|Sunstone Yoga gives wristbands for achievement. (10 & 25 classes)|
But this beginning is profound.
Some days are still hard. Really hard. Usually that happens when I am low on resources—dehydrated, too hungry, not enough sleep. And sometimes, it’s just random.
But I get through every single class, and that still feels like an accomplishment, although I must admit that the time goes by so fast, it blows me away.
And at the end of that hour, I am exhausted, sweaty, stinky, and serene. Not a terrible combination, if you ask me…
So, what has changed? What has shifted in me?
I’m up to going to classes at least 4-5 times a week. It was remarkably easy to get there, even though I was really skeptical at first. I haven’t posted to Facebook for accountability because I actually haven’t needed it.
I am solely accountable to myself.
This might just be the first endeavor in my entire life where I haven’t needed to be accountable to anyone but me. That’s huge! And I didn’t actually realize it until just now, as it hit me that I’d stopped posting yoga updates to Facebook.
As far as other changes, there are the outwardly obvious things—my posture has vastly improved. My skin looks amazing and glowy and happy. My clothes are all fitting looser because I have lost inches. And over the past 5 weeks, even though I’m not actively trying to lose weight (because on yoga days I tend to eat like a horse, or so it feels like, and I love to eat, and I eat whatever I want so long as it’s got ingredients I can pronounce and identify and feel good about eating)… I have indeed lost 5 pounds. And of course, I am more flexible, I’m getting stronger, and my balance is better (most days).
And it’s really cool when I can hold poses longer than I used to, or better, or both. It’s fascinating to see and feel my own progression and growth and change. I am enjoying this process very, very much.
But the real, soul-deep benefits are much harder to articulate.
I’ve noticed that I’m making yoga a priority, no matter what. It’s not so much the yoga as it is making taking care of me the real priority.
I’ll give you an example.
This past Monday, I knew I was going to go to my dad’s house in the evening. I normally try to catch the 8pm class on Mondays, but after 9pm would be way too late to head up to my dad’s house.
Instead of skipping class, I got up an hour earlier, went in to work earlier, left work earlier, and caught the 5pm class instead. I was done by 6pm and on my way up to my dad’s not too long after that.
In other words, I rearranged my entire day to make sure I could still get to yoga but also get to my dad’s. I fulfilled both priorities and felt great about it.
The more profound piece of that, though, is that missing my yoga wasn’t even an option that came to mind.
Which means that I have turned it into a habit to take care of me and prioritize my own health and well-being. It’s not even an option anymore for me to be sedentary, because that is so far from what I want that it doesn’t even enter my mind anymore.
Even now, that realization brings tears to my eyes.
As I anticipated, hot yoga is changing my life. I feel calmer and more in control during the day. I am sleeping harder and better. I’m not waking up at random times of the night anymore. I am able to fall asleep immediately once I’m in bed—and that is a gift, considering falling asleep fast (or sometimes at all) eluded me after my mom’s death.
There's one other thing. A really big thing, too.
I’ve stopped drinking coffee.
Yes. You read that right… this life-long coffee lover (coffee obsessor, more like) has actually stopped drinking coffee altogether.
Before—I drank about 20 ounces of coffee.
That’s a lot of caffeine, y’all.
So now it’s one or two cups of tea (or perhaps a chai latte using almond milk), and if I drink any tea in the afternoon or evening (and I often do), it’s herbal and caffeine free.
And I honestly couldn’t feel better about it than I do. I feel great! I love the smell of coffee, and I do still enjoy the taste (provided there’s enough cream and sugar), but even after a couple of sips, I can recognize that my system just doesn’t like it anymore. In fact, my system all but completely rejects coffee, now that I’ve stopped consuming it.
These changes in me are profound.
And there are more (good! happy!) changes, too—not having anything to do with yoga.