Starting Again

Starting Again

January was a fantastic birthday month! Thank you to all who participated. The month was highlighted with a massage, a fancy burlesque show, a visit with one of my favorite young men, a paint and pour party with my peeps (gotta have my wine), and ended with a quiet evening with close friends.

And oh yeah…I did a TEDx talk.

After the TEDx festivities. I don't even remember the last time I wore a pair of tights.

After the TEDx festivities. I don’t even remember the last time I wore a pair of tights.

TEDxColumbiaSC was definitely a highlight in my career. I got to share my adaptive yoga work with a sold out crowd of 400 people. Up to that date, the largest crowd I’d done a presentation for was 160…so quite the jump. Plus, I wasn’t on a stage with lights in my face…and it wasn’t being recorded for YouTube for internet eternity. (sigh) Somehow I got through it. Before you ask me how you can see the talk, I’ll let you all know when it’s on YouTube. It’ll be a few months. Good time to practice patience.

For my actual birthday party, I had one of those paint and pour parties. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body but I figured the wine would help quite a bit. The only thing that wasn’t fun was the limited amount of people I could invite. My last birthday party…let’s just say there was no limit. But we had a great time at Grapes & Gallery and I would definitely go back again. They made this non-artist enjoy the creating process….so did the bad jokes and Riesling.

Our creations! I'm happy I picked an abstract piece to paint ;)

Our creations! I’m happy I picked an abstract piece to paint ;)

 

Since I’ve pretty much been drinking and eating desserts since Thanksgiving, plus with some added stress from other parts of my life, I’ve decided to cleanse and detox for a month. I find cleansing to be an exercise in self-discipline and a very reflective time. When the world gets too big, narrowing it on purpose by closely monitoring all that you ingest can be very telling and therapeutic. I’ve loaded myself up on reading materials and closed the doors on the tv & stereo cabinet (exceptions being the news and the Olympics about to start up). I’m also participating in another Bikram yoga 30 day challenge. For those of you who missed it before, Bikram yoga is the king of all things hot yoga. The room is at least 105 degrees and the set posture sequence is accessible yet humbling. I did a modified challenge (30 classes in 60 days) this past summer and not only learned alot about myself but also about teaching hot yoga. So this challenge is the real deal – 30 classes in 30 days. It’ll be an intense month but you gotta apply work and heat directly for transformation to occur.

Someone asked me recently if yoga gets easier. Well, based solely on the description above, I’d say my practice is about to kick me in the ass. However, the answer really is multi-layered and ends with “it depends.” Like most things, you get out of your practice what you put into it. (And I’m not just talking about physical postures but that’s where most of us start…and sometimes end.) I’ve come to realize that people “get better” at yoga depending on their own personal reasons for engaging the practice. If you only want to sweat or stretch your hamstrings, yes, your practice may get easier with time. If you want to dabble in philosophy and the application to situations in your life, then my response is not a simple “yes it gets easier.” If you’re into meditation, I think what gets reflected back to you in meditation is simply the truth – what you will do with it is a whole other story.

For me personally, my practice hasn’t gotten easier simply because I engage my practice now very differently than I did as a college freshman. As I grow, my practice grows. As my practice grows, I grow. My set point keeps changing as life changes. My reasons for practice have changed over the years. Some days I’m better at sticking at it than others but I’ve never claimed to be anything but a human capable of mistakes. This cleanse allows me to start again. To take time for me so that I can be of better service to you my students, my volunteers, my teens, my friends, and my family. In other words, the people who teach me about living.

And you all teach my alot.

 

Comments

  1. What type of cleanse are you doing? Have you thought of starting a group pact? I have been in the same boat since Thanksgiving and really could use doing the same thing but seem to commit more to these things when others are in it with me.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday month. Good luck with your challenge!

    • To put it simple – one that I made up. I haven’t done a prescribed cleanse since I had a desk job. On average during the semester, I teach about 22 classes a week. That requires alot of calories so I have to make sure I’m eating. I’m taking in mainly fruits, veges, brown rice…and that’s just the food part. I’m limiting everything I ingest – media, people, etc. So no, I wouldn’t do a group pact at this point. I think decisions like this are very personal though my early cleanses were very successful with group support. Good luck!

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