I have a great friend who went through a major drug phase in college. It was so bad then when I went to visit her, I barely recognized her. It wasn’t a physical change as much as a personality change—she was NOT the same person I knew and loved for so many years.
It started small but eventually turned into the bigger stuff. She was then prescribed drugs to help her get away from drugs. Make sense?? She became addicted to these pharmaceutical drugs and also battled with anxiety and depression. She said she came close to killing herself a few times while she was taking these prescribed drugs, and nothing helped her…until she found yoga.
Yoga transformed her life. She is now strong, healthy, drug free and happier than I have ever seen her.
Now, if this is not a story that should convince me to change, then I don’t know what else will.
She and I had a long talk about it a few years ago. It went something like this:
Her: Nicole, I think yoga would be great for you.
Me: Why is that?
Her: Because you’re a lot like me…I was always really uptight and everything bothered me. Yoga has taught me to let things go. I think it would be a huge benefit for you.
Me: I’m uptight?
Her: <laughs out loud> Girl, I love you, but yes. You are.
When I told Dennis of this conversation, he laughed out loud too. “I’ve been telling you that forever,” he said. Damn. I’m uptight.
And my brain doesn’t like to stop. I don’t know how to shut it off sometimes. That’s why I like to run, because I’m not really thinking about much when I’m running. I listen to my music and concentrate on the task at hand. I always feel refreshed when I’m done…even if my run felt bad because I couldn’t pick up my speed or because I didn’t feel well, I still feel happier after a run than I did before. I love the fact that running makes me mobile. And I know how bad it is for my body (i.e. bad knee and now recovering bad foot) But honestly, my foam roller has helped my knee to feel better … I’ve found the source of the problem and if I can keep up with it, then I will be fine.
But I always come back to yoga.
Why can’t I get into it?
Everyone I know that participates in yoga loves it. And I mean LOVES it. My friend Reba took me to a hot vinyassa flow class for my birthday this past May and I.LOVED.IT. You can read about it here. I felt like I was hooked! However, since it’s so expensive, I gave up on it. I can’t afford to pay $20 a class. This definitely deterred me.
So I tried doing some DVDs. I hated them. I can’t keep up. I’m not good enough to do the moves without seeing them in person and having someone there to show me what to do.
So I tried a class at my gym. I hated it.
It was so stressful! I wrote about that class here.
I couldn’t keep up, I felt sick and overstressed. It took everything not to walk out.
So I tried some of Polly’s webcasts. Hmmm….now this is something I can get used to. I loved what Polly was doing. She broke them up into mini sessions so you can pick and choose which type of yoga you wanted to focus on. Abs, arms, back, legs, whatever you want. And they’re short so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
So why did I stop?
I don’t know.
I was expecting to feel this amazing transformed feeling, but to be honest, our lives got very complicated. We had to find a new place to live, then after we moved we had to find another place to live since Dennis got a job, I was in VA for a week looking for our new address, we packed, we moved…you get the picture. The past 2 months have been nothing but chaos for us. This should have been the time to use yoga to my advantage!! Instead, the thought of it stressed me out even more. I can’t slow down! I have too much to do! Run! Walk! Lift! Spin! Go go go! That’s just how my brain works!
The moral of the story? I’m reading again how amazing yoga is and I really want to know what my problem is. Why can’t I bring myself to stop and let yoga bring me the peace and happiness it’s brought to so many others? Is it because I can’t let myself stop and slow down?
If you are out there reading this and you’re a lover of yoga, please tell me what you think. Maybe it’s just not for everyone.