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namas-day: 40 days week two - vitality

Posted Apr 16 2013 10:04pm

I had intended to write this post Monday night, but the tragedy at the Boston Marathon made it seem so inconsequential. Even though I haven't run a marathon and likely never will, the events really shook me as a runner and a supporter of my many marathon-running friends. I've been in a funk since yesterday afternoon and haven't quite made it to the other side at this point. I keep thinking about how impermanent our individual marks on the world are; it's hard not to immediately fall somber in that thought cycle. I'm hoping that thinking hard about my yoga practice will allow me to get back in touch with my me-ness and my own inner vitality; if we are so impermanent, I should be inspired to live a fuller, more joyful life every day.

I wore a race shirt today in solidarity with Boston.

This theme is closely tied to the "breakthrough" I established for my 40 Days program.  While, of course, I am participating in part for the physical benefits of a rigorous yoga practice, we have been encouraged to dig deeper and figure out a personal breakthrough to which yoga could lead us. My focus will be on stillness, defined through non-reactivity. I find that I spend a lot of precious moments letting my mood (and even entire days or weeks) be taken hostage by events out of my control. Of course, there are times when you can do little to change your feelings, such as in the wake of tragedy. But it's important to recognize the difference between true emotion and simple overreaction, and how to harness your negative energy into something more productive.

Week Two was tough for me. I often felt tired and like I didn't want to practice. But I got on the mat allowed yoga to do what it does best: center and ground me. Unfortunately, I felt the opposite of vitality  most of the time: my body was struggling with adapting to a daily yoga practice and man, did I feel it. But I'm already feeling the difference in my body at the beginning of Week Three.

On the mat, I felt like I had some mental breakthroughs during Week Two. I've accepted that I'm awesome at some difficult poses and suck at some simple ones. I laugh when I fall out of Half Moon over and over, and most importantly, I steady myself and try again.

I'd like to take that determination and stillness off the mat. After each rejection letter and disappointment (of which, sadly, there have been many, thanks to our current job market), I hope to steady myself, make any necessary corrections, and try again.

Realizations like this are why I push my loved ones -- often times to a neurotic extent -- to try out yoga. The benefits are so much more than physical.

Until soon, friends. Be safe and hug everyone you love. 
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