I’m not a focused person. I was diagnosed with ADD in high school (I know, everyone has issues with attention). I struggle paying attention, esp. when it’s something I”m not interested in or when there’s a lot of things going on around me (again, like most people). I fidget ALL THE TIME. I play with my hair, jiggle my foot, etc. I’m constantly pacing when I lecture.
I’m also a really clumsy person. I’m awkward. I’m a 6 foot tall awkward woman. I’ve always been clumsy. I’ve never been athletic- which is odd for a 6 ft woman (what eye hand coordination?). I’m pretty horrible at most sports (can’t say I’ve really tried hard at any). If I can fall or hurt myself doing something it usually happens- ask my hubby.
I got a compliment from a yoga teacher the other day that really meant a lot to me. She was taking class behind me one day and the following day she commented on how focused I was in class. She said that I was focused and mediating better than most teachers when they take class. WHAT?!?! I am focused???? I’ve never been given that compliment in my entire life! I guess it makes sense, I’m usually pretty intently focused on working on whatever I’m working on in that posture. I’m usually pretty good at ignoring the people around me in class.
When I have friends come and practice yoga with me I sometimes get a compliment on how graceful I am in class. I’m sure part of it is moving my giant long limbs around is remarkable. But I don’t think I’ve gotten that compliment doing anything else in my life- I’m the clumsy one! I’m the person that falls over for no reason. For someone to say that anything I do beautiful and graceful means a lot to me.
So it could be that I practice yoga and it’s become a big part of my life because it makes me something I’m not. It’s changed me- even if it’s just for 90 minutes a day that I’ve changed.
How has yoga made you different?
For the past week I’ve been trying to focus on the expression I have in class. Sometimes I peek around me in class and notice people’s expressions (I know, I know, focus on myself only!). Most have a blank, somewhat negative looking face. Some people look like they’re dying. Every once in a while there’s someone with a pleasant face.
There’s this one yogi with the best half smile. He looks like he’s having a BLAST in class with this marvelous smirk on his face. He’s just there soaking in the hot wet amazing-ness of Bikram yoga. I want to have that expression too! I love going to yoga- I need to show it!
Do you know how hard it is to work your butt off yet maintain an expression that says I’m not working hard at all? It’s difficult.
For my birthday this year a couple of awesome friends of mine gave me a 90 minute private lesson with one of my favorite teachers at my studio. Most people may think that’s lame… it’s the COOLEST gift ever for me! It’s something I’d never buy for myself! It’s been amazing!
The teacher and I decided to split it into two 45 minute lessons. The first one was mid March the second one was last weekend. She decided that what would benefit me the most wouldn’t be to go over the beginning postures but to give me extra “homework” to get deeper into both beginner and advanced postures. In other words, she kicked my ass.
My first lesson was all about shoulders and working on full camel. We worked on stretching out my shoulders using the wall and she spotted me for various back bending and strengthening exercises. I was sore for DAYS! My homework was some hip stretches, the wall shoulder stretching, and working on pigeon but against the wall. All fun homework that I can do after class with few people noticing or looking twice.
My second lesson was more shoulders but also working on locust pose. Locust pose isn’t my friend. I’ve been doing this yoga for years- even though I try my hardest in the posture every class (well…. most classes) I don’t think I’ve made much progress over the years. This teacher has also noticed and created a good 30 minutes of locust “fun”. My homework is SUPER awkward! Locust pose in a multitude of torture-ish exercises that look really weird. Think about laying in locust with your arms under your body and using momentum trying to kick your legs up as high as possible. I also have to walk my legs up to bend the top of my spine while laying in locust (aka butt in the air like a weirdo).
Tuesday after class I was working on my locust homework and got ALL kinds of weird looks. It does look really odd… Thursday the teacher came in to clean the mirrors and empathized with me. She made some comment about how painful it is to work on locust pose. Locust isn’t the most fun posture to practice.
I DID!!!!! She’s going to be in Austin over Memorial day weekend. Probably shouldn’t have spent the money… but it’ll be totally worth it!!! I also get to check out the other Bikram studio in Austin.