I spend a great deal of my existence in my own head completely disconnected from my body.

Every week when I lay down on my therapist’s couch, as my body sinks into the leather, an audible sigh escapes my mouth. I rarely sit still. I long to be the kind of person who is mind/body connected, who can relax and be still and yet I feel like achieving it is my own personal Mt. Everest. Totally fucking daunting.

With my intention to release and let go in the coming year I thought about what activities could help me on this path. I immediately thought of yoga. The first time I ever took a yoga class was in college at UC Santa Cruz. I remember feeling so alive and invigorated after class that I walked from campus all the way home in the rain. It must have been over a mile and I did not care because I felt so in my body which was a foreign feeling for me. I want that feeling of being in my body back. I want to feel centered. I want to have time in the week where my main objective is to quiet my mind and focus. Do you get that? Me! The chick that is wound up too tight, who is always trying to outpace life, who does not know how to relax. She wants to do this. Willingly.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. The second is asking for help.

I’ve gone to two classes so far and ohmygodIloveitsomuch. Seriously, yoga completes me. I feel at ease and like I belong. Even when I am nervous because I want to get a good spot in the crowded room or I am worried that I am bending the wrong way. Even when my mind drifts to painful things or to do lists or is future tripping. I want to be there. So I gently tell myself, “Sizz, be here now.” And I am. Sometimes I might have to remind myself of that 20 times in an hour and a half. It’s okay. I’m learning.

The teacher said something in the first class that has stuck with me. We were stretching into a rather difficult pose for a basics class- where you are extending one leg backwards and up while reaching out the opposite arm, focusing on your core to hold you and breathing deeply. Many of us were wobbling and losing our footing. She said (paraphrasing), “It is okay if you wobble. That is just your body learning the pose.” Maybe it sounds simplistic but I needed to hear it because, emotionally speaking, I feel like I am wobbling all over the place. But maybe, like with learning new yoga poses, when my emotions waver, they are just learning how to be stronger, more centered, more in line with my heart.

It’s not failure.

It’s practice.


33 thoughts on “Namaste

  1. I’m totally trying this. Not yoga, per-say, but the “goal” or “practice” this year. IT’s too easy to fail these days. I fail all the time. But the one place I don’t want to give up on is.. well.. me. I know, it’s cheesy, but the whole “centered” thing? Sort of not a right-now achievement.

  2. Yeah, that’s one thing I don’t like about Wii Fit’s yoga poses: it kind of harasses you if you’re not steady. But it also treats me like a fucking rock star when I do warrior, so I’m willing to cut it some slack. 😉

    What I really like from a short, freebie iTunes yoga thing they had one week is that the instructor in talking about tree pose says it’s ok if you’re not totally steady, trees sway.

    I’m hoping to do more yoga this year too.

  3. Love this post! So proud of you!

    Yoga is such an awesome way to relax, be yourself and spend time away from the real world.

    Also, I miss you. I was thinking about it earlier today. Mayhaps a Seattle trip is in order?

  4. In my classes they talk a lot about it being a practice. That you never stop learning, and that even teachers aren’t perfect – they still practice every time they do yoga.

    I’ve had mixed results with different teachers, but I feel the same way – yoga brings me back to myself like few other things do. Thanks for tweeting about your class last week and getting my butt moving to mine.

    Also – that Colin Hay song, “Beautiful World” says “Just be here now” in it and I love that part.

  5. What a great post. You should be a yoga spokesperson – not being a smartass, this just really made me want to take a class. And the wobble quote is great. We all have to wobble a bit before we become stronger!

    I would love to feel that mind body connection and be more at ease. Love it.

  6. I love this post, Sizzle. I have an over-active mind and always find yoga to be this calming, peaceful thing. Even if it only lasts 60-90 minutes. Even if it’s only a couple times a week (or month!). I realize the lasting benefits from the lessons learned in class. Here’s hoping yoga is something you can continue doing, continue learning from and continue enjoying!

  7. Very cool… I’m so glad you are enjoying it. Everyone needs something. Me? Just alone time does it for me. That damn OCS kicking in… lol.

  8. Oh Sizzle– ILY.
    The “learning to pose” phrasing is really, really great. When we are wobbling(in lots of ways!) we get afraid. Sometimes we forget, we have to wobble before we can get the hang of it, and the freedom enough to conquer it. We get afraid to wobble, and sometime get afraid to go-there to the places that make us feel out of control. We need to learn, nothing bad will happen. Go ahead, and wobble, and let your body figure it out! yeah. *hearts this*

    I have been afraid lately of many of these things that make me feel out of control. I think I needed this reminder. Also, to not be afraid to just be in my body and experience life. I am MUCH better at it than I used to be! You will be too. Mind-Body connection, it just takes time and trust. (hugs)

  9. I totally hear you. Oh, how I hear you. I’ve been back to practicing regularly for about 7 months now and I wonder what the heck I was doing before this. I am so much quieter in mind and body with yoga back in my life. I love that you’re taking this time for you, and that it’s something that can match your intention. Good for you! Now we must add to the list: Go to a yoga class together one day! 🙂

  10. This is something I’ve been working on in the last year too – to be more present, more here in my body, less up in my head. I want to get back into Yoga – it does such amazing things for you, body and soul.

    Great quote from your teacher. Love it.

  11. What a great post. I can completely relate to your disconnected from your body thoughts, and need to find a way to fix that. I didn’t really like yoga but I may try it again after reading this because you make it sound so perfect to achieve what I want.

  12. I’ll be taking my first yoga class (ever – I swear) this weekend and after reading this, I’m looking forward to it even more now.

  13. I’m the same way. I have a hard time quieting my mind so I’ve started going back to yoga. it’s a little easier for me than just trying to meditate because at least I’m moving. Good luck with your practice!

  14. Ahhh, my boyfriend and I are returning to hot yoga starting Thursday and this just made me even more excited. I CANNOT do one thing at once, and yoga forces me to. Love this and am so glad it’s workin’ for ya!

  15. I could not agree more. It is the perfect way to get out of your head, into your heart and open your mind. It’s the best mix of energizing, relaxing and fine-tuning your whole being. I’m so glad you are going again!

  16. I took a yoga class for the first time about 7 years ago and it seriously changed my life. I have been slacking lately, doing poses at home, but not really practicing. I think having an instructor makes a HUGE difference — it’s just not the same doing it alone or with a DVD.

    Yay for you!

  17. “But maybe, like with learning new yoga poses, when my emotions waver, they are just learning how to be stronger, more centered, more in line with my heart.” I love this. And believe it. Love you, too.

    (Oh! And after all of this yoga talk I woke up this morning with a Groupon for 67% a month of yoga in my inbox! I think it’s a sign.)

  18. i love the yoga too! they show a great yoga program on Oxygen with Steve Ross at 6am in Seattle. i love him and the yoga is inspiring, difficult and uplifting.

    it is a great way to start the day.

  19. “that’s just your body learning the pose.” that’s terrific and i’ll try to remember it. i often look at trying and not succeeding as failure, instead of just learning. a reason why i’m reluctant to try new things.

    i just started yoga last week and i love it too! you’re so right that you’re completely in your body when you do it, aware of every muscle. with running, i actually try to forget my body.

    plus yoga kicks my butt! apparently i never use my triceps, which were like spaghetti on fire last week.

  20. I’d love to get into a yoga class and you make me want to…it’s not in the finances right now, perhaps a b’day wish though…hmmm.

    I really like the idea of the Bikram(?) yoga, I think that’s the one where they crank the heat and you just sweat it out….love that.

    I actually just wanted you to know that I NEVER sit still either, I am always fidgeting. It drives my hubs bananas, but I saw an article last week that said people like me who always twitch a foot or twirl hair or something burn like an average of 250 more calories a day…so I’ll take it!

    Keep on keeping on….love the post.

  21. Ah this is so beautiful. As soon as you stop wobbling there, you’ll have to find another pose you wobble in. I take (and teach) an all levels class – I love that no matter where you are at there is always more to go. I love watching people struggle with stuff I am not at yet, and think that the whole deal is to find your wobbly place and watch it move to different areas the more you practice. In teaching, I think part of my purpose in balance poses is to make absolutely everyone fall over and hopefully smile about it.

  22. Love this post. I love that you walked home in the rain after that first class. It’s true how you just feel radiant after a good yoga session. Mr. W and I recently picked it up again and although neither of us could walk the day after our first class, we both agreed that we’d like to make this a weekly practice. It’s so invigorating. I look forward to hearing more of your yogie tales.

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