I do yoga three times a week right now. I started yoga at 10 when my father deemed that we as a family would wake at 5 a.m. and practice the routines from this book in the semi-dawn light. We groaned and bitched but he laid a foundation for me, the foundation of life long health. I no longer dance en pointe, no longer can do a back flip, no longer have the luxury of accessing modern dance classes always based in L.A. But I can still practice yoga.
I practice yoga to heal, I practice to challenge, I practice for both internal and external strength.
It is a struggle sometimes to make myself go, the Tuesday and Thursday classes are later in the evening, post bed time routine. But for this year, I have made the commitment to be committed when I am there.
I get really discouraged sometimes. I practice in a level 2/3 class, the same instructor for four years. I watch as she advances in her practice and sometimes I feel so stagnant. I see the girl next to me that weighs 100# soaking wet flow through class. I watch my bendy advanced neighbors with a combination of envy and awe. I know I am not supposed to, but whatever, I am human. Some of them achieve every position, every arm balance, every bind, as I struggle to wrap arms, clasp hands, ignore folds of skin preventing full bends. I know it is not yoga mind, but sometimes I just want to cry. I slip into the mind set that I cannot improve inside this body that I have.
I think I know why my practice stalled. It is because I did. I have made other things more important than the time I am spending there. I allot the time reluctantly, gauging the moments until class ends, leaving a bit early to reclaim non-yoga time. But I want to tell myself, no more. I will be present and whole for class, otherwise, what exactly is the point?
My body is so very different now, so much less accessible in so many ways. I do not want this to be my relationship with it, I do not want to feel betrayed by it. Part of me feels like I could never take a stage again, present it in any way that others could actually see it. Believe me, this is an ongoing thing with me and my body and I know I am not alone.
I am writing this down to see it in print. A reminder that I need to be a part of it and accept myself, body parts and all. And that yoga can be a wonderful path to get there and that it really won’t kill me if I can never fully achieve Marichyasana. Well, it won’t kill me, but I think I do have to make a goal to lose enough weight to get back to that pose.
And to give myself maybe a bit more kindness and acceptance for the things I can do. Like bend.
I started taking a few self portraits in yoga positions and I am finding it a really good practice. It helps me to 'see' where my body is in the poses, sometimes it is very different than I 'feel' in the poses. I am thinking I will take pictures regularly to remind and record my progress (or lack there of) in the next few months. Maybe not in Chucks and jeans from now on....a little limiting to flexibility.