backward dog…

Leading up to my wedding this past November I became diligent about practicing yoga for almost a full year.  Not only did I want to get my body in tip-top shape (um, can you say yoga arms?), but it provided me calmness and stillness during the hectic and intense wedding planning months.  I was consistently attending class 3x a week and by the time the big night rolled around I felt both physically and mentally strong.  I had even mastered headstand, could hold crow pose for 5 full breaths and was “close” to balancing forearm stand (*disclaimer* before starting yoga – I couldn’t even touch my toes!).  The meditation piece never quite took, but I’ll chalk that up to anxious genes and wedding planning neurosis.  At the rate I was going I didn’t think I would ever lose momentum (something that I’ve habitually done in the past with exercise).  How could I?  I resigned myself to a yoga infused life and it would be weaved into my weekly schedule.  I had gotten relatively good, was enjoying the benefits and had finally found a workout that I liked!

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 7.32.49 PM*photo from www.freepeople.com

Wellllllllll…..I hate to say this (publicly, no less!) but since back from the moon, I’ve only practiced a total of 3-4x (we got back November 23rd)!  Am I a cliché or what?  You know the story….girl gets in best shape of her life before wedding, declares she’s a changed woman and then falls back into old patterns once wedding is complete.  Please tell me I’m not alone here!  It feels like a huge disappointment and week over week I gear up and meticulously plan (and tell Dina) how I am carving out time for class (believe it or not every week that passes, I truly believe this will be the week), but I’m having some trouble.  I admit – I’ve lost a little bit of my yoga mojo.

While having dinner with my best friend Mika last night (who is in fact a phenomenal yoga instructor – find her teaching schedule/contact information here!) I was whining about how I fell off the wagon, need to get back to it and how I’m such a cliché’.  Her kind reply was this, “Sometimes cliché’s exist for a reason.  It has not been that long since your wedding and you’re probably still adjusting to post wedding life.  It happens!”  And with just those wise and understanding words (coming from a yoga teacher no less!), I decided two things right then and there:

1.  Be gentle on myself.  Sometimes we regress for a moment and that is ok.  We are still moving forward.  Breath, reboot and begin again!
2.  MAKE TIME FOR YOGA

132996995216604352_QU4qbTtF_c*photo from here

30 day (mental) cleanse…

I am not alone in feeling that January is an ideal time to cleanse. A new year, a clean slate, a time to regroup and “start over”. A ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ can mean many things to many different people. Maybe you are just breaking off from a relationship and beginning anew romantically. Or maybe you’ve just given up smoking. Perhaps you’ve decided that 2013 is the year to lose those pesky 5lbs that have monopolized your thoughts in 2012! Maybe you will start an exercise routine or resolve an argument that just went on too long. The examples are endless, but unquestionably personal. Starting this year (1/1/13) I decided to go alcohol free (end date TBD)! I’ve done this exercise two times before (for 30 days at a time) and although I admit original intentions were physical benefits (give body a break, clean out toxins, regain energy, sleep better and if lucky lose a few pounds), what I truly gained from the experiences were mental ones. The truth is this: if you are a person like myself who appreciates taking the edge off with a drink (or whatever your vice of choice is), eliminating it from your life helps put into perspective your relationship to that habit. It gives you time to assess why you engage in what you’re doing, what purpose does it serve whether positive or negative and how do you cope with and without it. You are welcomed with the opportunity to clear your head while simultaneously finding healthier substitutions to your normal cadence. Unhealthy habits take over all of us and it is only when you try and stop that you can make sense of the dependency. It is day 12 for me and I’m going strong. Last night we had a dinner party with friends and the temptation of a drink was there. I wanted it – trust me! Not a norm to refrain but a useful test to force me to be embrace the raw uninterrupted version of myself. And I had a blast! I encourage you to think about what your coping mechanisms are and further evaluate whether they are worth giving up. Even if it’s just a moment of walking away so that you gain insight, perspective and an awareness of yourself when you come back to it and another step towards strengthening your most important relationship – the one with yourself.

Would love to hear some of your methods of cleansing too. Don’t forget to share!

2013