Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Goals redefined

I went to yoga yesterday! Again!

Jennifer Jarrett sent a gentle nudge via facebook.
Tomorrow morning? Please say yes.

How could I resist that?
This was the same class I went to last week, Tuesday morning level 1/2.

Jennifer, encourages you to keep your focus on your breathing. Of course your mind is going to drift, but when it does, "gently bring the focus back to your breath." Some days this feels more possible than others. My thoughts yesterday went something like this.

I am the biggest girl... biggest person in this class. I think I'm pretty consistently the biggest person in yoga and for that matter in my dance classes. Is there a yoga class where other folks of size go that I don't know about? Where they get to downward dog without fear their stomach is showing. Stop, I am accepting myself in the moment. I worry about that. Can they see my stomach right now? Wait, breathe. Why am I thinking about my stomach? The people around me are not thinking about me or worrying about what I am doing (I look up and the girl next to me was indeed looking at me). But wait we were doing a twist and I'm right next to her, where else is she going to look. Wait, breathe, breathe, breathe.
Then suddenly, mid-Warrior pose, my thoughts jumped to this blog and I saw a flash of the little goals list I've dutifully posted in the sidebar.
Long term goals for 2011
1) Consistently take 3 yoga classes a week. Including a level 2/3 class.

2) Be able to fit into all of my clothes in my closet and feel comfortable and confident in my wardrobe.

3) Achieve goal of weight under 200lbs
Current short term goals
1)Be able to do full and strong push-ups off of my knees... at least one.

2) Run a 5K
Where did those goals come from and when did those become my goals re: weightloss? Do they still feel true. Specifically, the first one in the long term goals section:
1) Consistently take 3 yoga classes a week. Including a level 2/3 class.
As I struggled through the remaining 3 breaths while in Warrior, I tried to quiet my mind and I suddenly couldn't care less about that goal. It suddenly felt counter intuitive to everything I wanted from yoga. Not the three times a week part, but the level 2/3 part.

What had I made it mean for me to be in a level 2/3 class? Even when I was taking yoga consistently I found the all-levels classes challenging. Wasn't the point for me to focus on my time on the mat, not some made up image I have of me as svelte yogi in headstand.

I started doing yoga because it felt healing to my very core. Each class I was reflective and sweaty and challenged and open-hearted and present. And I think when I created that first goal I kind of lost sight of that for a bit.

I like the first part of the goal:
Consistently take 3 yoga classes a week.
Mainly because Consistency is something I have struggled with. When I was taking class weekly it was like this gift to myself every time. With each class, I found a new little hidden pocket of joy that appeared to me when I breathed a little deeper, went at my own pace, and listened to my body. So the consistency part is a keeper.

I want to take at least one class each week. And I don't care if it's 1/2 or intro to yoga because that's not what this journey needs to be about for me. Wow, that feels freeing somehow. The promise of consistency without the pressure.

Besides come Savasana (the final resting "corpse" pose at the end of every class), the last thing I am thinking about is my size. My muscles melt down into the mat and any worries or struggle I had about the poses I didn't seem to fit in, or my breathing which felt too labored, slip away and are drowned out by the tingly gratitude filled bliss I feel in every fiber of my body.

I have a new, revised Goals list in the blog side bar! What about you? I'd love to hear any goals that are making your heart sing right now.


  1. I think everyone worries about their stomach showing in downward dog!

    I like your updated goals. My goal is to read 2 books a month. Can I borrow your Peter Walsh book?

  2. Really? Good, then I will try not to worry about my stomach so much =)

    Thanks! I like them too! They make me smile more and actually get even a bit more motivated. And yes! Absolutely, I have about 3 or 4 of his books so you can take your pick.

  3. Just found your blog and really like it. I have been taking yoga for over a year and I too worry about my belly showing! I am actually glad to hear that I am not the only one. I think it is a learned skill of calming the mind. Some days i can do it better than others. One of my teachers always says that yoga is about the journey...not the destination. That helps me alot!

  4. Thanks for reading along and for your comment! I agree, there are some days when I totally feel in "the zone" and other days when I really struggle just to stay in the room. Adding the "be kind to myself" to my yoga goal has been such an important reminder for me. I'm working on being proud of myself for being in the room!