Saturday, January 21, 2012

What Yoga Teaches Me

I really love Olivia who I do yoga with. She is a really cool lady and I really like working with her. Her style of teaching really works for me. She often says things during my lesson I file away that I want to think about later. Two things she has said have really stuck with me and I keep coming back to and felt like sharing.

The first one came about when we were working on my breathing. She said, "Just pay attention to it, become aware but do not "fix" it." She then said, "So often we try to fix the body, we get hung up on fixing it assuming something is wrong. What we should focus on is the body knows what it is supposed to do and be we should let it reveal itself." I knew I liked this when she said it. I knew it resonated with me but I was not sure why. I always assume something is wrong. If I do not like how clothing looks it's my bodies fault, not the cut of the dress, if I feel jiggly instead of accepting my curves I curse them. When I have steered the ship in the past I have not done well. I have messed with my body, restricting food, overdoing it, letting myself get spectacularly sick not taking care of myself, I could go on but why provoke an attack of the sads. When I stop "fixing" myself and just listen to what is being presented to me I make far better decisions. The body does know. When I feel under the weather maybe I should skip a workout, drink tea, and go to bed early. When I feel stressed out and want to eat some chocolate maybe I should just close my eyes and take a few deep breaths which actually lower my blood pressure instead of eating chocolate which does nothing but make me want more. I think more then anything there is nothing wrong with my body it's a part of me but not me and in strengthening my body image maybe I should think more about allowing it to reveal then be fixed.

Now, this little gem is completely brilliant and I really appreciate Olivia bringing it into my vocabulary and thinking. When I do forward fold, she gives me physical guidance weight shifted forward, grab opposite elbows and then she reminds me let go, and this is the brilliant gem, "let go of anything that does not serve you, reserve judgment, just let go of anything that does not serve you, think of it spilling out of the crown of your head letting go." I can not tell you enough how much I love this, but I am going to try. I want things to be good or bad. I want a clear picture to inform my decision making. This rarely happens and not just that it makes me lose sight of what I want. I had dinner with a friend and was telling him about the RGC situation and he sort of dolled out some hard truths. He was saying this isn't anything. He isn't making effort you have not seen him, you're hung up on a ghost. Now to his defense I think some other things were fueling his tough love, and I told him I'm not hung up I am filling you in on what's going on. Anyway I thought a lot about what he said and being hung up on a ghost. There is some truth to this. As I get to know RGC better through text and phone calls I see the person I met is not really who he is. I was attracted to his confidence and he's not really a confident person. He had a confident night or two. In thinking about this I wanted to sort of file away into not a huge pressing concern requiring my attention. I do not really have a situation to make a decision about you know? Well I sort of do because this does require time, energy, and attention. What I asked myself and find myself asking myself more is, how does this situation serve me or does it serve me? Well it feeds my ego a little bit, but I am not really looking to feed my ego this way and I am certainly not looking to serve it male attention. That is a dangerous slippery slope. Besides not looking to feed my ego, I am not looking for a digital pen pal. I want to date a guy. A guy who is not afraid to get past his nonsense and hang out with me. This situation regardless of the whys, the whats and what have you is not serving me. Now what to do about it...maybe Olivia will have the answer at next week's yoga lesson.


  1. Your yoga teacher sounds awesome! And exceptionally wise.

    Both of those theories are so helpful. I'm going to try and carry them with me this week for a calmer, more productive time.


  2. S.N.S. - Good on ya love. Calmer and more productive is always a good thing. Olivia is a wise one. I think she's older then me all the time because of this, but alas she's younger and really funny which keeps me from wisdom jealousy.

  3. The second paragraph reminds me of a great piece of advice that I took away from TLC's What Not To Wear, which is this: If the clothes don't fit, don't blame your body. BLAME THE CLOTHES.
    (Did I just admit to watching the show? Damnit. I want this stricken from the record!)

    And PS -- Olivia sounds like one smart cookie. I might have to take paragraph #3, highlight her quote, and glue it to my yoga mat.

  4. Uhm I totally get sucked into that show. I love how they distill tough things to explain about clothes and fit into simple language. I want her quote on my yoga mat, post its all over my apartment. That and treat yo self!

  5. That brings up an important question, which is: how has some clever typographer or graphic designer not come out yet with a great poster or print for "Treat Yo Self"?! I think this calls for a Google or Etsy search. I also like the idea of having this all over my apartment: