Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 1 of 40.....or How To Know When You Really Aren't Trying.....

Well, I did it. I signed up for the new 40 Day Yoga Challenge at Blissful Yoga.  I was pretty nervous about doing this because I already know how hard it is after completing it last fall.  But I have a few friends who wanted to do it with me, and ain't peer pressure a bitch?
I seriously feel like my hands look like this.
So I was off to Candice's Bliss Flow class.  And I found that my muscle had some memory, but mostly it remember how to be lazy.  My boat pose was abysmal, I could barely hold it for 15 seconds, my side plank had a knee to the ground (which was like a knee to the groin of my ego).  I can't lift my entire body off the ground with only my ridiculously short monkey arms that end in freakishly small hands.
After the last 40 day challenge, I continued to go to yoga at least twice a week and started running, but lately, I've had to admit, at times, I am phoning it in.  I'm not pushing myself as hard as I could.  When I first started yoga, I would just drip sweat on the mat (and not in a hot yoga class!).  Lately, I'll break a little sweat, but nothing like last year.  When I run, I'm running longer all the time, but I'm still doing walk/run intervals and I'm not pushing myself to make the intervals longer.
So even though I'm putting in the time, I know in my heart that I'm not putting in the maximum effort.  When I'm running I often think of something Joan Didion wrote in her essay, "On Self-Respect", " Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count for nothing in that well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself; no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions. One shuffles flashily but in vain through ones’ marked cards the kindness done for the wrong reason, the apparent triumph which involved no real effort, the seemingly heroic act into which one had been shamed. The dismal fact is that self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others – who are, after all, deceived easily enough; has nothing to do with reputation, which, as Rhett Butler told Scarlett O’Hara, is something people with courage can do without."
When people tell me they are exercising because I've inspired them, it makes me feel like a fraud.  I'm flattered but all I can think of is, "I'm no one to emulate, I'm not trying as hard as I should.".  But I have three people doing the yoga challenge with me, and I have people that are running the C25K and mention me as inspiration.  So when do you stop feeling like you aren't good enough to inspire?
This self-criticizing voice in my head is one reason that I love ending yoga class in Corpse Pose. It's almost like a little period of Happily Ever After.  It silences the voice that says, "you aren't working hard enough, you aren't inspiring, you aren't making progress.". It allows you disconnect from the reality of how difficult the class was and think, "oh, that wasn't so bad, I'm pretty relaxed." ("until next time, sucka!" thinks every yoga teacher as they watch you limp out of class).
Corpse pose helps balance your body, your ego and your treacherous mind. I like it when you are reminded to thank your body for all that it did for you today.  A healthy body that can even attempt yoga is truly a gift to be thankful for.
And since I didn't blog Sunday, this weeks nails are OPI "My Private Jet", a gift from my sweet sister, Wendy, who understands that nail polish is like a baby blanket to my soul.

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