Yoga // The best of times, the worst of times

I’m at the library right now, earbuds in, joggers on, more or less forcing myself to write this.

Prior to this I was lying in bed with a pint of cado ice cream, (ice cream made from avocados. highly recommend) watching pride and prejudice. I’m all about self care, but I don’t feel good when I’m not being productive. I’m one of those people that wakes up early to get all my work done so that I can enjoy the night out. Otherwise, I’d spend the time feeling guilty about the work  I had yet to do. So, despite my lack of motivation, I drove myself here.

I did check one thing off my to-do list today; I organized my workout clothes drawer. I love folding and sorting.  I love working out. It was a good time.

Lately I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I don’t want to say I’m down, because I’m not. I don’t know exactly how to word it. I feel like my intuition is trying to tell me something but I haven’t uncovered what it is yet. I feel like I need to go to yoga.

I can always tell how my mental state is doing by how I’m feeling at yoga. When my stress is relatively low, I love every minute of yoga. The class flies by. I feel confident and strong when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror during a chaturanga (spelling?).  When things are not going so great, classes aren’t so fun. They go on forevvvvvvvvvver. I feel clumsy during vinyasa flows.

As I was reminded of at hot yoga last night, to get through things, you have to face them and breathe through them. Obstacles don’t go away by avoiding them. So, yoga is the epitome of “it gets worse before it gets better”. I notice this especially during yin classes. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the most chill of all the classes- physically. It’s a floor based practice, focused on flexibility, where you’ll spend extended periods of time holding each pose. And I mean extended periods of time- sometimes, upwards of five minutes. This provides ample time for your mind to wander. And if you’re into the spiritual side of things, the stretching itself releases a lot of feelings and thoughts we hold on to.

That’s why I go to a Yin class every week. It’s not always enjoyable or relaxing, but I know after the class, or after 10 classes, I’ll have realized and worked through whatever it is I’ve been hung up on.

I also go to a hot vinyasa class once a week. I won’t try to justify scientifically the “detox benefits” of it. The class I go to isn’t even that hot; the room maybe gets to 80 degrees. I love the flow of it though. A new teacher runs it now and I really resonate with her. It’s kind of the opposite of yin for me. I still face a lot of emotions during it, yeah, but it shows me that I can function and find grounding even when my mind is going a hundred miles a minute. From a fitness perspective, I like that it challenges my balance. The balancing aspect is rather symbolic for me, too. Hot yoga lets me feel my feelings, while keeping me from getting smothered by them.

If you’re feeling off, go to yoga. Be patient and let yourself open up to it. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people crying at class. It’s a vulnerable practice for sure. You’ll be so much stronger for it though.

In case you don’t want to front the cost of a class, or don’t have a studio near by, Yoga with Adriene is great. Here ya go .

Emily

 

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