Tuesday, 29 November 2011

You grew a moustache....I did Yoga

Day 29 of 30.

I was supposed to blog throughout this whole month long challenge, but that didn’t work out so well.

First off, yoga took over my life.  When I wasn’t doing yoga, I was doing laundry to have something to wear to yoga. 

Before this challenge, I tried to get to yoga 4 or 5 times a week.  I didn’t realize the difference between 5 and 7 times a week!  It was hard.  There were days where I hurt so bad that I didn’t want to go.  There were days that I went with such bad sciatic pain I couldn’t do a forward fold but rather the flat back, hands to shins, that you’re supposed to come UP out of the forward fold to!

I started to feel sick at the midway mark.  Like my skin hurt on my muscles kind of sick, nauseousness, just plain icky.  Then I received an email from the lovely Estelle telling me that a lot of people get sick during a 30 Day Challenge because you’re pushing yourself so hard and your body isn’t used to it.  She told me to just come to class and if I had to, lay in savasana the whole time.  Well I didn’t lay in it the WHOLE time, but there were a couple classes near the end that my back was flat on that mat when everyone else was flying in dancer’s pose.  To be fair to myself, these times were during a second, back-to-back yoga class after going all out in the first hour!

One of my yogi sisters said to me the other day, “when this is all over, I’m taking a break from yoga”.  As nice as it sounded, I knew that my 4 or 5 days a week practice would continue when the Challenge is over.  If I don’t get to yoga every second day I can feel it in my muscles, my bones and most definitely in my bowel (see earlier blog).

So what have I learned from this 30 Day Challenge. 

I learned to put my ego in check.  Leave it outside of the hot room.  It doesn’t matter what others think of my practice in the studio (they shouldn’t be thinking of me at all!)  If I need to be on my back, then that’s where I need to be. 

I learned patience with myself.  So many injuries surfaced during this 30 days.  Sciatic pain in both butt cheeks, right shoulder pain, lower back...which I think was related to the sciatic pain, what felt like a broken pinky for one week (try toppling tree on a broken pinky...not as easy as it sounds!)  I had to come out of a lot of asanas and I would shake my head and say to myself...that’s okay.  Every day is different.

I learned strength.  Not just the strength of my physical body, but the strength of my mind and my heart.  Don’t get me wrong, looking in the mirror and seeing a difference in the shape and contours of my body is absolutely amazing!  But the strength of knowing I could commit myself to something this powerful and complete it.  Do whatever I needed to make sure I got my 30 days in.  I’m proud of that accomplishment even more than how I look!

I learned all over again how much I love this community of mine.  I may not know everyone by name, but going through something this challenging with so many happy, loving faces, changes a person.  I’ve been practicing with Moksha Yoga Dartmouth for over a year now, and it still amazes me every day how blissful it is to be there.

Something I still have to work on....

Patience for others.  I have to put this as an afterthought because it is something I REALLY struggled with this month.   November was an insanely busy month at MYD.  You knew that every class was going to be packed.  The teachers tell you when you enter to put your mats close together to make sure there is enough room for everyone...so why is it that there are those same people every class that take up room enough for 3.  WOOSAHHH   

Patience for others.  Savasana is a time to allow your body to take in all the work you just did and process all that work.  When I first started going to MYD, I was one of the yogis who got up and left ASAP.  I didn’t realize how important savasana was back then. Whether it was because I didn’t want to stand around a crowded change room or because I had to rush home for some reason or another, I left as soon as possible.  BUT!!  I left as QUIETLY as possible.  Respecting the fact that others needed that time to process.  I am now one of those yogis who remains in the hot room for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.  I even place a facecloth across my eyes so that I won’t be tempted to look around the room as others leave.  I NEED that “me” time on my mat.  Newbies and even those yogis who don’t feel the need for savasana....PLEASE, I beg of you, pretend there is a newborn baby sleeping next to you.  Roll your mat up as slowly and quietly as possible, wait to put it in your bag with the zipper or velcro until you leave the hot room, tiptoe out so as to not wake that sleeping baby, and slip that door closed softly.

So patience for others is my new goal in yoga and in life.

If you knew me a year ago, you would be able to comment that I have already grown by leaps and bounds in this area....but I know I have a long way to go...

~ Namaste ~

I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end. ~ Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

This pose is for you Dad!

So I have been away from my blog for a very long time...but honestly, I was thoroughly enjoying my yogi sister, Wendy’s blog so much that I felt mine wasn’t required anymore!  Seriously, that girl is a RIOT!  So poignant and honest, and FUNNY!!

So I’ve decided to join the blogging world again because I feel I have something to blog about.

The month of November is dedicated to Prostate Cancer.  Men from all over the world grow their mustaches and raise money for a cancer that doesn’t get as much exposure as say, breast cancer, but yet affects just as many people, including my family.

My father is a SURVIVOR of Prostate Cancer.  In 2005 my dad was diagnosed.  I remember the day when I got the call from my father that he was given a clean bill of health.  No more cancer.  I remember I was standing up at the time at my desk at work and when he told me he was cancer free, my knees gave out from under me and I collapsed to the floor, crying happy tears.

My father is my hero in every sense of the word.  There is no man in this world that can compare to him.  He is the strength I look to, he is the wisdom I seek out, he is the humour that surprises me with bursts of laughter.  My father is the TRUEST measure of a man.

This month Moksha Dartmouth is doing a 30 Day Challenge where all proceeds are going to Prostate Cancer Research.  As a participant in this challenge, I have committed myself to practicing yoga for 30 days straight.  This is a feat for me.  Getting to the studio every day may prove difficult, along with the aches and pains of a daily practice.  Knowing when to push myself and when to put my ego aside and modify my asanas.

My father SURVIVED Prostate Cancer.  Everything he went through is what will push me through this challenge because nothing I go through over the next 30 days will come close to what he had to go through to BEAT Cancer.

I dedicate my 30 Day Challenge to my father, Tim Olive.  The strongest person I know.

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  ~Clarence Budington Kelland