on the mat is a state of mind
Today is my first ‘day off.’ I’m using the quotations because I can’t say that I really trust myself to stay away from the studio. Since there may not be any huge revelations today as my plans include running with the dog and going to the fair, I figured it would be a good time to give a little of the back story of this project.
I graduated from acupuncture school in December of last year. I’d been studying in Boulder, Colorado, land of hard core yogis and gazelle-like runners. No matter what I did in Boulder, someone was always better at it than I was. There was always somebody who had just gotten back from an ashram in India or saving children in China. The yoga classes I attended were more than intimidating. These women did Ironman triathalons, were world class climbers (Lynn Hill, anyone?), and even the old ladies had been at it since the seventies and sent my poor downward dog into a downward spiral. I gave up. I rejected anything that qualified as ‘woo-woo’ – abandoning my favorite Prana hiking pants, Om embossed tank tops, nose ring, marijuana, chacos… well, maybe not my chacos, but anything that reeked of Boulder had to go. I was an acupuncturist in a yoga class in boulder, colorado and I’d started to feel like something of a cliche.
After I finished school, I moved to Asheville to live with a dear friend from college who I hadn’t seen in some years, but we had reconnected on myspace (I know) and subsequently Facebook and rebuilt some sort of internet based relationship. We generally partied our way through the winter, I survived my licensing exams, made a couple of ill-conceived dating decisions and eventually rented a house with another friend from college and made more ill-advised choices. I ate a lot of pork ribs, drank many Pisgah Pale Ales, watched many basketball games and worked as little as possible. I gained twenty pounds and was pretty miserable. Somehow I had picked a town of 50,000 people with about 100 acupuncturists and minimal disposable income.
About halfway through the summer, I packed up and moved to Raleigh. Some very special folks made the transition incredibly easy. I was set up with a nice condo, some new-old friends, some new-new friends, a couple of new fave hang out spots, a large population of folks interested in acupuncture and minimal competition.
At the end of September, I decided to open my own practice. I saw the space on the 23rd, signed a lease on the 28th and was up and running October 12th. It was a crazy two weeks, detailed (for the most part) here.
Over the course of September, I’d been going to some yoga classes at Seaboard Fitness. There were a couple of instructors there that I really liked, and one of them told me about blue lotus. I really enjoyed his classes, but as I got deeper into my (once a week if that) ‘practice’ I realized that I wanted a little bit more. Gym yoga is great, but eventually people coming in late, the sounds of the treadmills and general smell of the gym started to take away from the experience I was seeking. I’m also really big on community, and not to insult the practice of anyone there, but I was searching for a group of people who would support me as I went through this journey. Of starting my business. Of turning thirty. Of finding my Truth, my purpose in this life.
I was on my way out of town last friday, but decided not to go for various reasons, not the least of which was my newfound paranoia about swine flu. I went to a free class on Ayurveda at blue lotus on saturday afternoon. I loved the space, it felt like a place that I would design (but better!), were I going to start a yoga studio. I went to a level 1 class on sunday afternoon. I was smiling as I hit the mat for savasana.
I came back with a friend for a Stretch and Flow class on monday night (post on that here) that blew my mind. I went to a Yin Practice class on tuesday night (post) that, though it didn’t blow my lid off, left me with a greater sense of respect for my teachers and a greater sense of purpose for my practice. I committed and signed up for a year. I wanted this every day, and at 15$ a pop, that was impossible. Paying monthly costs $95 and if I go every day that’s $3.16 per class. That’s less than coffee (which I don’t drink anymore, incidentally).
So my non-committal Sagittarian self is committed to something for one year. I am turning thirty in December, and I’ve said that I want to enter this birth year as the best version of myself that I’ve ever been. I want to lose the weight I put on in Asheville, I want to lose the baggage I’ve acquired from years of not paying attention. I want to start a successful business and have something to show for my years of hard work that supports me, financially and personally. Yoga is my gift to myself. It is also a gift to my friends and family, my patients and my community. I always want people to leave my presence feeling better than they did before, never worse. I want to shed the part of me that is critical, of myself and of others, and learn to live with intention and on purpose. This is my year.
One year of yoga (hopefully followed by many more), and what I hope will be my best year yet.