The Long Road to Yoga

I have been trying to do yoga for years. If you are not an HSP with a raging inner critic/perfectionism issue you will not relate to this post. Fortunately, I am an HSP and working very hard on my inner critic/perfectionism issues so I completely relate to my own story. Ha! I also hold a lot of tension in my body, mine and a lot I take in from other people, still working on creating energentic boundaries, but that is a post for another time.

I used to hate yoga/yoga people. I wanted to punch them. They were all mentally calm and physically bendy and that was the opposite of me. Then I went to see a shrink (who diagnosed me with ADHD-PI, GAD and OCD) and we both agreed it would be best to try a non-pharmaceutical approach (I had a terrible reaction to anxiety meds in the past). He recommended Mindfulness training and daily yoga. The thought of going to a yoga class filled me with more anxiety than I had before, so I took a Mindfulness class in the winter/spring of 2012. I learned a ton in that class and was able to reduce my daily panic attacks to only twice a month. That was a win!

Mindfulness is hard, especially if you have a brain that doesn’t stop. I still prefer guided mediations, because they keep me meditating, but I can do shorter Mindfulness sessions (10 mins and under).

I started noticing some stiffness in my hips last summer, and my sister was appalled and how inflexible they were. I took an online beginner’s yoga class and the first week’s video was great, but by the second week I was out of my league, or so I felt. After our family crises last summer/fall, I never went back to trying yoga.

I went to a yoga class with my sister this spring, we thought it was beginner’s yoga, but it was actually senior’s yoga and it felt awesome. And there were some pretty bendy seniors there! After 1 class, I got too confident and decided to try a non-senior’s yoga and oh my God, I nearly died. All of those downward dogs were killing my wrists. So much moving and stretching and I just felt like a giant pile of failure.

After class, the sting of failure was still there, but I noticed something I hadn’t felt in a long time. My body felt looser, better, slightly pleasant. My mind felt blissfully calm. Woah.

So I have been slowly, and I do mean slowly, getting into actually doing yoga. I’ve been doing it at home with my Yoga For Inflexible People┬ádvd and it is starting place for me. There are plenty of routines, both long and short. I really enjoy the 30 minute back and hips routine. Props are encouraged including some with a chair that have made my hips so much happier. I find myself doing some of the poses several times a day, just because it feels good!

Now the woman in the dvd can still do way more than I can, and sometimes it seems like an impossibility that I can ever be as flexible as she is, but I am noticing big improvements after a few weeks. I am going to move an unused piece of furniture out of our bedroom tomorrow to create a spot to leave my mat down, so I am more tempted to do it morning and/or night. On the days I don’t do it, I actually physically crave it, and that my friends, is huge.

So that is my incredibly succinct process to thinking about yoga to actually practicing it, in 2 short years :)

Note: Every time I tried to type “yoga” in this post, I typed “yoda”. There is so much to read into with that …

Do you have any yoga dvds, apps or program recommendations for me? I have signed up for, and really looking forward to Practice: Embodying your Curvy + Beloved Body at the end of this month.

Comments

  1. Congratulations on getting back into yoga! I think it’s awesome that you’re making progress and actually craving it.

  2. I love Peggy Cappy’s Easy Yoga DVDs. I first saw her work on PBS and found that it worked well for me.

    Good for you to be working on the practice again and to creating a space to make it easy to do.

    • Thank you for the recommendation Marilyn I will check out those DVDs, I am all for gentle yoga for non-pretzels. :)

  3. Congratulations on your perseverance. Yoga is amazing for both body and mind. Love yourself where you’re at and go from there with it. Physically craving it is HUGE. The one piece of advice I have is to always be present when doing your practice. Focusing on the breath and the flow of your body, sinking into the postures rather than forcing yourself, brings you to the happy yoga place.

    You might also want to check out “The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Singer. Best description of the inner critic and how to deal with it that I’ve read.

    • Thank you Susan! I have just downloaded The Untethered Soul to my Kindle, it looks fantastic. I do have issues being present with my yoga, as I have a very active mind, but I am trying and think I am getting better :)

  4. Ahhh, I just wrote a post myself on yoga :) I am so glad you have found something that works for you. For whatever reason, I find myself in the most non-judgmental place I have found in my life when I am on my mat. I may observe something but I do so without judgement and so love how I feel after a class.

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