I have long taken a dim view of New Year’s resolutions. Even before Shape Up with the Slow Fat Triathlete was described to me by my publisher as a “New Year, New You,” book (argh), I always felt that it was a tedious cliche to make January 1 the start date for some sort of self-improvement scheme. Yeah, sure the indulgence, stress, football viewing, and sloth of the Thanksgiving to New Year bingeathon are behind you, but isn’t it just more interesting to start your new project on St. David’s Day (March 1) or the summer solstice or Halloween? Well, ok, Halloween may not be a good day for resolve. But why not All Saints?
However. I reached New Year’s Day 2011 feeling more stiff, sore, tired, and old than a person my age would really want to feel. Granted, I had just flown 5623 miles to attend my uncle’s funeral in Wales, and I was sleeping in a strange bed and driving on the wrong side of the road. But still, it wasn’t right. When I got back, I resolved that I would endure 30 sessions of yoga by March 31. It may not sound like much, but for me, yoga is a massive ordeal. I really have to force myself to do it. Especially since I haven’t done any regular “practice” for about six years.
I’ve posted before about my preference for Not Doing Yoga. But then I found myself sweating profusely on a purple mat, listening to Sierra - yes, really - instructing me to press my pelvic bones into the earth. I just didn’t want my neck and lower back and knee to suck any more. I actively wanted them to suck less.
Yup, the process itself sucked. But, predictably, after only five sessions I could actually feel my balance improving, making it easier for me to get my shoes on in the morning. I could feel a little more flexibility in some areas. Yeah, I am still tottering like an octogenarian after any long drive, and my downward dog is a bit of an elderly Rottweiler, but I know it does me good. I know it does.
And then in the last 10 days, I lost my groove. I crashed my car while driving to see my folks. (“Welcome home from Wales, and oh, could you give me a ride?”) All people involved were fine; car wasn’t. I got a nasty runny cold. I had to deal with insurance and forms and new car shopping every spare moment. And when I finally got a new car, I had to drive 240 miles round trip to return my rental. Long story. But that drive convinced me that I’m back in Sierra’s class on Tuesday morning, pressing my pelvic bones into the earth. Even if the “earth” is the second floor of a monster health club.
It feels like twisted logic: staying in one place for an hour, standing, kneeling, and twisting is going to enable me to move better? But yeah, I think it is. Namas-freakin-te.
Hey, we made it to 2011, most of us.
P.S. If you can't or won't make it to the yoga studio/gym etc., try www.yogatoday.com - one free video class per week or a bunch of videos online for a super reasonable price.