Self Love

Being A Yoga Beginner...Again

Yoga_begin

Let's talk about really being into something and good at it, then stopping for many years, and then starting it again and discovering that you can't just pick up where you left off. 

Years ago, I was crazy about Yoga and practiced several times a week when I was still working in the city and living closer to NYC.  It was great, I was doing a bunch of crazy stuff and feeling confident in my practice.  Then I moved to Fishkill and my daily commute became a killer.  It sucked the life out of me and my yoga practice died off. I was always tired and just hating my situation.  

I neglected yoga for years! Even after I left my job, I didn't start up my practice. I had surgery, I got older, I gained weight, I tried jogging and other ways to get in shape, I wasn't driving yet so I couldn't get to a yoga studio even if I wanted to.  I've been driving for a little over a year and I'm feeling more comfortable behind the wheel.  I started thinking about yoga earlier this year but whenever I thought about going to a place, my insecurities would kick in - the same ol' nagging voice that's been sleeping for so many years: You're too fat for this, you're body is not the same anymore, you're gonna look stupid. Yes, I have gained weight and my body is definitely different than it was 8 years ago, more aches and pains, more cracks and pops but I don't want to accept this.

I learned about Two Trees Yoga in Beacon through A Little Beacon Blog and they have a lovely website.  I liked their brand of "simple, honest yoga" and being a place for "anyone who is living with movement limitations, body and joint stiffness, physical disabilities, chronic illness, pain and fatigue." I fit in there somewhere. I went to a morning Gentle Yoga class and felt right at home. I signed up for an Unlimited membership that same day.  I've been going to Gentle Yoga class twice a week and it has helped a great deal to get reacquainted with the mat and muscles that haven't been used in years. 

However, I wanted to push myself a little more. I missed that vinyasa flow of yoga, that good sweat where you feel like your'e cleaning the bad stuff out.  There is a studio very close to home, Firefly Yoga, but they do Baptiste Yoga which physically demanding and very hot, not "Bikram Yoga" hot, but still pretty damn hot.  

Hot Yoga always scared me. The last thing I want to do is pass out during a class, so I stayed away.  I've taken classes where I sweated my ass off but it's not the same. For weeks I kept looking at Firefly's website and their Facebook page and debating whether I should sign up for a class - a Friday morning to start off my weekend.

I was greeted by the instructor who was super sweet and welcoming. I stepped in the studio and it was already SO hot! I hope I was hydrated enough (I wasn't).  I was hating the class and thinking "This ain't for me. I'm not coming back. You tried and you suck." I took many breaks and internally kicked myself every time, I was disappointed that I couldn't hang like I used to, and was struggling to hold the most basic poses. I felt like my body gave up on me, defeated.  Finally came time for Savasana - it's over!! I laid there and thought "Yay! You did it!!"  I'm gonna write a separate post just on my introduction to Hot Yoga because it's pretty crazy.

I totally feel like I'm starting over again. I get frustrated when I am unable to do a pose I used to be able to.  While I "know" yoga in my head, my body doesn't anymore and I need to respect that. Some people say it will come back sooner than I think. I need to be patient with my practice.  This Hot Yoga class was a reminder that yoga is not just the poses (asanas) but also a mental practice which can be harder than the poses.

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Be Gentle With Yourself

Gentle

It took a few months but I dropped my 2-post per week goal for the year ha ha! It's okay, I won't beat myself up over it.  How have you been?

Now that I'm practicing yoga again, I've been going back and looking through my old issues of Yoga Journal. They're from several years ago but it's all still relevant today. I was reading an article that quoted Indra Devi which I titled this blog post after. The article was about trying to do TOO much all the time. The author, who had a super busy career, was going on a retreat only to find they were trying to do ALL THE THINGS instead of just relaxing. That's always been my problem.

I recently had to step down from an activist group I had just joined.  It was just way more involved than I thought it was going to be and I just couldn't bring myself to give them the type of commitment required. A Little Beacon Blog is getting busier and busier and I really need time for yoga and a day off every week, that's all I ask. I really burnt myself out following all the politics and craziness going on. I was hesitant to step down, I am super organized, why can't I handle this??? I hate saying I'll do something and then go back and flake out, because it makes me feel like a flake. But it was just too much. Once again, I had to say "no" to additional work

I like to help! I want to do my part! I want to be involved with things - this is especially important when you work from home, you start to feel disconnected from the world and the internet can only give you so much.  I think that's one of the reasons I've dove back into yoga as much as I have with possibly taking three classes a week.  While these classes aren't exactly a social call, it's a chance for me to say "Yes" to myself and allow myself to be out and just experience life outside of my four walls.

Do you overcommit? How do you keep yourself in check?

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Things To Do On A Snow Day

Snowday

I am in the middle of a blizzard, I think it's called "Stella" (??), which is impacting most of the entire North East. Where I live is looking to get AT LEAST a foot of snow!!! This is how my bench looked this morning.

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I still love the start of a snowfall.  I don't get to enjoy "Snow Day" since I work from home but it's nice to not have that pressure of wondering how I would get to work or if I should even bother.

Last year I talked about my love of breakfast, reading ebooks, and binge watching my Roku.  Not much has changed but I'll add a few more things to the list of things I enjoy doing on a snow day: 

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I'm still going through my subscription of New Yorker Magazine.  I'm currently 2 weeks behind with their issues.  Once this subscription runs out I'm looking to start another, I'm thinking National Geographic.  Any suggestions?

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Preparing my coffee in the morning has become a different kind of ritual.  It takes longer now, but I can afford the extra time to make my coffee.  I've gotten into grinding my beans which I purchased from Irving Farms Coffee Roasters in Millerton, NY.  It is the only coffee I drink black because it's that good.

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Listen to more records!!  Last Friday there was a Vinyl Record Pop-Up in Beacon, NY so I had to check it out. I found some good stuff.  This is my half of the loot, Mike brought home some good stuff too.  This is a good day to spin some records all day, as long as the power doesn't go out.

My latest vinyl record scores

Are you snowed in today? What are you favorite things to do on a snow day?

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Don't Tell Me How To Feel!

Don't Tell Me How To Feel

The Holidays is a major time of the year. It can be joyous and exciting, stressful, or real depressing.  It definitely conjurs up different emotions.  We all know someone who is just always super bubbly and chipper, a friend, family member, coworker.  Those people who are always so freakin' happy and see the positive in everything. God forbid you happen to be in a mood around these people, they try extra hard to cheer you up to the point you want to stab yourself with a fork.  They can be so annoying right? And misleading.    

It could be easy to get sucked into a hole of negative thoughts and comparisons when you look at your Instagram, Facebook, blog reads and see that other's seem to have all together.  Life is just so great for them, where did I go wrong? Why can't I be as happy as them?   Here's the thing, you can't. You can't because that's them, not you.  You can find your own happy when you're ready for it, not when someone else tells you to be.  

Trust me, those people have crummy days too, they may be better at hiding it, or are not as in touch in their feelings as you are.  People who force themselves not to feel any bad feelings are in for a rude awakening and could possiblly snap.

image from newnownext.mtvnimages.com

You have an advantage because you are being honest with youself.  It's good to let yourself feel sad sometimes.  

A great quote from Michael James at Tiny Buddha:

Denying our emotions is an insult to the journey of what it means to be a human being, and it does nothing to help people feel better.  

I seriously tried to force the positivity on myself many times and it wouldn't work.  Sometimes when I get in my "moods" I give up forcing it away and just ride it out, have a good cry, because good cries are...good!

This article also mentioned being bombarded on Instagram with messages telling you to cheer up, look forward, always look on the bright side.  It's like we are constantly being told that we need to positive at all times.  I've tried posting positive affirmations on Instagram too...

 

This too shall pass. #wednesdaymotivation #wednesdaywisdom #keepcalm #wordsofwisdom #wordstoliveby #motivation #words #cheerup

A photo posted by Marilyn ๐Ÿ‘“โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿฐ (@marilyn_coffeeink) on

I posted this over the Summer as a message to myself when I was in a real funk.  I stayed in a funk most of the Summer.   It may be a nice message, but not everyone wants to, or needs to hear it.  Be sad, be annoyed, be angry!  Believe me, I am going to be angry, worried, and terrified for at least the next four years and I will not accept someone telling me to "Let it go" or "Move on, let's see what happens." Nope, you better kill that noise right now.

Of course, there's being sad for a few days (in a funk), and then there's suffering from depression.  When you're in a funk, you can still live your life, laugh at jokes, take part in your hobbies.  Depression can be debilitating and crippling. If your thoughts lean towards ending your life, then it is time to seek help.  How are you feeling today?

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