It’s the little things…

I’ve finally felt confident enough to stand closer to the mirrors in yoga class. After 5 months of practicing I’ve noticed an influx of newbies, brought by New Year resolutions and a Groupon offer, and have felt bad taking up room in the back of the class when I know the bikram series and can reasonably make it through the whole 90 minutes without spending half of it on my back in savasana. The first few times up close to the mirror went well, but then…

I got distracted.

We’re supposed to “look one place, at yourself, in the mirror,” and I began meditating on the tip of my nose. I could make half eye contact with myself and see my body as I bent into the poses. But then I started to notice my nose. The nose ring on the left side. The nostrils. Oh god, the nostrils.

I became obsessed with my nostrils. Have you ever really looked at your nose? Well, my nostrils are uneven. Lopsided. One side of my nose is higher than others. And I couldn’t stop looking at it, obsessing, analyzing.

I should have been focused on the postures, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how un-perfect my nose was. The next class I stepped back a few feet so that I wasn’t getting such close up look at the HORRIBLE CHARACTER FLAW lack of facial perfection. I needed to take a step back and focus softly, seeing myself, my practice, my life from a slight distance, because too zoomed in I got overly picky on a detail that I can’t change anyway.

Well, there’s always a nose job, right?


The space between


Sometimes depression is like bathroom mold, slowly growing over time, until one day you climb into your shower and think “yuck, where did this come from?” This process could take weeks to months before I notice. Other times it slams into me all at once, like the unexpected flash flood we’re experiencing here in Western WA. But then there are times where depression happens in the space between those two extremes. Sorta slow, but also sorta fast, and it’s as if there’s this warning light going off in my brain saying “watch out, it’s coming!” But it couldn’t possibly be coming, the warning signs have not been present, there’s been no trigger (except the end of summer) and by all accounts I should just ‘get it together’ and ‘suck it up’ and ‘work through it.’

I rationalize, by saying, “you’re tired, you’re stressed about work starting next week, you’re angry that your partner is being less-than-helpful-and-borderline-selfish, and your child is in the terrible-twos-four-months-early.” Lots of excuses. But the gray foggy gloom has been creeping, rolling in, like something in a bad horror film.

Things yesterday that did not make me feel better:

-pre-meditating my skipping yoga to justify a nap (that didn’t happen)

-playing endless games of Candy Crush on my phone, and paying for cheats and more levels…that’ll bite me in the ass

-watching 4 hours of trashy television

-driving to the outlet mall and trying on clothes. even buying two cute things didn’t take away the gray

-buying $12.95 worth of fudge

-getting $0.40 off a gallon of gas at Safeway because I used my parent’s phone # (don’t worry, they don’t get their gas at Safeway)

The part of me that hasn’t been completely taken over by this recent emergence is waffling back and forth…do I do something now (i.e. medication) since therapy is ending on Saturday? Do I wait and see if this is just a transition phase with the weather being crappy and the nerves of a soon-to-be-back-to-work-mama? I’m feeling very victimy overall and also like I really want to cry but won’t let myself. The six minutes of stillness meditation yesterday left me starting to cry, so I distracted myself with other things. My counselor brain knows that isn’t what I should do…

How do you tell the difference between a bad mood and lingering depression? Or the difference between being nervous and having anxiety? What things lift you out of the funk?

Sitting…hardest thing ever

I could do the power poses, like chataranga to plank and back, no problem, but sitting, that was the hardest thing ever.” -Boof

A long discussion about the culture of working out, what workouts we feel geared toward (it was mostly a rant against the Crossfit obsession from Boof’s perspective) led me to say that yoga is really where I feel at home. I’ve been running, but yeah, yoga feels right. And when I do it consistently I see amazing strength and flexibility in body AND mind. And Boof encouraged me, because he said, “Yoga is the hardest workout I’ve ever done, and you’re built for it. It  comes naturally to you…the flexibility and balance. I could do power poses all day, like chataranga and plank and back, no problem, but sitting, that was the hardest thing ever.”

We were getting ready for bed, and so I let the conversation dwindle, after laughing about how right he was about the sitting part. Though he was talking about the physical. With years of playing intense sports like football and running on the treadmill without stretching, his body is strong, but also tight. He cannot sit “criss cross applesauce” on the floor on a normal afternoon, though after 9 months of yoga with me, he was able to. But it got me thinking about the other aspect of sitting, the mental, emotional and even spiritual act of…just sitting…that is, in fact, the hardest part of yoga.



Not doing anything.

Not faceboooking, or blogging, or thinking of facebooking, or thinking of blogging. Not getting up to clean the living room or giving in to the urge to watch the latest DVR’d episode of The Voice. Just sitting.

My husband thinks I’m good at it, that it comes naturally to me, and maybe he’s right in the physical sense, that my legs are flexible, but he’s wrong in so many ways. Sitting is hard, and I struggle with it, probably more than he realizes. My mind is like a manic hamster on redbull.

Because sitting is the hardest thing ever.