Competitive Speed Yoga

July 30, 2010

for fun and weight loss

If you have been on this blog before, you know that I am a gym junkie. I am at the gym 7 days a week whenever possible. And for anyone to tell me to take 'rest days' from the gym so that I won't overdo it, I say get your own blog. I you haven't been on this blog before and don't know that I'm a gym junkie, press the backspace key now and get out while you can! (or just go read the other posts first. whatever)

And... if you're any kind of stalker at all (and I know you rival me in your stalkeryishness) you know that Fridays are yoga days. (that's yoga, not yoda. 000 people forget what you saidbut I did put yoda in this paragraph specifically to see how many Star Wars fans I could lure to this site) I do so very much enjoy yoga Fridays. It's the time when I get to focus on my center, my intention, when I can actually see what it is that I truly want. Sometimes that visualization works so well I can just.. about... stretch.... out my hand..... and touch what it is I want!

Sounds wonderful doesn't it? Well it really is. And kudos to the yoga instructor and most excellent partners in class for making it so.

I need to stop here to let you know that as I sit here writing this post, the cat keeps biting me on the leg. I'm not sure if he's just giving me little love bites (cuz he does that sometimes) or if he's hungry. I'm hoping it's cuz he likes me... otherwise I am doomed.  🙂

Anywayz, today's yoga class was a 'little' different. I woke up a little groggy and figured I'd take a shower before yoga; just to see if it would wake me up a little (it did, btw). So clean and refreshed and less groggied I set off to the gym in search of my center. But there was no center at yoga today (oh no!) I knew the regular yoga instructor would be out today and figured that was no big deal, yoga is yoga. (you see the story taking shape already, don't you?!)

The previously kudoed yoga instructor is pretty much always late, so I had put my bets on yoga starting on time this week. And counting on a normal start time,  I was actually a bit early in my arrival. The very nice lady at the front desk chatted with me for a few minutes and let me know that the sub-yoga guru had called in and would be running a little late. (so I guess maybe that's just how yoga instructors are) The doors to the little room in which we do yoga were propped open, and as I entered them I found out why. The place was on fire. OK, so not really on fire, but it was smoldering a little. If it weren't so humid here right now it probably would have been on fire though.

There were a few regular yoga-devotees there (and just where were you... hmmm?)  and we politely chit-chatted while waiting the 10 minutes for the instructor to arrive. And upon arrival, the instructor closed the doors (nooooo!) and the temperature went up about 4 degrees. 🙁 Miss yoga smiled and said good morning and sorry about the delay and sorry about not being able to get the cabinet to the sound system open, so we were going to do yoga acapella again. And that doesn't matter because we're here for yoga, not music right? (no, we're here for the whole experience... hellooo.  music, center and A/C included)

And then my world went sideways. What I didn't realize is that there is such a thing as competitive speed yoga. I am used to the first few minutes being a little relaxing and intention-setting and center-focusing and sharing nice little laughs about inside jokes with the others in the room about focusing on things you really want. (wow, that was a run-on sentence if ever there was one) Today it was every pose you can do in 3 minutes or less. Imagine you like shopping (which I really don't). You like it a lot. And now you have 12 minutes to put everything you need into a cart and get checked out. And you are on fire.

It was kinda like that.

The instructor kept saying to "go at your own pace", but there was no your own pace, because unless you were watching her very closely, you had no idea what pose was going on. And go at your own pace was like being tied to the bumper of a car and being told to keep up if you could while we drive at freeway speeds. uh-huh. It was like the first time at a Catholic church service and you don't know when you're supposed to sit, kneel, stand, feel guilty or sing. (no, I'm not a Catholic, but I know the workout) The people who admitted they were new to yoga kinda sat on their mats and laughed.

45 minutes later I looked at the clock and realized that only about 10 minutes had gone by. (clocks and I do NOT get along) And I had already been in more yoga positions than I do in a full class. So you know what I did? Do you? No? Well then let me tell you.

I stood long enough to stop sweating and start breathing, rolled up my mat and left. 3 simple rulesThat's me... the quitter. On the way out of the gym I found out that the air conditioning was broken in that room and the part would be there the next day. I told myself for just a few seconds that I would use that as my excuse for cutting out... that it was just too hot.

And that got me thinking. (see, this is where the moral, the thought, the lesson to be learned would be if I did that sort of thing. and I do. so here it is) I left because that particular class was not what I wanted. And that is perfectly okay. In fact, it's the way it should be.

There was a time when I would have stuck it out in class and hated the whole experience. But because of you, because of my distraction (which I am now convinced is actually my main attraction) I am not scared to be myself and stand up and reach for what I want, and stand up and move away from the things I don't (like aerobic yoga classes, for example). It's the new me (and yes, I blame you) and I like the new me!

The one part that is left unanswered for me is... what happened to the people who were new to yoga? I have been doing yoga with semi-private lessons, and then in a group session, for about 18 months. And I couldn't hang. (wimpy me? ya, whatever. let's just wrestle and see who wins!) I'm guessing those peeps who were laughing on their mats will never go to another yoga class. And that makes me very sad for them. But because they might have gotten a bad first experience, because they got hooked up with a yoga nazi, they will miss out on what really can be a beautiful, life-changing exercise. (have you ever tried the Happy Dee pose?)

So the moral of the story, the place where I think you and I can help each other is here. (just in case you were looking for it; I know sometimes I lose things in the most unusual places 🙂 ) By this time I know that we are not afraid to tell each other what we want. We might still be a little hesitant in a few areas, but if you've been keeping up with the posts, by now you are starting to see the power of intention, the magic of believing, and the truth in changing your own destiny. So... let me move you to another level (and yes, there are still many levels to which we can ascend)

This life is ours (yours, mine, Ours)... let's live it like it belongs to us,  and not somebody else. Not to society and not to expectations. There will be some tough times, some times when the temperature seems too hot to stand, when the pace is far too fast and we don't really know what's going on. I would suggest that this is not the time to jump out of the ring, but maybe to step back. To take a breath. I left the class today because it was more than I was willing to put myself through... not because I was ready to quit yoga (cuz I'm not), but because I didn't feel comfortable at that time. But you wanna know a secret? Well, I'm not gonna tell you a secret here because this is a public blog! Come see me if you wanna know a secret!

But I will tell you this... I am not giving up. I had a bad day.  I had some doubts.  There were some things in place that made it seem that I couldn't keep up, that I didn't know what was going on, that I was about to get my trash kicked.  But I will be back in class next week!

So when we feel like that, let's not be afraid to step back for a few minutes/days. Bad times do not negate good times. Do not give up on lighting a fire just because you're lighter is out of fuel. Find some matches (why, you and I are a pretty good match!), call a boy scout (which I was, btw), get some flint and steel, or just snuggle up with me until daybreak. 🙂 But don't.give.up on finding that light! And I promise that I won't too!

If happiness is the goal, and it should be, then let's decide how we can keep that happiness. (you already know what makes you happy, don't you... come on. you can tell me!) And if I can help you be happy, well that's why I'm here.

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