January 28, 2015

Learning well.

At the instructor's prompting I folded my left leg in and tucked it over my right. My feet wriggled into a comfortable position under my thighs as I silently thanked myself for bringing a thicker mat. Last week's yoga mat was too thin and I ended up with pins and needles in my butt.

Straightening my back and closing my eyes, I brought my hands to my knees and let my breath relax. My stomach rounded, pushing the waistband of my leggings out and drawing it back in over and again at a slow rhythmic pace.

"I want you to set your intention for this practice..."

My mind kicked into high gear. Yes! Intention! I can do this. It immediately launched into a rapid fire list of everything I wanted yoga to accomplish for me. Loose hamstrings! Open hips! Yoga arms! Zen! 

A quiet voice piped up from behind the clamour and whispered. You're here to learn. Not to be an expert. Not to accomplish everything. Just to learn.

As I moved into the first pose, the mental noise mellowed to a din and I focused on rolling my elbows in and moving my feet out. Paying attention to how far I can go without going too far. Learning to hold back and achieve a better outcome instead of pushing through pain to accomplish everything.

Because it's not about being an expert or getting it perfect. It's about learning.

January 27, 2015

January 07, 2015

Running wild and starting fresh


I'm a sucker for fresh starts. Any opportunity that can be turned into a chance for one, I'll take it and run with it. And by running with it, I mean you'll find me waving it wildly over my head and careening in a haphazard near-sprint while getting red in the face.

I get really, really into them.

All of the optimistic hope and sheer potential in fresh starts get me excited. I love grappling with and reflecting on the past, sifting through it to see what's coming with me and what's staying behind.  I love looking forward. This is the fun part. The part where you really can't see anything but your imagination can run wild with all the possibilities.

This year it all feels a little different.

There are a few things I'd like to accomplish. A couple others are better filed away as traits I'd like to foster and fashion. Like continuing to be okay with leaving my cellphone at home or in another room. Or focusing all of my attention on whatever I'm doing in that moment rather than letting my mind careen wildly. I'm practicing worrying a little less and going with the flow a little more. Embracing what I love and acknowledging it without shame. Adding more of the good stuff in with the exception of it squeezing the less-than-stellar stuff out.

It's less of a list and more of a lifestyle. One with a little extra room in the sides.