Why I’ll Never Be a Yogi – or – Who Needs the Brain/Mind Dichotomy? They Both Annoy Me!

UPDATE: I’m feeling much better now about all of this, but I’m going to leave the post as a reminder that I’ve been here before!

So, as you can probably tell from the title, I’m feeling a bit annoyed right now.  I just finished an at-home yoga practice and it was not all I had hoped it would be.  I’m frustrated with my recent inability to get in a good home practice – which really seems necessary if I’m going to progress, because I can get to  the studios 4x per week max right now.   There are two different problems that cropped up in this practice – one related to mind and one to body – that I want to be able to control, even though I know that the only way around them (really) is to let go of that control.

First, the mind – I drug my stuff to the basement for this practice to get away from the family, thinking it would encourage mindful and attentive practice.  Apparently, that was not the best selection.  I just could not seem to stay on the mat.  I pondered the cardboard boxes that are all over the room from unpacking furniture (Why did they leave them there? When should we take them to the curb? Why is there so much waste in packaging?).  I worried about what the two pets that came to “visit” my practice were doing  (Is Charlie scratching the carpet?  Is Charlie eating that plastic? What is Charlie doing under the box? Oh, look, Luna is rubbing her eye on the carpet – that can’t be good.  Did Luna just jump on the new couch? She’s going to get hair everywhere.).  I thought about what I needed to do tonight and what I was going to make for dinner.  I even pondered a work call that I had this afternoon.  Time and time again, I told myself to come back to the mat, but to no avail.

Then there was the body – Today’s practice made me feel a little bit like I’ve actually been losing ground.  After what felt like a long time (from my body), I glanced at the clock and realized it had been barely 35 minutes.  The energy just seemed to be missing.  Poses that I normally love, even as they challenge me, just felt counter-intuitive and wrong.  I had to kick up several times to get into Pincha Mayurasana, and then when I got there, about 10 seconds in I realized that I was panting and my heart was beating like a snare drum and had to come back down.  Headstand was better, but not by much.  I managed to stub the crud out of my toe practicing forward/back jumps (which I’m never good at) and scraped all the skin from my elbows doing yoga in a scratchy long sleeved cotton shirt.  It was all just silly.  I want my body to “cooperate.”

I know, really, I know.  This is not a yoga way of judging myself.  Clearly, I’m a long way from being a yogi.  : /   So, tell me about the walls you have hit in your yoga practice, or meditation, or running/swimming/whatever and what you did to get past them.

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One Response to Why I’ll Never Be a Yogi – or – Who Needs the Brain/Mind Dichotomy? They Both Annoy Me!

  1. Victoria Rosenberg says:

    be patient. There is no ‘yoga’ way; there is just the way through. I have hit so many walls, climbed over and then splated down the other side. Not only do I occasionally splat I don’t even realize I have made it past until I run into another. Try to think back to your past struggles, celebrate those triumphs and gain energy from that. I find it helpful to talk to others, no one is in the same place at the same time; you may find you are behind others and past some. The ‘YOGI’ who thinks he has any answers for you or anyone is no yogi at all. ANY person who guides you on your path can be what I call Yogi de jour. It can come from anywhere. I get through, over, under, past, or avoid walls in many different ways. Things I do… fight through; nothing like keeping at it. Leave the ‘wall’ and climb another of similar, shape, size, and with similar benefits that you can tackle so you are better prepared for the wall. Walk away, have a glass a wine, this I call ‘screw the wall’ approach. Read or re read a book or article that inspires you. I go shul and pray. The luxury of being a practicing jew is there is a service every day. Many times it is not what the service says to me, it is what a person says to me in casual conversation. I also get acupuncture for no apparent reason.

    Some things to ponder. My most successful home practice comes from major planning. Think how much time to studio and leader prepares for your class, must do at least that. Everyone in my house knows; no pets, no noise, no jumping in the house for the first 45 minutes. I spend more time prepping for my practice then actually practicing AND I am only successful 1 out of 5 times, if that. Here are some analogies I have collected. A really good photographer only gets 1 GREAT shot in 100. I swam 6 hours a day, 6 days a week for years in hopes that I could swim a race that lasted hopefully less then 30 seconds. I beat the 30 seconds but never got first. The most successful professional anything performs/competes less then 10% of the time and they are rarely perfect. Think about success in smaller bites; if you get 4 minutes of a 40 minute practice then you are doin pretty good by those standards. Hold on to you boots, this is my favorite thought….think how long you are actually having sex before you reach orgasm, and then some are better then others or worse you can’t get there at all. Consider this, how long does ‘it’ actually last. Once in a blue moon if everything is working as it should a miracle happens and a new human life is created. Go forward 9 months and if all else is ‘right’ a perfect being takes up resident on planet earth. Yoga is like this for me…sometimes it is not the orgasm that I desire it is connection and pleasure of the build up. Sometimes I only want the orgasm and that takes A LOT of focus for me. Seriously, some ‘sessions’ are beyond great and some don’t even get the job done. Finally, I have never created a human life on purpose and ALL of my children are truly perfect.

    Some of MY odd secret weapons for refocusing. I go to yahoo answers; I read posted questions and answer those that appeal to me. I troll u tube for odd things or just videos that catch my eye. I watch Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends. I pop in an old movie that I love. I soak in a tub of Epsom Salt and oils and head to bed, which is where I am headed now. Thank you for asking and allowing to express my self.

    Your partner in existence, Victoria.

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