Getting Back On My Mat
By Shari Dvorak
Yesterday was a crazy busy day at work, I was trying to wrap up some system support issues, trying to get back to all of the testing I really need to get through, and of course there were meetings scattered in between everything.
But it was also Wednesday. Thank goodness. Because on Wednesdays I make time for yoga.
One of my best friends, also one of my longest enduring friendships (see how I didn't call either of us old?) is a friend who happens to be a yoga teacher. She was a part of bringing the first "hot yoga" studio here to the Madison area, and she convinced me to try her insanely warm yoga classes. I loved it. I didn't die! I didn't even pass out from the heat. Although, I was admittedly terrible at pretty much all of the hot yoga poses, there are a lot of them, and they're pretty twisty. But somehow I always felt amazing after her classes.
And then work got busy, my schedule was hard to work around, and I stopped taking classes. For some reason I stopped doing yoga very often, even on my own. How crazy is that.
Once the pandemic lock-down began a year ago however, my teacher friend began offering classes online. I had a chance to do yoga again! From my own living room! And the timing could not have been more perfect. My anxiety over the virus, politics, the crazy world, keeping up with my job, while adjusting to working from home... alone... it was a lot.
Just breathe... So yeah, my teacher reminds me to just breathe. To focus on my breath. To slow down my breath. She reminds me to connect my breath with the movements of my body.
So there I was on Wednesday, on my crazy busy, spazzy day, I signed out from work, and sat down on my yoga mat. My head was everywhere. Monkey mind running amok, and all of that. We began the class, but I was distracted. Cats climbing all over me (they are very helpful when I'm sitting on the floor), and a billion thoughts spinning through me about all of the things I should be doing.
And then her voice got through the noise. And I was listening. And breathing. And slowing myself down. Moving with the breath. Focused on her voice, focused on movement, focused on how my body was responding to gently unclenching me from my "hunched over laptop" pose. Some gentle twists, a few minutes of balance, all sorts of gentle stretches, hearing my back and shoulders snap, crackle, and pop as they loosened themselves up.
I wasn't into it, when I sat down on my mat. I was everywhere but there. But just making myself sit, and then start to go through the motions, and then without realizing it, I had stopped spinning, my mind was quieting down, and I felt so much better.
I don't know why I don't do that every day, either in her class, or on my own, because yoga is the one thing that always feels good.
Anyway, go try to do something good for yourself. Take a yoga class, it really is for everyone and every body. Do something active, it doesn't have to be hard. And don't forget to breathe.