Monday, January 31, 2011

Peeking Around the Doorframe

Hi!! *Peeks around shyly from door frame.*

I've missed y'all! Believe me, I'm here. I just haven't been coming out of my little house, or sitting on the porch and waving, or even shouting "hello!" from the window. But know that I'm watching, looking out and glad to know there's a happy little yoga blogging community out there. 

It's been a while since I've posted. Sometimes, the stuff that swallows up your life just doesn't belong on a blog!

But that doesn't mean that stuff doesn't belong in the yoga room. Man, I don't need to tell you, it's nice to have something steady to come to whenever a good sweat is needed.

I've been reminded lately of how much of a barometer yoga is. Weeks where I'm happy and calm, I march straight up to the front row, confident that my practice will simply be what it is, and that I don't need to worry about what's going to happen. Weeks where things are more challenging, I hang out in the back. My mind takes over, I'm wobbly, and I feel like my classes aren't "good." Always, though, I am pretty sure the yoga affords me tiny glimpses of awareness I wouldn't otherwise get, to say nothing of the physical benefits.

Fortunately, my new work schedule (it seems to change semesterly!) allows me to practice at different times, and I love how different the practice is at various times of the day! I get up for the 6:30 a.m. class on Friday mornings, and I'm solid and steady. I do all the postures and I'm happy to be there, like I've discovered some secret cache of time and place that only a handful of others know about. 9:00 a.m.s are a struggle, but I always feel like I won some sort of epic battle. And then, there are the p.m. classes. I suffer, I struggle, and then I struggle because I'm mad at myself for struggling. Fortunately, I leave cleansed, refreshed and just a bit lighter on the inside and out.

So... home is warm and safe, but I sure do miss my network of yogis. Know that I'm here and I'm reading!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Falling's not so Bad

So, the holidays. I was looking forward to a couple of weeks off, enjoying our family's usual lazy-paced way of celebrating the holidays and then taking a few days of R&R before getting back to work. But life has an odd way of tweaking (or in this case, twisting) your plans around until they sit squarely on their heads.

A couple of family emergencies came breezing through, which prevented me from getting me to yoga as much as I'd like and from doing online anything except the Blog Roll Skim every couple of days. I miss y'all--the yoga, the blogging community--but I'm also grateful for the closeness that grows between family and friends during crises like these.

After the holidays passed and the two situations got somewhat under control, I hopped in my car and drove to Mammoth Mountain for a few days of skiing. Although I'm missing my boyfriend, who had to fly out to deal with his own family emergency, I'm allowing myself to enjoy a breath of clean, cold mountain air, dear friends... and the drama that comes up while you're on the slopes.

Even here, hundreds of miles from home, I am reminded of how you really can't escape who you are. Even up here, "away" from everything, my own neurotic tendencies come out. I follow my friends down big, scary ski hills, and it's a constant struggle to just be present. Just like in a Bikram class, my mind takes over. (It's a little scarier to hear yourself say "you are not gonna make it!" when you're barreling down an endlessly long hill.) In a desperate attempt to combat this tendency, I do the same thing as I do in Bikram: try to be in the moment. Notice what's happening. Feel the difference in texture of the snow as the skis race over it. Or, when I'm really scared, the Buddhist proverb, "Mind like sky," will do the trick.

What's also interesting to notice is that, just like in work, love, and life in general, it's the middle part that gets me scared. I'm excited at the beginning, but when I'm far from the start and can't see the finish line, I panic. It's funny to observe that happen at warp speed when you're coming down the slope.

There have been so many beautiful moments, though, and they don't always come when you expect them. I took the following photo after I'd fallen. I just lay there, exhausted at the middle of what was then a difficult run for me. After the jarring fall, though, I was just there. No thought, just sensory experience. Too bad it took a fall to get out of my head!

I hope you are enjoying your Januarys! Stay HOT!

Falling's not so bad if you stop to take in the view.