This year has been an interesting one. Interesting is probably the only word that really describes all of the highs and all of the lows that I have experienced. There has been a whole lot of loss and a surprisingly balance of gains. Some moments have been traumatic and depressing, while others have been wonderful and amazing.
Truthfully, I am still processing everything, so I’m not here to write about it. Instead, I’m here to tell you that my body is fucked up. I’m here to tell you that my practice has suffered. I’m here to tell you that I have contemplated quitting teaching yoga all together on several occasions this year.
There was a period of time this year where I didn’t practice at all for over two months. My body didn’t allow it, and my mind missed it. When I finally got back to my mat after my time away, it was like my first time ever practicing. My hamstrings and calves felt as tight as they did during my first year of practicing yoga. My upper body and core felt weak. And my bandhas? Well, let’s just say they took a long term vacation and haven’t returned yet.
It’s been an interesting experience because I was reminded of what it’s like to be a beginner. I had made such great progress in my yoga practice that I almost forgot what it was like to feel lost and weak. I almost forgot what it was like to still be learning. Now, I feel like I am relearning everything. My teacher says that my practice will likely end up stronger than ever because of the time away from my mat, so I guess I'll eventually feel that way, but so far, it's mostly been a frustrating experience.
I was on a roll for a while recording videos of my yoga practice on a (mostly) weekly basis, and have now been on a hiatus from this routine for several months. At first, there was literally no practice to record, but as of lately, I have been feeling weird about recording my practice. I think I mostly didn’t even want to see what it looked like; I just wanted to practice and be in my body. Then, the other day I thought I should record myself just to see how I’m doing. I thought, “I can’t look that bad.” And guess what? I don’t look that bad. I look great. I’m capable of more than I know. I’m still building strength and flexibility, but right now, I am just happy to move. I am happy to get on my mat and breathe.
When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening.
Every class I have taught lately has been super focused on breathing, and I think it’s because some days it feels like that’s all I can do. Some days breathing is my yoga practice. Some days meditation is my yoga practice. Some days a long nap is my yoga practice. I’m trying my best to give my body and my mind what it needs. I’m trying really hard to listen to (and not ignore) my intuition.
I’m trying really hard to practice what I preach. I regularly tell my students that it doesn’t matter what the poses look like -- because I really believe that. That we want to keep the practice feeling safe. That the poses will look slightly different from person to person.
In yoga, we practice this idea of non-attachment. Right now, I’m practicing not being attached to how I think I should look or how I think the practice should feel. I am practicing not being attached to how I used to look or how the practice used to feel. This is a challenging task because some days I have pretty high expectations for myself, but I still show up and I still practice. I’m learning that practicing yoga off the mat is more challenging than the most challenging asanas.
Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle.
So, here I am. My slow, extra modified yoga practice. I have body aches and/or injuries in my left wrist, left shoulder, left low back/hip/SI joint, and right hamstring. This video has been sped up twice as fast to make the video shorter, so I hope you still get the gist even though it's not the actual speed I was practicing.
Come to class. Bring your body to your mat and do whatever you can. Praise your body for showing up rathering than punishing your mind for not being good enough.
You are enough. And, I am too.
P.S. To view more of my yoga videos, check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel.