Perfectly Imperfect

20 minutes is better than nothing

This morning I lay in bed musing about the day, knowing that the longer I stayed under the covers, the less likely I was to roll out the mat. So I got up and looked at my yoga space – filled with mail that needed to be opened, a dog leash begging to be used, and a suitcase that lay stuffed and ready for unpacking.

It was tempting. First I’ll clean off the counter, put away all this stuff so I can set my drishti on a clear, uncluttered space. I could just take care of the mail rather than let it sit. If I’m moving the suitcase, I may as well unpack and throw a load of laundry in before I start. Then the dog is up and looking my way, ready for a walk.

That’s how it goes some mornings. The mat stays rolled up in the corner while a bunch of other things on the list get done. I want to make things as close to ideal as I can in order to practice. I want to clear the space, so I can clear my mind. I want a home studio that looks like the ones in the magazine. But at what cost? It’s not helping me to skip my practice until it can look perfect.

This morning I set up my mat amidst the chaos. The room was a mess. My body ached and my waistline spoke of too much Christmas pie. My nose was stuffed up and I couldn’t pranayam my way out of a paper bag, but I did it. I got down in chaturanga with elbows as close to 90-degrees as I can get them. My trikonasana was crooked, but existent. And it was good.

day off

When I was a little girl, I hated missing school. I was a pretty high strung kid and I was afraid I’d never catch up on what I’d missed. Even when I was feeling sick, I didn’t want to skip. My mom would bring me with her on errands and it was the strangest feeling to be out and about during the day. I felt like everyone could tell I was somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be.

These days, I really have none of that anxiety. Okay, maybe a little. But I can handle it. And I love being out and about when I’m normally at the office. I look at people and wonder what they do, where their day is taking them.

I took a day off this week to… well, to just take a day off. I went to the gym, I spent time down by the water, I took the dog out for miles and miles.

And even though it was gorgeous outside, I even watched some tv and took a nap on the couch. I really needed it. And maybe I should? But I don’t feel guilty at all.

Cleaning Up My Act

clean foods

Oh, people. It’s time. It’s for serious time to clean up my act. In terms of food, I mean. At least it’s a place to start.

We eschewed Turkey this year and made pasta from scratch together – along with all sorts of other sides. Everything was delicious, but there was way too much bread – for me, at least. I’m pretty sure that it’s the bread that puts me way over the top. When it comes to this kind of eating, my belly grows three times its normal size (I’m not exaggerating) and it’s silly and uncomfortable.

So, now it’s time. I might not do a full-on juice cleanse. But it’s certainly time for some dedicated clean eating. Green stuff. Lots of green stuff. Maybe the old juicer comes out to live on the counter. And laying off the wheat and dairy for a while is certainly in order. I’ll let you know how it goes.

How about you guys? Can you keep your food balance over the holidays or are you more like me?

Leela and Chakra Game Play

Have you heard about Deepak Chopra’s latest venture, Leela? Launching today, it’s a meditation based video game where players work through the seven chakras focusing on movement and pranayama. The Leela website calls it:

a groundbreaking game concept that combines ancient relation and meditation techniques with technology to bring focus, energy and balance to your life.

The whole thing seems to be predicated on biofeedback, which makes sense to me. Yoga Dork is right, the demo makes the whole thing look pretty “trippy” (YD saw a live demo and reviewed the game. The demo I saw was on the Leela site.) but I have to say I’m intrigued.

I don’t think I’ll be going out to buy an Xbox anytime soon, so I’ll probably miss the opportunity to play. But who knows, maybe my niece and nephew will stop playing Lego Starwars long enough for me to sidle up to the Wii.

Student and Teacher

I often find myself looking outside for wisdom I later realize I already have. I forget that I’ve studied. That I know anatomy and physiology, that I know asana. And more than that, I forget to listen to the wisdom of my own instincts and my own body.

My back has been bothering me lately, and I went online today looking up yoga postures to ease the strain. What I found was a series of postures from Sadie Nardini (here) all of which, I realized, I have been doing on my own for the past couple of days.

I’ve been lingering in forward fold and pigeon in my daily practice. I stay in down dog and child’s pose for extra breaths. I found myself in wall plank at my niece’s birthday party yesterday, taking deep breaths as the cake pops were served.

Seeing an ‘expert’ affirm what I’d already been doing felt good, but it also reminded me that I know this. I know my body and what it needs. I’ll always look for advice from others because I’m always a student. But what I’m learning is more than a posture recommendation. I’m learning that sometimes I am my own best teacher, too.