Spinning Out

One of the things I tried while trying to escape myself was spin class.

Last winter, my yoga studio shut down once again because of covid. I didn’t know what to do with myself. This time, I was working, so I had less time to develop a home practice. This time, I was already struggling with my mental health, and yoga had been what was keeping me afloat.

For awhile I just floundered. Then my sisters urged me to try spin.

After the initial shock to my muscles, I found I liked it. It helped give me a focus, helped get me out of my head.

It wasn’t healing like yoga, though, so when a yoga teacher I knew starting offering classes, I was quick to sign up. Then my studio eventually reopened, so I started going there, too.

For several months, I attended classes at both yoga studios and spin every week. I thought I had it all figured out: just do it all and it would all help.

I was wrong.

Trying to get out of my head was making my head spin.

First I dropped spin. Sure, it had made me feel strong and confident, but it didn’t feel like me. I tried continuing with both yoga studios, out of loyalty and a feeling of obligation I’d created in my head. But when the new one stopped offering classes at convenient times, I let that go too.

Attending classes all over the place meant my attention was all over the place, too. With the return to a single studio, I was able to focus on a single path. I rediscovered the healing of yoga, and reconnected to my yoga community. One place, one headspace was all I needed.

I hope you, too, have a practice that feels like love, and a place to go that feels like home.

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The Space of an Hour

Lately the stress has been creeping back in.

It’s an expensive time of year, with the holidays ahead and the cost of heating through the winter. Gas and groceries keep rising. Snow removal. Grad year expenses for my daughter. There is never enough.

It also seems to be the time of year for appointments. Doctor, dentist, optometrist, therapist. We are running nonstop.

At my teaching job, the kids are getting antsy and the marking is piling up. We are all tired after three pandemic years and the attempt to find some sort of normal again. My patience is thin.

There never seems to be enough hours in the day or dollars in the week.

That old tightness has crept back, the tension hard to shake. I can feel it in my shoulders and my chest, my head still spinning each morning when I wake.

But no matter how buys it gets, I get myself to yoga. It might only be once in a busy week, but I need it like I need water and food and sleep. That one hour sustains me for days, that hour of just breathing, just moving, just being.

That hour reminds me that when everything around me feels out of control, I just need to be in this moment. To just be.

I hope you have something that sustains you, that helps you reset. I hope you have the space of an hour.

Learning to Breathe

white-flowers

Yoga changed my life.

I used to carry this tension with me everywhere, all the time. I’d worry about the most trivial things. Then, the stress would cause more tension and I’d worry about the tension. It was crazy.

Until I learned how to breathe properly.

I’d done yoga a few times, but one instructor really taught it well. Now, when I feel any tension coming on, I focus on my breath. Now, I have control over it.

Now, I breathe.