'd have told my friend. In my head, I'd have thought, "You need to catch up on work this spring break. You hate cold weather. Staying with people for long periods of time is hard for you." Stupid excuses robbing me of the chance to experience something wonderful. But I think it was primarily the yoga that empowered me to say YES to those experiences. Now, I can't wait to go skiing again. I've even ordered a really cute ski jacket!

I'm thinking the aftershock of this wonderful week will stay with me for a while. I'm hoping y'all have some good aftershocks, too! :-)

Don't miss out on the view from the lift.
Dedicated to C&J.


feral chick said...

Awesome post, E. Now I'm jealous! :-) though still not ready to take the plunge. . . .

Yolk E said...

Your presence would have completed the trip! Maybe next year... there's plenty to do even if you don't ski!

Sisya said...

This is an inspiring post. I'm feeling happy for you/

ActionJoJo said...

You are an inspiration! Maybe I too will someday try to ski...or snowboard.

hannahjustbreathe said...

I sooo agree with you that yoga is the saw that cuts your fears in half, slices them right down the middle and leaves them broken at your feet. "Don't be scared." We hear it again and again in the hot room, and soon enough, we start hearing it in our own heads outside, in our lives, as we make decisions and confront uncomfortable situations and face our fears.

Yay yoga! Yay for you. :)

Yolk E said...

Thank you, all :-)
I don't know about inspiration, but if you can get something from the post, take it!

Ditto: Yay, yoga!