Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Back again

It has been a very long time since I last posted. Too much has happened or rather not happened to go into details now. The main point is that I took a very long hiatus from yoga, exercise, and better eating habits. Now at almost 200 pounds and having little energy as well as taking longer than usual time to recover from illness, I am trying to get back on track. My self esteem is at rock bottom, and most likely it is because of that that I haven't been motivated to exercise. Well, my friend and I recently got a free week pass at Core Yoga studios, so my goal now is yoga for 3 months straight.

My first practice back since forever was HORRIBLE! We took a CP 2 class and while the sequence was fine, the heat was unbearable. It was only a 60 min class and I walked out during the last 15 minutes or so. The second class was a Hot Power fusion, which I guess is like a Birkam class. I also did not like it, but I made it through the end, even though I had to modify most of the poses. Yesterday, I tried a CP 1, which was so much better, it was not heated and I only had to modify chaturanga. Mind you, modifying poses is not a bad thing, it is more for my ego. It has just been feeling like beating a horse while it is down.

I have a lot of catching up to do and I am not at all sure I like this studio. It has mirrors, which I hate, heat, and feels very generic but, the class times are better suited for my schedule, they have a membership plan for 100$ which is more affordable and numerous location. Yogaview is out of my price range and the classes conflict with my work schedule. There is another studio that I would like to try, Bloom Yoga that is close enough to both work and home, also they have a membership, and best of all some of my old teachers work there. Also, I signed up for YogaVibes, an online yoga video directory for $20 a month so I think I might combine the two so I can have a better at home practice.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

not a yoga post

Sorry folks this is more of a journal entry then anything else. I am feeling a little on the down side and just want to get this out.

It’s super frustrating. I feel like I don’t have anyone to talk to about the wedding and I am so excited for it. I want all the wedding stuff now and I am getting impatient waiting. Not that I see the wedding itself as a big deal, in fact I am mostly put off by it. I don’t want to be the center of attention at all. I just want to wear my pretty dress, spend time with my partner and eat & drink to my heart’s content. The wedding is more of an excuse to have people dress-up. Tristan and I already know what we feel towards each other and the wedding is not to prove it. Anyways, I feel like that’s pretty much the bane of my existence now and I really don’t want it to be. I would love to forget about it for a couple of months and start doing other money saving things. I am super bummed about all this. I really don’t feel I have anything to look forward to other than this because we are working on getting out of debt and paying for the rest of the wedding.  Actually I have yoga and running, but those are pretty solitary activities. Also, Tristan’s going to teach me how to play Halo, so that’s nice. I do have another blog entry to write about, but am I waiting for Sofia to be completely in the blue before I write it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

on yoga

Someone posted an article about yoga on my facebook fed today and which reminded me about a very recent convo with the S.I. My partner pretty much despises all things yoga, which is ok. I mean it is cool that he thinks it is silly and often send me links that some how scientifically prove that it is silly. I am not sure what he thinks this will accomplish or what is his point for mocking me on my praise of the practice. For me, yoga is not about the people, the culture or the lifestyle, it is about finding an activity or practice that helps me feel good about being me. I guess it upsets me that he somehow equates doing yoga with a certain type of person and that somehow it is a flaw of my personality that I love yoga. I have tried all types of exercises and they never hooked me like yoga does. Yoga gives me the sense that I can do anything, which is something I never got out of running, swimming, biking or dancing. I love all those activities (except running), but I have always felt not good enough or fast enough to be a serious practitioner. I guess because yoga really tries to connect the mind with the body I feel it is more beneficial then say a Pilates class. Sure mediation and talks about inner self can be and is silly for some, but it works for me. Sure it attracts a type a person. This doesn't take away from the fact that it inspires me to be a better person, to work hard on fixing my mind and body. It is completely cool to hate the practice, I respect that, but I will ask that you respect my decision to embrace the yoga practice.

Monday, November 14, 2011

hello again

It has been a while. My journey into self-acceptance went on a very long hiatus. Not all has been bad, for I attempted a full length triathlon, I biked 60 miles in one day, and have been putting some serious time into running. Due to financial circumstances, I can not go to my regular yoga haunts.  Of course one thing led to another and I am once again feeling like I am back to square one. Money or no money, I think attending a yoga class is essential to my well being.

Today is my first day back at my beloved studio and I am both excited and scared. I don't want to fail at this again. I don't want to give up on working towards a healthier me. I also started on a new diet that is suppose to be a lifestyle plan. But it's all so fucking tiring. I just want to go back to being productive and not feeling guilty all the time about what I eat or when I don't exercise.

I started this blog as a way to help me focus on the positive through yoga, but even I found the topic limiting. I am not all sunshine and flowers all the time and seeing that I have not successfully gone anywhere with my journey, maybe this blog will evolve into something else. We will see, but first yoga.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yoga and the Philosophy

Iyengar writes that yoga is a lifestyle. He lists how yoga brings a man closer to god and how the yogi is the paragon of being human. Now, I don’t believe in god, nor do I fully endorse his beliefs about how to be a yogi. However, I do see how the practice can become a lifestyle and how it can help you become a better version of yourself.

In a discussion about yoga between my partner and me, we were going back and forth about the validity of the medical benefits of the practice and the discourse of its lifestyle. Yoga is a spiritual practice, so how can a non-spiritual person reap what the practice has to offer?

For example, Iyengar mentions, “the yogi believes that to kill or to destroy a thing of being is to insult its Creator.” Which is why a lot of yogis practice vegetarianism or veganism. I, for one will not become a vegetarian anytime some because I believe all beings have different proposes and even though I am an animal lover, I believe that certain animals survive only because they are a food source. Just because we have reason and intellect doesn’t mean that we aren’t animals too.  (I respect all life forms and I do believe there are healthier ways to kill animals for their meat.) It is not a perfect belief, but then again, I am not a perfect being.
 Iyengar also writes, “He [the yogi] knows that his life is linked inextricably with that of others and he rejoices if he can help them to be happy. He puts the happiness of other, before his own and becomes a source of joy to all who meet him.” Now, I like this mantra, I really do, however my partner brought up some interesting points against this. Focusing the happiness of other instead focusing on your own happiness could be problematic. People’s self interest are not always the same as your and this could led to problems with your our wellbeing. I think most of us can think of one example in which doing something for someone else was not in our own self-interest. That being said, I interpret Iyengar’s words as looking outside of our own greedy and materialistic desires for the path to self happiness. He does mention that “the desire to possess and enjoy what another has, drives a person to do evil deeds.” Instead of focusing on what we lack or don’t have, I think recognizing our strengths, accepting our weaknesses, and working towards the best version of ourselves will lead to happiness for us and others.

The point is, that we as yogi should learn the meaning behind the practice, but it is equally, if not more important to recognize what is best for YOU. I propose that questioning your intentions and the philosophy of the practice will help you deepen and get the most out of yoga and help you challenge yourself further. Just because you like or love something, doesn’t mean you should blindly accept all of its mantras without question. To be the best form of yourself, you should question and reflect upon your motives. What can be better place for this deep inquiry than yoga?

Doing what is “best” vs. Striving towards your physical best

Today I had an amazing revelation about yoga and my practice. Lately I have been reading Iyengar’s Light on Yoga book and pondering the philosophy behind the practice. As you may have noticed in the last post, I have also been struggling with my healthy lifestyle intention. A lot of my internal dilemmas have been centering around the ideas of A- weight lost and B- catching up to my former physical yoga glory. It is challenging not to be able to move in and out of poses like I use to, however I think I have been missing the whole point.

So in class today, I asked my instructor Nicole for some heart opening poses (aka backbends) because I was feeling fatigued. Even since I restarted taking yoga, I noticed I was resisting going into backbends. In the past I was backbend queen, so it is interesting that I have not been pushing for more backbends. Anyhow, we get into backbending and all of the sudden I was pushing myself to go further and further into the poses; even to the point where I requested to stay and do one more variation. Normally I wouldn’t see this behavior as problematic. Hey if you are rocking a pose and want to take it further, by all means do. However, I was not very stable in those poses and I think I was pushing myself to reach the backbends I was able to do in the past (you know, when I was practicing EVERY day for months…). Seeing that I already have an injury and that I could have further injured myself, I have to wonder, what is the best for me physically and mentally?

I am in a yogi conundrum. On one hand, I want to physically work to my max; on the other, I want to heal my ankle and my wellbeing. I am starting to believe that those goals are not mutually exclusive but to attain both, my mental wellbeing needs to stress a little bit more. I feel like I go on and on about yoga and weight, but I seem to encounter a lot of blogs, sites, etc that promote yoga for weight lost. I don’t want to bitch and moan about this idea because I am sure there are a lot of great benefits to having yoga as part of your weight lost program ( is a great example of that), BUT I feel there is more to yoga than that. Again, if I just wanted to lose weight I would choose running, swimming, or fuck- even pilates. Yoga would have no meaning for me. I think a lot of the folks who use yoga in that way are missing the point. Weight lost isn’t the problem; it is WHY you want to lose weight to begin with. I have been struggling with body issues for the majority of my life, so it is not as “simple” as losing weight; I need to become accepting of who I am as a person, as a body. That is why I go to yoga.

My practice today reminded me that I am still holding myself back from that type of acceptance and that I need to put more LOVE into my practice. I am not looking for the quick fix; I want this shit to last.

Reaching for former glory

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Yoga is the method by which the restless mind is calmed and the energy directed into constructive channels"- B.K.S. Iyengar