Monday, October 3, 2016

Tired Yogis Are Enough

Today I'm grateful for yoga. September marked my fourth year practicing and over those years, my experience of yoga has been varied. I started going once or twice a week and peaked at four times per week before I understood my body was struggling with adrenal fatigue. After that, I tried to take it easy because all-out workouts aren't recommended. I'm not great at taking it easy, so I spent the whole hour reprimanding myself for stressing my body. Didn't I care?! I finally cried and told my husband I better not go anymore, if I couldn't control myself. 

That was a disaster. I missed it. If you ever hear people say yoga is so much more than exercise, it is. The mindset they teach (and you practice) is different from the aggressive slogans you see on workout gear these days. Teachers remind you to stay positive in your thoughts. Rather than saying, "I can't do that crazy pose!" you say, "Maybe I can." You practice staying open to possibilities instead of limiting yourself. You find out when you don't talk yourself down, you're capable of much more than you ever knew. Who doesn't need a focused hour to practice being positive in their thoughts? I sure did do. 

After my hiatus I went back, sure whatever toll yoga took on my body was better than how I felt without it. I rolled my mat out in the back row, also sure I'd lost much in my time away. When I took a crow pose, I was surprised by this thought: I'm strong. I wasn't sure I'd thought that since I stepped off my mat. No wonder I was responding to challenges with an automatic, "I can't. I'm sick." It was good to be back. 

Months later I hurt my wrist and couldn't do anything on my hands. I still went to yoga, but it was tough. I did physical therapy and they determined it would need surgery. I wasn't ready for that, and had gotten strong enough to do yoga, so I practiced.

Through the summer and bathroom renovation, I had to choose where to spend my energy and I've averaged a yoga class per week. I'm still averaging that but then, the bathroom's not done yet either. I try to take into account how everything has changed from my diet to my job, and understand I can't do it all. I just struggle to feel like a legit yogi when my practice is so sporadic. I sometimes feel like a wanna be. 

So in yoga this morning, I noticed something. I didn't have cute hair and had thrown on clothes I wore another day when I thought I'd make it to yoga. Barely being able to get there has shifted my focus. I care less what people think. I say in my mind, I'm here to yoga, which means, I'm here because I need this and I will come even if I can't look cute in the process. I feel a single focus. And my need.

So while I lay on my mat, I had a thought. Maybe my practice is growing in a different way right now. Not in the my-abs-are-stronger-than-they've-ever-been way, but in the I-know-why-I'm-here way. 

I'm thankful I'm a yogi. 

I'm thankful for all my teachers and their teachers and their teachers. 

I'm thankful that tired yogis are also enough. 


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