When taking class in a studio, you often have a somewhat limited choice of classes. You may have teachers you like or don’t like as well. You may have a preferred style of yoga. But often, the class you take is determined more by your schedule. You show up when it works in with the rest of your schedule and the teacher does what they do and that’s it. There’s an element of surrender.
Enter Yogaglo – an internet database of class videos with a wide variety of teachers, styles and all titled with what what they are designed to do. Do you want to wake up? Or open you hips? Boost your immunity? Focus on a particular chakra? Work towards a peak pose? The options feel practically endless. And it’s all about what YOU bring to it. Today, for example, I chose a class designed to boost metabolism. Hey, it’s winter, the cold’s been getting me down a little recently, and I’m not feeling light and vibrant. In fact, the past couple of days have been “fat days.” So already, going into this class, I had judgement about what it was “I needed.” And that’s OK. Sometimes I’m right about what I need. And the rest of the time I’m right, but not in the way I expected.
Did it boost my metabolism? Dunno. Did it solve the problem of feeling fat? Not really, even though, MAN, I wanted it to. Turns out, that even though it wasn’t a ‘good’ practice (Well, hey there! Is that another judgment?); as in, one where I leave feeling light, at one with Creation, all gooey and vibrating and radiant, it WAS what I needed. You see, there was A LOT of core work and reps/intervals, A LOT of long holds, basically A LOT of stuff that triggers my “give up” response. And I realized: it’s been a while since I had that kind of practice. I generally follow pretty similar flows. I like this because a) I get out of my head more; b) I can see how much my practice varies from day to day and know it’s not the flow changing, it’s my body, my emotions, my thoughts. But it is possible to get into a rhythym. Muscle memory takes over and you stop pushing yourself to a new edge every time. My practice recently has felt strong and confident. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that. As far as I’m concerned: there’s NOTHING wrong with feeling a little strong and confident. But life is always in fluctuation and even good things, if stagnant, can become bad things. Today, whatever it was about the type of poses and the structure of the Yogaglo class – I just wanted to run. I felt weak, I gave up, I was serious and resistant. I found myself thinking about the instructor: “Is she kidding?” or “Yeah. Right. Like THAT’S going to happen.” I had changed up my routine and did it alone, without the support/inspiration of a community in the room with me to keep me going, and it kicked my ego’s holier-than-thou butt.
So what do you do when you have a class like that? Where one day, you’re just not feeling it? Where the judgements are flying thick and you just want to give up. Hell, you don’t WANT to give up. You DO give up. Or, more importantly, what do you do when that happens in life? Because we all enter into situations carrying baggage and judgement about ourselves. We all resist the things that are the most challenging. And we all make mistakes, doubt ourselves, forget what we’re capable of, forget to honor the journey, and give up because it feels easier – safer. So what do you do? I guess you just notice it. Notice all the ways in which you aren’t perfect. All the ways in which you think you fall short. All the moments of weakness. And then you shift your focus to the bigger picture. To the fact that todays ‘failure’ is the lesson that can make tomorrow sweeter. You trust in the change (it’s funny how when we’re happy, change is a threat but when we’re sad it becomes the hope of salvation). And then (at least in the Yogaglo world), ‘favorite’ it and promise yourself that you will try it again soon because clearly, there’s lessons to be learned and stuff there that needs to be worked through. I keep a quote from Marianne Williamson by my bed: “Nothing needs to be as it was. The first step in creating the new is dropping the notion that what already exists in inevitable going forward.” Every moment holds the seed of ‘next time’ and every ‘next time’ holds the possibility of a different experience.