First, there was the homeschooling. Then, I jumped into experimenting with essential oils. More recently, I have made drastic changes to my family's diet, instituting a healthy eating plan they lovingly refer to as "The Regime." But now, I've crossed another line in the pursuit of "crunchiness." I've gotten into yoga. And, by that I basically mean yoga has pretty much been saving my life since this new year began.
I've had "try yoga" on my New Year's resolution list for quite a long time, but I just haven't ever gotten around to finding a class or making the time or whatever. Because making excuses is generally easier than making changes, which is why most New Year's resolutions never even have a realistic chance of getting off the ground. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, I've been pretty depressed since our move back to Texas, and, in an effort to combat that, I've tried all sorts of things--a ballroom dance class, an improv class, a Spanish practice app, a painting class, reading lots of books, working on my geography books, experimenting in the kitchen, getting more serious about photography. These activities have all been fun and well worth the time (and I am still enjoying several of them on an ongoing basis), but, when the new year rolled around, I felt like I needed to try something else. And, there was yoga, still on my list, waving its hand around yelling, "Pick me! Pick me!"
I checked with a local Facebook group for recommendations for beginner classes, and the one suggested more than any other was within walking distance of my house. I didn't really feel like my excuses could hold up to that--or the fact that the time was right and this studio offered one class for free, just to try it out. So, I carved out some space in my Wednesday evening and have been going somewhat regularly for about six weeks. I LOVE it and keep asking myself why I didn't try it sooner and where this has been all my life!
For a person who instinctively and subconsciously holds her breath as a (poor and ineffective) coping mechanism in the face of stress, an activity where every move is counted in breaths rather than time seems wildly magical and utterly freeing. Every Wednesday evening, for an hour, I have permission to breathe. And, even when I can't get the yoga pose right, I feel like I have truly accomplished something if I was simply able to keep breathing. I am learning that even when I feel like a particular stretch might unhinge one of my joints, I can breathe through it, and it will pass, and I will come out feeling stronger and more confident. Obviously, there are applications beyond the yoga studio.
I come home from class physically relaxed and mentally serene (and smelling like essential oils!) I feel positive and tranquil, and, frankly, thankful for a legit reason to wear yoga pants around. The feeling doesn't always last all week long, but it seems to last longer and longer all the time, and I find myself remembering to breathe more often, which is only a good thing.
So, here's to following through on New Year's resolutions and to crunchy living!