Since October, when I first started spinning at Harness Cycle, my yoga practice has been, well, pretty much non-existent. What can I say? I fell for the shiny that is pulsing music beneath the machine of a bike and dripping with sweat.
My half marathon training calls for "Strength & Stretch" on Tuesdays and I, admittedly, kind of half ass that one. I have yoga and strength training DVDs so those usually work if, y'know, I get up the motivation to actually, y'know, do any kind of strength or stretching on Tuesdays which, in most cases, I don't.
I knew my instructor Jessica teaches an Ashtanga class Tuesday mornings at 6 am, but even knowing that I couldn't get myself up that early. Not, that is, until I started to see the benefit to early morning workouts and knew that yoga would be a wonderful addition to my half training schedule. When it comes to my practice, my body is very good about letting me know when it's ready for certain things, like specific poses and I've learned to listen to it. I knew it would let me know and all day Monday the steady rhythm of It's Time, It's Time coursed through my veins. So I registered for the next day's 6 am Ashtanga class.
Walking in, I knew this was gonna hurt and I knew that I had lost some of my flexibility. Naturally there were times during the class were I thought that if I had been more consistent with my practice over the past few months then certain poses would be less challenging than they were that morning. But that's not what I wanted the focus of my practice to be. I wanted to harness positive energy, not negative.
So, instead, I tried to focus more on the flexibility that was still there and the poses that came to my body with ease. Or, at least, came easier than I had anticipated. I was still able to pop up into Wheel and while I required the wall, my headstand was lovely and I was able to hold it for just under twenty breaths.
I also was reminded why I first fell in love with yoga to begin with because in many ways it did feel like my very first class. During the practice I felt heavy and cumbersome and for the first time in almost two years, yet again nearly suffocated under the darlins.
Because, to be honest, I weigh what I did just about two years ago. Today I'm headed to Houston for some time with family and after Sissy reminded me that my aunt and uncle have a pool, I went looking for my swimsuit. The one I bought last year fits in the sense that, sure, yes, I can get into it, but not in a way that is at all comfortable. Luckily, however, I still have my swimsuit from two years ago so that is the one going to Texas with me.
This, folks, is the reality of this chapter in my story. But I keep reminding myself that all it is is a single chapter and I'm thinking long term. I will also say this: while the number on the scale is the same as it was two years ago, I can see a huge difference in the shape of my body so consistent exercise and muscle mass can and does make a difference.
Like many bloggers, I keep track of stats and traffic sources and such. Yesterday I noticed multiple hits from some random forum so I did a bit of investigating and it turned out to be from a blog post where someone was asking about links to any good Weight Watchers blogs. Someone responded with MY blog saying they really liked it, adding that I had lost a bunch of weight in the last year through WW, but is honest about gaining back some of it and getting back on track.
That made my entire day. Not the recommendation part but in that it's difficult admitting that I did indeed regain some of the weight but it's satisfying knowing that someone out there found value in the fact that I don't try to hide that chapter in my story.
Love from the ashes,