Wednesday, June 15, 2011

CAUTION: Yogini Under Construction

So, two weeks ago today I embarked on a little something Namaste Yoga and Tranquility Center calls, "The Thirty-Day Yoga Challenge". I'm taking a studio yoga class every day for 30-days. For those of you who think I'm a yoga machine who lives for two-a-days with the sweat dripping onto my mat, prepare to be disillusioned:

I love my asana practice, both studio classes, and more recently, my self-guided explorations. Generally I take two or three studio classes a week, and practice on my own the other two or three days. I take the weekends off because, basically, yoga is my job. My husband has the weekends off so we can do fun things, so I take the weekends off, too. I HAVE NEVER TAKEN MORE THAN ONE YOGA CLASS IN A DAY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! To make matters worse, I have days, weeks even, when asana feels like an unwarranted demand on my time; a chore. On those days, weeks even (ok, so it hasn't been more than seven days between practices in over a year now...), I focus on integrating yoga into my daily life and skip the asana practice all together.

Now you know. I'm a hack.

So, for the month of June, I've signed on to this challenge, and I'm taking a studio class every day this month except for the 4th, when I was irreversibly stranded on an island off the coast of Maryland with ten other awesome people and some wild ponies. (I didn't mind too horribly). It's not just asana of course, we're also getting daily e-mails to explain the other seven limbs of yoga, offering meditation suggestions, nutrition guidelines, and blurbs on the yamas and niyamas. These e-mails are really interesting and helpful...but they all come with a healthy dose of, "You're TRANSFORMING!!! I KNOW your life is SO MUCH BETTER NOW!!!!!"

That's not how they say it at all; it's very sweet, kind, loving and uplifting...it's just that, I teach yoga; I love yoga, and taking a class everyday isn't making me feel tranquil and transformed; it's making me feel tired and frustrated, and this makes me think there is something wrong with me.

Like, this is how I'm supposed to be feeling:


And this is more like what I'm actually feeling. Maybe if the rocks were also on fire...



For those of you who aren't visual learners let me add a more experiential explanation of my predicament:

I'm having all four wisdom teeth out in a bloody blaze of glory this Friday, and all I can think about is, "YES!!! NO ONE EXPECTS ME TO TAKE A YOGA CLASS SATURDAY!!!!!!!"

This is sad. And also totally not the point of the challenge. So should I drop out? Reconsider? Meditate more? (As to that last one, the answer is a resounding YES YES YES!!!)

The two former options don't exist because, by God[dess] come hell or highwater (and if that image is any indication both are in fact coming), I will complete this fecking challenge. That slumbering beast of my competitive nature has awakened and the situation is not exactly in control. Even though I know my ego is the voice telling me failure is not an option, I can't seem to circumvent that attitude.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. Yes, my inner dialogue is a good 60% whining lately, yes, I'm letting my ego push me around, yes, I'm re-visiting head-spaces I thought I had left behind long ago, shaking and feeling a little insane in revolved side-angle. But...you can't fight the beast until you flush it out.

I'd rather not look at it this way, for the same reason I'd rather not keep raising my tail bone up and pressing my heart toward my thighs in down dog: because it's harder that way. The truth of the matter is, practicing five times a week (sometimes less), skimping heavily on meditation, and spending a lot of time theorizing about the philosophy has enabled me to reach a level of yoga proficiency both on and off the mat that I can be proud of. The trouble is, this height I'm enjoying the view from isn't a summit; it's a plateau. By accepting this challenge, I took a step toward a path leading upward. I guess the clouds were obscuring just how steep and rugged the terrain was.

Sure, my ego can't tolerate the shame of having given up, but maybe for once it's onto something. I'm not the type to drop out when the going gets tough. I wouldn't be a yoga teacher if I was. I can trust that there are, perhaps, beautiful revelations ahead, growth, strength, peace, greater resistance to inner turmoil...on the other hand, maybe there's nothing but continued odd sore muscles (my back, my shins...) and the constant struggle to maintain the rest of my life in addition to an hour commute there and back for my practice. Though that alternative makes me cringe, I can work toward a deeper acceptance of the fact that I'm not entitled to the fruits of my actions, only the actions themselves.

What I'd really like to get out of this is a huge efficiency upgrade, and improved time-management skills.

I'll take what I can get. Omilies don't give up.

love Omily,
~em

3 comments:

  1. Hey guys, if you are drawn to speak aloud during or after reading the post, consider using this nifty feature to make those words a permanent fixture on the internet! I would love to hear those immediate reactions...

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  2. I posted a large comment on eclipses that explains why the 30 day challenge is extra challenging because it includes the effects of 3 eclipses back to back....2 solar and one very strong and long lunar eclipses today, June 15th at 4:12 pm EST. I will get back with you on what houses are effected in your chart. I didn't save what I wrote so that is a lesson learned for me. Do not post a comment on a blog unless you have copied and pasted it elsewhere in case you loose it in transit.

    Anyway...always need to learn to back up what I do so that I don't make the same mistakes again. I will write to you soon! As to getting your wisdom teeth extracted this weekend, I had that done when I was 15 and hope it is better than my experience. No vicodin in those days! Personally, I don't think that it would be a good time to be getting all your wisdom teeth taken out in the next few days. I have my reasons.....trust me. Will write to you by email and redo what I lost! UGH My fault all the way.......don't let it bother you.

    Love,

    Mom

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  3. This post is a wonderfully worded piece and I really enjoyed it despite the fact that I know you are stressed and not feeling so strong. But you were strong enough to write this posting on your blog to take us with you on your journey through the 30 day yoga challenge. I will be praying for you, sweet girl. Toby asked me how you were doing yesterday so I knew that something was up and I needed to contact you. We will be holding you in our thoughts and prayers.


    Would you please ask those in charge who decides the dates for such challenges as the 30 day yoga one you are now doing if they have knowledge of mundane and electional astrology? If there is no one proficient setting dates for rituals, I offer my help in the future. You would be feeling much better at this stage in your 30 day challenge if it was not effected by triple eclipses. So let the person in charge of choosing dates for rituals know that I am experienced in doing this and would love to help things flow more smoothly in their yoga business by working gently with the planetary energy when need be or working aggressively with the flow of the universe when that is called for.

    I am very serious about not having the tooth extraction done this weekend unless you are in great pain already and need relief. If it is optional, then let me help you choose a different time, okay?

    Love,

    Mom

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