24 Days of Grateful [Days 12 + 13]
I am grateful for yoga. I wrote about discovering how relaxing it can be a while back, and it has continued to help me in the past few months. Through a lot of life changes, I have had less and less time to devote to working out, and that affected me physically and emotionally. Honestly, the physical part doesn’t bother me that much — I have never worked out to be healthy and fit; I always do it to calm down and clear my head. So the lack of my therapy during a stressful time was not ideal. Thankfully, I discovered that yoga can feel the same way as intense cardio does — mentally, I mean. The poses force you to focus on how your body feels instead of how your mind is doing, and breathing flushes all of your thoughts away to a place that isn’t overwhelming. Even if I do that for just ten minutes, my day starts better. My attitude changes and problems seem a lot less monumental than they did before I stopped thinking about them.
This weekend was another busy one for me. I woke up today and thought, “I need to get on the mat.” This was an exciting revelation. For my entire life, I have always needed to go running and lose my breath to feel better. Finally, I found something that does the same thing and is a lot better for me physically (case in point, yoga does not cause stress fractures and actually helps plantar fasciitis). Plus I can do it by myself in my apartment and it costs zero dollars.
I like Yoga with Adriene because she has videos for all kinds of moods and ailments, and they range anywhere from ten minutes long to 45 minutes. She makes it easy to begin and is in no way judgmental in her teaching methods, which is important for a practice that it is nearly impossible to perfect. I don’t look in a mirror when I do yoga — I just look at her and learn.
I am always wobbly on the mat and use pillows to prop the parts of my body that won’t fold right. I love sun salutation, pigeon pose, tree pose, warrior, child’s pose, and upward dog. Downward dog, too, although I am still learning to appreciate that one. My body has a long way to go before it is stretched out and flexible the way it used to be when I was a dancer, but the nice thing about yoga is you don’t have to be good at it to enjoy it. I guess that is true of a lot of things.
I’m grateful for doing it, and I’m grateful for not being good at it. Because for once, I am doing something not because I want to be good. Just because I want to do it.