Asanacation One Year Anniversary

url-11I realized a few days ago that it has basically been a year since my asana practice fell apart. I’ve maintained a practice of yoga in terms of learning, pranayama, and meditation, but asana has been rare. I don’t know exactly how I do/should feel about it, and I’m not sure where I’m going from here.

There are many reasons for the change, but mostly it comes back to health. A surgical procedure in October of 2013 went wrong, causing problems that built up over late 2013 into the first months of 2014. By April, I was miserable. Getting through a day of work was a challenge, and asana was right out. At the end of May, I had a more invasive surgery to correct the prior one. But, then that, and some serious complications during healing, necessitated a continued break from yoga until September 2013. I thought that, by September, I would be back on track. It just didn’t work out that way, as rheumatoid arthritis had other opinions. Work schedule contributed by making the new times at my home studio impossible for me most days, and my home practice commitment just wasn’t strong enough to make up the difference when demands of household and work call. And time passed, and here we are in April.

There are weeks that I manage two classes. Once in a while, it might be three. But, my asana isn’t what it was. Muscles and tendons are tight and constrained. I’m physically weaker. My core is tired and balance is off. Meh. Yet, the RA isn’t significantly worse than it was 18 months ago and I had a more regular practice then. On the other hand, then I wasn’t on particular medication that slows my heart rate to 58, making every moment seem like a good moment for a nap. HA! So, what and where from here?

I want to get back to a more regular asana practice. I know the tricks like putting it on my schedule (though that does no good if I can’t get home from work until 6:30 or later and class starts at 6:15) and using videos and podcasts for home encouragement. But, I knew those last month and the month before, so something has to make the difference. I’m aware that clinging to the idea of an asana practice in a way that makes me feel bad, guilty, ashamed isn’t a good idea. But, I like how I feel when I practice more and (in a non-yogic truth) my clothes also fit better.

This is going to be one of “those” posts, where I end with a question for which I have no answers. It makes me a very not helpful vegan yoga blogger, but it’s where I am right now. So, WWYYD? (what would you yogis do?)

 

Take Your Food to Work Day

Working out of the house, it’s an ongoing challenge for me to figure out how to keep my food intake balanced across the day, so that I don’t get home from work at 6:00 and shove everything that isn’t breathing down my gullet.

I rarely lunch out of the office. Sometimes I’ll bring a lunch (today it is a bed of romaine and arugula topped with red peppers, sundried tomatoes, and tunaught croquettes), but it’s not unusual for me to miss lunch entirely. So, then it’s snacks if I don’t want to be ravenous by quitting time.

Here is a sampling of what my “snack drawer” looks like right now:

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As you can see, there is quite a bit of coffee (and espresso pods are just off to the left), some miso soup, pistachios, rice cakes, grits, chocolate, and tea. It’s not the most inspired collection of snacks.

Help me out, readers! What’s in your work snack drawer and why?

 

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Paring Away to Grow Stronger

Photo by Olga Nohra

Tonight, I thinned my radish plants, again. I didn’t enjoy it.

I don’t like thinning plants. It feels like waste to me. It feels like  plant homicide. In a word: boo.

But, it’s necessary. My radish plants are not even very big yet, but already I could see the difference between the plants that were further apart and those that were clumped together. The plants that had more room had stronger looking, thicker stems, and they were a little taller. The plants that were very crowded had extremely thin stems, and when I pulled them, they had barely rooted at all.

It’s that way for us, too. We have to be willing to pare away some things if we want to be strong and healthy. Sometimes it’s bad habits or unhealthy patterns we need to thin away. Other times, it’s memories of hurt, anger, or shame that are holding us back, but that we haven’t quite let go of yet. Maybe it’s people or relationships that are not beneficial to us or to the others involved. It could even be things in our lives that we don’t need (physical things, like too many doodads to dust).

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

We all do this. It’s nothing to be ashamed of (because, really, that would just become another radish plant in your already crowded patch), but it’s something to know and to be willing to examine in our lives, so that we can take steps to thin away what isn’t serving us.