New Year got you down…?

Hello everyone!!! 

I’m so energized today. Why, you ask? Don’t know exactly…could just be the super high test Yerba Maté I’m drinking this morning, laced with delicious high grade organic maple syrup…that always seems to give me a swing in my step and a palpitation in my heart!

Yesterday I taught a class in the morning. It was filled with (but not only with) people coming back to their practice after having a bit of a break…a holiday break, a been too busy break, an I needed a break break, an I have been gone so long now I can’t fathom going back break…you get the idea. So, I did the best I could at my job to give them the space they needed and the encouragement and sweet but tough love they desired in coming back into the room.  It got me to thinking…all the New Year’s resolutions that float around the air at this time of year. All the feelings of being not good enough are hanging heavy over people’s heads right now. All the food and drinks and celebrations now seem to be overkill, the joy has been removed from the occasions and now all that is left is the extra few pounds, the pants that don’t quite fit, and the feeling of the New Year’s resolutions that were made in an energized, perhaps slightly inebriated state of mind fog that now have to be maintained. 

MAINTENANCE. Ugh. It could be such a big oppressive word, don’t you think?! Making the goal and starting the new activity (eating/exercising/positivity/whatever else you have made for a NYResolution) is easy…you have the motivation for it, you told yourself you would and now you are…but then it turns to the reality of LIFE. It’s one thing to start something new when you are on vacation or with the kids out of school. But, yesterday the kids went back to school and everyone went back to work and suddenly it was like the realisation that it’s not that you changed something for a while or for fun or to try it out…you made a RESOLUTION and now you must stick to it or fail (again?) at your resolution….the MAINTENANCE of it is here again. 

So, yesterday, as I saw all these people come back to the mat with a slight bit of fear and trepidation, they also brought with them a feeling of knowing…knowing they would feel great in a few short classes, a feeling of triumph of getting back in the room and knowing they just needed to get through 90 minutes and they would have bliss at the end of the road. The thing about making resolutions (or any kind of change at any time of the year) is that once you get through the first month, it then becomes part of your life, not just something you do. They say it takes 30 days to create a new habit. It’s one day at a time, one choice at a time, but after 30 days, you are over the hump and hopefully you have created this new habit for yourself. (I’m not saying you have to do a “30 day challenge”, but just maintain your goals for a month however you need to to be able to do them, and with some luck you will feel in the groove to keep going!).

So, all that being said…my goal for my yoga practice for this year is to enjoy the feelings I get IN the yoga room. A couple years ago I decided I would not ever go into a yoga class with the feeling of “ugh, I so don’t want to go to class”…why would I? I didn’t want to bring in any negative thoughts or feelings into my yoga practice with me, so I have created a wonderful relationship to my practice that has taken me…oh, 12.5 years to cultivate!! So, I decided this year I want to focus on the wonderful feelings I feel INSIDE the yoga room, not just the hard work in the yoga room to reap the feelings OUTSIDE the yoga room. As a teacher I look at my students in the postures and feel elated for them! I look a the bodies in the postures and think how much is going on in the body…the blood flow and the oxygen saturation and the heart pounding and the lungs expanding and the skin stretching and everything getting a tune up!! (makes me excited to get into the yoga room just typing it!!…I’m such a yoga geek). So, now my goal is to bring more mindfulness and presence to my own practice this year. LIsten, I have been doing this yoga for over 12 years, if you think this series cannot be practiced for fear of boredom…think again! I have learned more from this one series than from anything else in my life. But it is my job for myself to figure out all the things it has to offer me. My job right now is to bring this mindfulness and presence to my own practice so that I can help my students find it as well. 

Whatever it is that you gave to yourself for this year, whatever goals or thoughts you gifted to yourself for 2013, they are here for you. They are here for you when you want them and for when you don’t. Be generous with yourself but give yourself some sweet tough love. Set yourself up for success and be generous every day with yourself. Some days are going to look how  you want them and some won’t. Some days you get what you want and some days you get what you need. And…if you’re really lucky, some days what you want and what you need are the same thing.

Happy life, my puppies. Whether your goals and resolutions involve something physical or spiritual, something tangible or not…happy life…that’s all there is to it.

Love and sweet unicorn kisses,

Ida xx

5 responses to “New Year got you down…?

  • michaeljmitch1

    Happy New Year and love the post. 12+ years of Bikram, impressive…. I just discovered this yoga a year and a half ago but what an amazing year and a half its been. Check out my blog to read the story about the difference discovering Bikram Yoga has made for me. I especially liked your comment about “boredom” with respect to doing the same postures every day (or every time at least). In November I completed a 102 day challenge and in the midst of it, the thought occurred to me wondering if I could really keep up doing the exact same postures every day. It only took a moments reflection to realize that is the wrong way to think about it, especially since I’ve come nowhere near mastering ANY of them. The main point I realized is that the postures may be the same but YOU AREN’T. You come to class each day and start from scratch, breath by breath and see what you can do today in THIS class. That’s the beauty of the sequence. It is the same, and the dialogue is the same so you can really focus on the details and subtle adjustments/corrections and MEDITATE in the postures. In my relatively new practice, I’ve learned that each day is not necessarily “better” than the day before but you definitely progress over time and find yourself weeks and months later much further down the road than you thought possible “back then”. I practice virtually every day and the days I can’t make it are definitely the hardest days of my week and I can’t wait to get back in the hot room. Look forward to reading more of your blog. Namaste.

    • yogagyrl

      Hi Michael! Wow, congratulations on your 102 yoga challenge!
      Yeah, this practice just keeps teaching me so many things, I am still awe struck whenever I learn something new about myself…physically mentally spiritually. You called it, though, it really IS about the MEDITATION…I think perhaps I just had my first real experience with being in a true meditative state for the whole class yesterday. Amazing what can happen when you least expect it ;). Where do you practice?
      Thanks for reading…

      • michaeljmitch1

        I practice at Bikram Yoga Oak Park. It borders Chicago to the West, just barely outside the City proper. It’s still the only place I’ve done Bikram Yoga although there are a handful of good BY studios in and around Chicago. There’s a network of studios in Chicago that share many of the same teachers. Probably half the Oak Park teachers teach at one or more of the Chicago studios as well. I look forward to practicing in other studios as time goes on, especially in other parts of the country when I have a chance to travel. That’s one of the things I like about these blogs and even Face Book. I connect and follow many other yogis and BY studios and love reading about people’s experiences and shared advice and encouragement. Its an amazingly powerful community at the local studio level and across the geographical boundaries.

  • Sacher

    Thank you Ida for putting this life long yoga into perspective. I have had two fantastic classes and i both needed and wanted them! I am so “lucky”!!!! I am approaching my second yoga anniversary practicing at bikram yoga Red deer. Thank goodness I have a
    Lifetime left to practice! Happiest New year ever:-)

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