December 3, 2008

Yoga. Good for the mind. Good for the body.

I tend to steer away from those things in life that I am not good at. This started at a young age when my younger sister soon became a better fiddle player than I. I quit playing the fiddle and took up the saxophone. With little practice, she out did me again. So I stopped playing music all together, she was talented, I was not, so I quit. I don’t like to quit, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and a pit my stomach. So, to avoid “quitting” I learned not to start; yet another dysfunctional behavioral pattern I developed in my teenage phase.

Over the past few years, it became clear that if I was to grow as a person, I had to change this mind set. I had to try new things, branch out, discover and explore, succeed and fail. Just suck it up, the first time you do anything, you are not going to be good at it – just accept it a move on. Since embarking on this new path, I can’t say I have had no hurdles, but I can attest to success amidst the tumbles.

I learned to mountain bike, telemark ski, skate ski, took Spanish class, met new friends, moved to a new town, still attempt to let Ben teach me guitar, and starting about 1 month ago, made the commitment to practice yoga.

I have been telling myself, since the yoga craze begun about 5 years ago, that I am no good at yoga….which is true, but when you never practice something, you can’t expect to me good at it. Change that, practice and see what happens, you might be surprised. I have taken my own advice and for the past 4 weeks, I have gone to my local yoga class, a low key unlikely group of athletes, of every size, shape, age, and ability level breathing heavily below dim lights and soothing music, and I love it.

For 1 hours, 60 minutes each week, I go to another place, a place without competition, judgment, winners or losers. Some poses I can pull off with grace, others, not so graceful, but it doesn’t matter, I am there, present and improving. My body is slowly becoming more flexible and I have a new motivation to stretch on a daily basis. My mind is also becoming more agile, fluid, open to new or alternative ideas, filled with positive energy and excitement for what is to come, what new pursuits I will undertake, what wandering and day dreams might be in store, what relationships I can work to develop.

I can not guarantee my new found enthusiasm for yoga will remain, but I ask myself to continue exploring the possibility and attending yoga each Wednesday evening. I am not good at yoga, but I enjoy it. I am good at yoga, but it is good for me. I am not good at yoga, I am getting better and perhaps after few months of practice I will proudly announce, I am good at yoga.