A few words about vulnerability

I have a hard time making myself vulnerable. Fully vulnerable.

I don’t mean that I have a hard time opening up or being transparent. I’m very free with what I share with people – my flaws, my failures, my insecurities, my inflated sense of self-esteem. No qualms about revealing my anxiety, my phobias – things that I didn’t even realize until recently other people keep as closely guarded secrets.

My quirks don’t make me feel in the least bit vulnerable. I’m indifferent to general opinion or how my flaws will shape other people’s views of me. After all, I know something about their flaws too. That they have them. That we ALL have them, and mine are no better and no worse than anybody else’s.

I’m pretty comfortable with who I am. But only for the most part, as it would seem.

Yesterday, my yoga teacher was talking about vulnerability during class. How she craves a connection with people, but is terrified when she feels one. Continue reading

Well now I’ve gone and done it

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This was my horoscope this morning.

I don’t really REALLY believe in horoscopes.

But, you know. I like reading mine every morning.

I went to an info session for yoga teacher training. Turns out they were having a promotion I didn’t know about for people who showed up to the session. $750 off and a structured payment plan. I took it as a sign from the Universe.

So I stepped up to the desk and signed up. I start the last weekend in March.

Back in the saddle again!

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I meant to tell you guys after last weekend how much I miss running.

On Saturday I took the time to walk over to a different part of town to get a mani pedi, get my haircut, do some shopping and generally dawdle around, which is something I used to do quite frequently before and haven’t really done too much of recently – most likely because my dawdling was usually related to some sort of run I had just completed where I’d run out of gas part of the way home.

I walked about 3 miles that day, and as much as I love yoga, it felt good to be mobile. I loved being out on the street and feeling my legs pumping and just soaking up the people around me as they went about their days. Continue reading

The double life of a yoga teacher

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One of my favorite yoga teachers, Rebecca, likes to say that “in real life” she is a dental hygienist.

I’ve been talking to a lot of the teachers in the studios I frequent, trying to give myself the extra push to sign up for teacher training in the spring. Between that and social media, I’ve discovered three very distinct profiles of yoga teachers, and I’ve mentally been trying to bucket myself into these profiles (even though I already know exactly which profile I would choose, given the choice). Continue reading

The gift of generalized anxiety

Photo Credits: Alex Castillo Photography

Photo Credits: Alex Castillo Photography

A more somber post than usual, I’m afraid.

I had news of someone’s unexpected death today. He was someone who, while not very close to me personally, was close to many of my loved ones, and who left his family and friends much sooner than they were prepared for (as is always the case when just about anyone makes their departure, I suppose). He was a very good man and many people will miss him. I’m really sorry for his loss.

I’ve been hearing a lot about people’s passing recently. Enough to really catch my attention. At work, among my friends, on Facebook…. even in yoga this morning our instructor was telling us about the death of her dear friend who’d finally lost a valiant battle to cancer, leaving behind two nearly grown children who will no doubt miss their mother even as they move on with their lives.

Continue reading

Ten horribly unyogic thoughts I’ve had during yoga

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1) Use a block, man!
2) Pshaw. Even I could do that if I turned my hip up like that.
3) Cover up, woman, I can see your nipples.
4) I mean, there’s no point in coming here if you’re just going to lay there.
5) I bet I could do that… but I don’t feel like it right now.
6) I wouldn’t wear that top again if I were you.
7) I wonder how my ass looks in these leggings.
8) Get your dirty foot off my mat!
9) Oh yeah?? Watch this!
10) My friends are going to be so impressed.

Yes, I know. I’m a terrible person.

Struggling with my own inner critic

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I’ve noticed a disturbing trend within myself.

I’ve never been one to hide my imperfections. I’m the first to laugh at myself when I fall, make a mistake, say something stupid or do something embarrassing. I LOVE retelling my embarrassing stories for the amusement of friends, family and strangers.

I started this blog to convince people to try yoga – especially people who, like me, struggle or have struggled with anxiety and depression, and who can benefit from the surge of endorphins and other lovely brain juices that yoga helps you release. My goal is to help people who are unhappy – with their lives, with themselves, with their circumstances – find a positive outlet for their frustrations.

Early on I recognized, though, that trying new things – yoga included – can be intimidating for folks. Ultimately it boils down to a fear of failure – I’m not going to try it, because I’m afraid I won’t be good at it. OR, I’m not going to try it because it’s not for people like me.

Everything I do on here is about showing that you don’t have to be “good” at it, or be flexible, or a hippie vegetarian to experience the benefits. And frankly, I love yoga (obviously) but the real core message I want to transmit is that finding something that keeps you active and out of your own head can go a long way toward creating positive mental health.

Writing here, though, has made it clear to me I’m not as accepting of my imperfections as I would I like to be (or more like, as I would like people to think I am).

I’ve been practicing yoga consistently for two years now, and fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve learned a few things about what the postures should look like. So now when I look at my own pictures (and other people’s, for the record), I can spot my imperfections everywhere, and they drive me absolutely bonkers.

I look at the beautiful collage up top and I think: bend your knee more, straighten your arm more, lift your heels more. I’m photo (24)OK with posting a picture of myself falling off the wagon wheel, but the images of the sloppy poses makes me want to cringe.

The same thing happened to me when looking at the picture on the right. For the record, when I started practicing yoga I couldn’t even lift a TOE in this pose. But despite my progress, I refused to post this image on social media because my foot is turned out, my knee is not positioned properly, my elbows are open too wide and I’m not pushing my head through my biceps enough.

It’s one of the hallmarks of anxiety sufferers, I suppose. It all screams “you’re not as good as you think you are” and it makes me crazy that I’ve become so judgmental of myself.

I don’t know what this means or how to fix it. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything, and maybe I don’t have to fix it at all.

I think I just have to continue posting imperfect pictures of myself until I get over it (or even if I don’t), because perfection is really and truly not what this is all about.

After all, how can I convince you all that it doesn’t matter that you’re inflexible and that yoga is for everyone if all I do is post images of me perfectly nailing really complicated poses?