Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My inner yogi - she's in there, somewhere.

This is my least favorite time of year. Not only is football season over in February (no matter what team you root for) but it's that month when I really start to feel doughy.

In winter, one million plus years of evolution tell me to slow down, conserve energy, pack on the pounds because food may be scarce. This is in my genetic code just as sure as my brown hair and green eyed genes are there.  But, I live in a center entrance colonial - not a cave dwelling.  Luckily food is not scarce. The markets are all still open selling the same fabulous stuff they were selling last week and the week before. And I've been eating it all! Starting around Thanksgiving and working toward Feb 1st, I'm a blob.  And as my metabolism slows down to a snails slow crawl, my middle starts to get thick.  And some time in February I have a revelation that I need to get moving again.  This year I checked in a little early, (the end of January) because either my clothes were all shrinking, or....yep...  

So what to do?  I really like running.  It's easy.  It's freeing.  IT'S FREE!  But when it's 2 degrees out, I just can't.  And the thought of getting on a treadmill just makes me feel too much like someone's pet hamster.  So, I decided for the next few weeks I'm going to do YOGA.  I was pretty hooked on yoga about 5 years ago. It did amazing things to my body.  I was going to several classes a week & could stand on my head and do backbends. (Kris calls it a bridge, whatever!)  I stopped going mostly because you have to be organized for yoga.  You need to know what level class you're going to take and sign up in advance and have the right clothes ready and all that stuff that I NEVER need to think about as a runner.  This may be difficult I know. I don't have the right yoga stuff.  And last night I noticed my yoga mat really stinks! 

But I'm taking the challenge for the next 5 weeks.  I'm meeting a group of my high school girlfriends in INDY in March, & I'd like to feel good for it.  Yoga makes me feel strong physically AND mentally.  I'm such a beginner.  I love that it's called a practice. I try not to spend time looking around to see what everyone else can or can't do - it gives me pangs of inferiority & superiority that aren't productive.  

My favorite part of yoga is this thing called Shavasana when you lie like a corpse and you clear your mind completely.  It’s difficult for me.  My mind is spinning.  What did I leave in the dryer?  Who am I picking up later? I've got something stuck between my teeth, is that pork?  I had pork yesterday?  Wait....stop...clear your mind.  It's hard.  You're very vulnerable with your eyes closed lying on a mat like that all splayed out.  What if someone has a hammer and hits me in the forehead with it?  (See. I watch too much crime television.) It's hard to let all your thoughts go and to think about nothing.  It's hard to feel that full relaxation.  If a thought comes you just try to let it drift off.  I use ocean waves as helpers.  If something comes into my brain I let an ocean wave wash it away. Sometimes hurried people get up and leave class before this part to get a jump on the commute.  But SHAVASANA is the dessert of any yoga class!   I feel bad for those people leave early.  Are they thinking, ok well the workout part is done and I sweated my tail off, and I can't waste any more time in here hanging out in corpse pose.  Man they are really missing out.

Sometimes my heart gets all full and my eyes water during shavasana.  Seriously I've wept.  It's crazy, and you may feel a little silly.  But then its just you and your mat and God.  Nothing to feel silly about. I've read it happens to a lot of people.  I don’t know why, and I probably don’t need to analyze it.  
It’s my soul I'm sure of it.  Thanking me. 


  1. Thank God you're doing something as I dislike "doughy" Sharon. You're very hard to look at when you're thick and Marilyn would have to treat you badly when you visited her store in Vermont. Could you really stand to hear "Jewelry fits everybody!" I spit on her. I like that Yoga made you question pork. I want to try it, but I'm not sure it's bad-back friendly. I feel a bit rough myself, but I don't have the energy to exercise right yet as my cave is quite cozy. Perhaps I'll try that laxative diet. It looks pretty easy and basically any exercise you do, you do while you're sitting down. What you do IS a bridge, not a back bend. I would like to know more about your yoga mat.

  2. Fantastic, Sharon! It is obvious that I need a little shavasana in my life... as I have been indulging in the abundant and delicious food my body tells me I must eat this time of year, too. I relate! It's March that I find most frustrating, though. Then, not only have I reached my peak winter pallor but winter starts to thaw and the world around me is drab and depressing... and sometimes a mess, this "mud season". And before the crocuses and daffodils start to emerge, I remember that more of me will be seen in public and I should wake up from this hibernation-of-sorts.... and do a mind shift. Thankfully, I am not the only one! Good luck on your 5 week challenge and have a blast in Indy with your dear friends and your thankful, refreshed, invigorated, and beautiful soul.

  3. ugghhhh.....Leslie, just recognizing you have a problem is half the battle right? What other activities can you do outdoors at this time of year, that are free? Snow shoeing? More like snow shoveling if you're me!

    Good luck getting those thighs back to pretty shape before the summer short shorts come out of the drawers. I will keep you informed via blog how the 5 weeks go. I am sore as HELL right now!