I did yoga today. It was my first real time pushing through for a full 30 minutes. I centered my chakra. I cut the air with my nose and contorted by body into weird planking positions. Problem is, my body has been conditioned to burpees and bench jumps. That Down Dog thing is not something I physically understand. I do what with my heels? Am I licking the floor? Did I spill something? Am I spelunking? Why in the world am I in this position?
Bench jumps my body understands. One day I may have to clear a big dog in a park. Jumping is a skill that can benefit me in the future. Vertical jumps are impressive. Folding yourself in half only comes in handy if you are trying to sneak in your friend’s luggage. Yoga was never something I wanted to do.
But today, I did it and I loved it. Afterwards, it felt as if I had had a massage and then took a nap in the softest grass in the most serene field in the most remote place on earth where there are absolutely no bugs or crawly things. Basically, it was an intro and super easy. I did a lot of stretching to the sky and something about my belly button being sucked into my spine (but gently?). Point is, it was awesome. I heard some things pop, but I came out alive and more relaxed.
It is rare that I try new things like this. I prefer to stick with what works. Burpees, HIIT workouts, eating fruits and vegetables and buffalo chicken dip (it’s a protein), and lifting weights. But guess what? That drama is hard! And it hurts. I come out healthier, I’m sure, but I also come out exhausted and wanting to take a nap until it is time to go pick up my children to feed and parent them.
Yoga gave me a relaxing moment among chaos. Cleaning, laundry, meals to cook, books to write, and armpits to wash. My daily life is busy and can be overwhelming. I end up longing for the way things were before. I know that routine. I can navigate it without looking. It isn’t easy, but it is familiar and known.
My daughter struggles with what I like to call Clothing Commitment Issues. She overly commits to clothing. It was mid-July before we got her to put on a pair of shorts. She would be at the park sweating it out in a pair of leggings and cowboy boots, while everyone else was cruising the monkey bars in shorts and flip flops. Recently, fall has settled upon us. My morning conversations with her go something like this:
Me: You might want to put some pants on today. It is cold out.
Her: I won’t be cold. I want shorts.
Me: No, you should wear pants. You don’t want to be cold, do you? If you wear shorts, you will be cold. You will shiver and your teeth will chatter. Everyone else will be in pants and jackets. You don’t want goosebumps. You could get the flu. You could end up being throw-up and poop sick.
Her: Ooohhhhh. Okay. I’ll get cold.
Me: Right! You will get cold! Let’s wear leggings!
Her: No, I mean, okay, I don’t mind getting cold.
Shorts work for her. She is comfortable in them and unless it snows, she will probably end up wearing them with her winter coat, a hat, and mittens. I could sit on her and force her to wear leggings, but for what? I would probably end up getting really sweaty and she would only dig her heels in about something else more important like teeth brushing or eating breakfast. Eventually, my daughter will lean into the change. She will put her shorts away (and I will throw them away) and pull out the leggings on her own. I have no reason to force it. Well, hypothermia, maybe, but I have faith it will end before then.
My yoga, her leggings. Change is inevitable. It isn’t always hard. It is different, but if we lean into it instead of fighting, I think it can be rewarding. We might even find it to be a relaxing change of pace. Mind you, this is day one of my yoga journey. Day two may be an actual nap. Either way, it is a change of pace.