I arrived at class and was doing my best to ignore the voice screaming in my head You Are Not Going To Be Able To Do This! I placed my matt on the floor and sat and watched everyone looking so peaceful and hoped at some point I could do this too. They had their eyes closed as they listened to the soothing voice of the instructor guiding them to clear their minds and focus only on their breathing. I appeared to be following along but in honesty I was actually peeking. After all heaven forbid I was the only student doing the instructed stretch wrong.
After the initial meditation and stretching it was time to stand and raise one foot to our ankle to begin the tree pose. I finally felt myself relaxing as I was confident I could do this move somewhat well. In the same soothing voice the instructor reminded us that this pose was difficult and we should not get upset if we lost our balance. Every time a student lost their footage she encouraged her to laugh. The idea is to train the brain to stay calm in any situation where life may throw us off balance. We were told only to stretch to a comfortable point as we should feel no pain and go at our own pace as we are not being judged.
The end of class we lied down on our matts listening to the most soothing music I ever heard and I felt my entire body relaxing. After learning the title of the CD I could not wait to go home and download it. That night I played the song Bathe In These Waters and practiced my breathing at bedtime and fell asleep before the six minute song ended. Thanks to menopause that is something that had not happened in a long time.
Needless to say I signed up for the membership card on my second class.
In a short time I have seen small improvements. For instance, last week a friend asked if I could come with her to a doctor appointment as she was going to be receiving test results and needed morale support. We agreed she would pick me up at 9:30 the next morning. At 8:30 my phone rang and it was her asking if we could leave sooner as her nerves were getting the best of her. The old Donna would have ran around like a chicken without a head. I am learning mindfulness and doing what is important which was not worrying about dirty cups in the sink and unmade beds but my friend.
There is a difference between responding and reacting. I will admit when I first hung up I was beginning to feel a bit anxious and angry at myself for not getting up earlier but I calmly reminded myself not to react. Stressing accomplishes nothing. Wow, I thought this might just be working.
Well it was working until last weekend. I knew the pity party I threw myself while lying in bed under the covers shoving leftover Halloween candy into my mouth was not the correct response to pain. Ok, and I will admit just an hour ago when I typed this whole blog and hit publish and it disappeared I reacted a tad childishly while wallowing in pain again. I still have episodes I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I want to quit. I eventually wiped my tears last week, and with a cup of herbal tea did so again today, and reminded myself if I feel pain I am doing it wrong.
Yes, I admit I need more classes!!!!
I suppose it will take me more than two classes to tame this wired brain. I find both in class and practicing at home when I want to meditate and listen to my breathing it is the exact time I get a cramp in my leg or an itchy nose which distract me. I read part of training the brain is to ignore feelings like that but right now just typing the word itch makes me want to scratch.
I am not convinced I will ever be focused or calm. I have a feeling I will most likely one day die with the crazy wired brain I was born with. I do break down from time to time but usually it is because I care. I wish we could all calmly look at each others pain and frustrations and leave them at the door like we do in yoga. I wish I could shout to the world if we are feeling pain of any kind we are not doing it right.
So maybe I will never master yoga. I am still glad I took the matt out of the Christmas wrap and took my doctors advice. Hopefully I will learn to listen to the waves and just breathe my next doctor appointment and get a good blood pressure reading versus her rubbing my back saying Donna, your having a major anxiety attack again!!!
I think I will ask for a few pairs of yoga pants for my wish list this year. No worries they will sit in wrapping for 10 months because I am going need them to wear to all my future classes. I will definitely return because yoga does make me kinder, it helps me breathe, and strengthens my core. The thing I love most is being in a room with likeminded people and for ninety minutes every Thursday we leave our troubles at the door.
With the soothing sounds of my CD playing it is now time for me to slow down my mind and get another good night rest.
With eyes closed I shall no longer think, wonder, imagine, or obsess but will instead just breathe and have faith everything in life will work out for the best. Namaste