Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yoga Tipping Point

Back when I lived in Boston I set the rather arbitrary goal for myself of getting "good" at yoga.  Retrospectively, being far more into yoga then I ever was living there I don't quite know what that means.  I know I envisioned myself leaping into headstands and contortions easily-without even mussing my hair-but really, what the heck does "get good" even mean?  In the past year or so I went to yoga to be left alone and stretch out my body that was surrendering to fatigue, arthritis, and give my brain a break from a pretty monotonous stream of "to-do's" and I liked it.  I liked the teachers-even when they attached themselves to my back in a lemur like fashion to push me into a pose that I resisted, I liked the light/bright studio, I liked the quiet, and I liked the idea of being in a "fitness" practice that pretty much had no peak-there would always be a new challenge.    

Of course I say that and it makes it all sound very glowy and happy-there were many classes I dragged myself too and spent the bulk of the class counting down the minutes and feeling annoyed about the sing song wood nymph like voice the instructor was using in an attempt to seem all transcendent and superior.  And don't even get me going over my growing hatred of the heat and mass pile of sweat soaked towels taking over my laundry area.  

One day though I was in a class with a teacher I love/hate.  I love her energy and how she'll segway while forcing us to hold a pose for what feels like an excruciating amount of time on some tidbit of yoga philosophy.  She went into a rather long explanation about chakras while I was holding Warrior 2, describing how the ego (green) is located around our mid back and its where we store things like jealousy/expectations, etc-and if thats something you struggle with you'll have fears and difficulties with backbends.  As she went through the chakras and the poses meant to challenge them or release the negativity I was floored by how issues I didn't have (like supporting myself) and the relationship with the ease I could move into those poses versus my obvious struggles and how they correlated to poses I loathed.  

I approached the instructor after class to tell her enthusiastically how much the dialogue had been in my wheelhouse.  After discussing mind body connection for awhile she suggested I go to teacher training.  I scoffed it off stating I was too new, and she scoffed right back saying my energy and heart were in the right place and that she would be teaching the next round.

I considered it, and thought, "No, too busy with Corporate America."

Then I was lying by the pool and I looked over to see an abandoned book lying next to me-all about chakras.  I glared up at the universe, then spent about 3 hours reading the book cover to cover because I was fascinated.

I thought a bit more about it wondering if the high cost was a money grubbing scam.

While I was doing that internet search I flipped on the television to see an interview with a yoga master on how yoga helped him in his search for spirituality.  

I caught myself complaining about how bored I was and how much I wanted to learn something new that could actually impact other people.

And then I thought, whats the harm?  Worst case is I spend a lot of money to take a 200 hour course and am bored but learn a lot. Best case is I become a teaching guru-even if I wind up somewhere in the middle I'm ahead.

I signed up. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Farewell to Moderation

Awhile ago I went on a "clean" eating purge that lasted about 60 days.  No alcohol, no caffeine, pretty regimented meal times, and minimal processed food.  I ate an obscene amount of greek yogurt in an effort to hit a protein quota.  I felt amazing!  I didn't loose any weight, but I dropped 2 jean sizes, had insane amounts of energy, was sleeping better and had upper arms that even Jillian Michaels wouldn't criticize.  

In order to do this though, I became something of a social pariah.  I went to work, I went to yoga, I went to Pilates, I hung out with myself and Ari-and I had no real issues sticking to my cleanse. In the midst of my body high I felt a little lonely and decided that as my cleanse ended I was going to recommit to my social circle, meet new people, and by god I was going to date.  Do you know what happens when you're socializing with people in their late twenties and early thirties?  You stay up late, you end up having lots of drinks ordered for you-which you drink so as not to be a lame ass, and you find indulgences smothered in cheese become the norm and the sexy jeans you were parading around in smugly that helped you meet new people no longer fit.  

My sister and common sense parroted that I needed to be more moderate.

You know what?  I suck at moderation.  SUCK.  I'm too much of a perfectionist to quite literally work "cheats" into a plan, and to be honest once I have a cheat I usually can't stop until its gone (says the empty quart of ice cream in the bottom of my trash can).  I want things to be "right" and I will work my ass off to get them there.  When I was unhappy at work I sulked for awhile (albeit epically), then got off my ass and lobbied hard for a new role and a new manager.  After about a year of not dating anyone in Austin, I acquiesced to several requests and got on a dating site with an open mind telling myself the worse that would happen is I would say "No thanks."  I don't do things half way-I do full stops, consider the situation for awhile, and then go all in.  

Its how I work.  

I read an article on Gretchen Rubin's (author of the Happiness Project) website commenting that for her abstinence is easier than moderation-and it struck a chord.  Yes!  Abstinence vs. Moderation-there are tons of us out there preferring to go all in rather then gently inching into the cold water.

That said, I elected to sign up for a Teacher Training Immersion at CorePower Yoga, the reasoning in a post to follow.  I am about to find out that the opposite of moderation is.  12 hours of classroom time and 5-7 hours of practice (actual yoga classes) for the next 8 weeks coupled with a cleanse.  That's almost 20 hours of yoga a week for 2 months.  Even as someone who loves going all in-I'm completely daunted and also completely accepting that for me, this is how I lean and learn into my passions.  

Fare thee well moderation, I'll see you on the other sid