Thursday, May 19, 2011

WIN: "Now I'm Rearanging my Life for Yoga!"

This is not what my Rabbit pose looks like. But one day, it might.

I was just chatting with a friend of mine who is beginning a yoga practice. I took him to Bikram Yoga at Aspen's Arjuna Yoga studio for his first class, and, like most folks who come to Bikram for the first time, he was blown away by how hard it was, how incredibly hot it was in the room, how it could be so hard to stand so still.

Surviving the heat is the first part of it, after about four classes, your body adjusts, the heat is welcome, addicting, and you don't get dizzy. Then your practice begins to deepen, and rather than yoga being the workout, its what you do to recover from, balance for, or prepare for your day.

I'm finding that the more yoga I do, the more I like to use it after a big run, hike, ski or ride. (Although its DUMPING snow in Aspen right now, so lets say SKI!) There is something beautiful about surrendering to the practice so much that it becomes like eating or breathing, its an essential part of balancing your life, not the dreaded workout you are obligated to do.

So I just got a text from my friend, who is coming to the noon class, and he said, "Ive moved my appointment so I can make it to class. Now I'm rearranging my life for yoga! Ahhh!" 

Backbends in the heat is one of the best PT therapies for my injury I've found!
I smiled when I read this, because I remember the first time that I told someone that I couldn't schedule a massage at a certain time because I had class. I wasn't turning down work, but honoring my practice as an important part of my health, my happiness, and my rehabilitation from my injury made this very sacred space for that practice in my life.

Suddenly, my schedule is balancing because I'm willing to schedule my life around yoga. Or, more accurately, to schedule my work and play along with yoga, so that it is integrated into my life just like food and time with my kids is.

I think this is one of the key breakthroughs as a person changes their lifestyle, especially the initial shift from more sedentary to more active, this honoring. Its not something that ever stops, as I continue on my journey of fitness, I find that my commitment deepens and my need to schedule hours of workout time into every day becomes more important.

And guess what? I have more time! By taking 3 or 6 or 8 hours to workout, in yoga, in hiking, in skinning up, whatever, my house is also clean! My laundry is done, the food I am making is healthier, my time with my kids is more active, they are happier, so am I. My body is getting stronger, my mind is getting calmer.

Trusting that the energy will come back to you when you are first starting is the next hard part, I think. When you first start working out you are so exhausted in the afternoon. But its not always like that. And, eventually, you get addicted to that exhausted feeling, and you learn to blanance those workouts, so that they are once or twice a week instead of every day. Your every day practice becomes an energizing one.

So yeah, WIN, my friend, you are scheduling your life around yoga! Welcome to the first step down the path to bliss!!


Sweet Lily said...

I love yoga! Yoga is my life!

Bill said...

attaway, I have not checked into your blog since last year.

I have had a regular yoga and pilates practice for 5 yrs now and its changed my life!

there is far less strain on my body skiing and windsurfing and especially legs.

In Hood River it was Flow Yoga, here at Snowbird it is the Cliff Spa

climbed both Twins and Baldy on Friday and Saturday at Snowbird. Friday the two climbs were followed by a demanding pilates class at the spa then up early am to repeat the climbs

Felt a bit tired but still energized on Sunday

Keep up the good work, you are so much like me . seeking knowledge

Never stop

and remember breathwork is more important in yoga and life than strain. Do not be afraid to back way off as necessary.

Stay with breath over achievement:)