Thursday, November 26, 2009

Girly stuff

This doesn't have much to do with yoga, but it does have to do with thinking more about how I take care of myself and the way I treat my body, which is why I'm writing about it here.

I've been on the pill off and on for the past 6 or 7 years. It seemed like an obvious choice to be on it at first - it was a good method of back-up birth control, and then with Matt, once we realized that we both wanted a long-term commitment, it made sense to stay on it.

Now, the more I think about the fact that I'm putting synthetic hormones in my body, the more I'm questioning how good/safe this is.

On the other hand, it seems like condoms probably aren't terribly environmentally friendly.

How do you guys feel about the pill? Have you been on it? What made you decide to stay on it or stop using it? Do you have any alternatives to suggest?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mid-November complaints

Saturday I had a wonderful practice. It was a really tough class, but I flew through it. My body was so light that I felt like I could have gone on for hours. I felt all lovely and floaty for the rest of the afternoon.

Yesterday, though, was a different story. I'm always amazed at how much my practice can change from day to day. Yesterday everything felt like a challenge - downward dog was uncomfortable, balancing postures were difficult, inversions gave me a headache. I left the class feeling like I hadn't gotten anything out of it - not because of the teacher, but because of my own reluctant body.

Today I just feel sad and lazy, which seems like a dangerous combination. It's partly the weather, and partly stress that's happening in my personal life, and partly being frustrated with myself for the way I feel. When I hear myself talking, I sound like a non-stop complaining machine.

My teacher on Saturday played this song during class:

It almost made me cry for some reason.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ugh. Sleep.

I am terrible at sleeping. It doesn't matter how tired I am, how long I've been awake, what bed I'm in, I'm just horrible at it.

I can usually fall asleep fine, and I generally sleep somewhat soundly for the first few hours, but I wake up every night at around 3 or 4 and from then on I toss and turn. If I do manage to fall back to sleep, the rest of the night I sleep very lightly and have anxiety nightmares.

It's the WORST. It's got to the point where I hate night, I hate beds, I hate having anything touch me while I try to sleep. Pretty much, I just hate everything. I haven't slept a whole night through for the last five years or so.
I feel like I've tried everything. I've tried eating dinner earlier in the evening, tried warm milk, tried white noise, tried a sleep mask, tried melatonin, tried herbal sleeping pills, tried regular sleeping pills. Right now my doctor has me on Imovane, which is a sleeping pill that is processed out of your system pretty quickly, so you're not drowsy in the morning. Which is great and all, because it helps me sleep more deeply those first few hours, but unfortunately doesn't stop the 3 am wake-ups.

I know sleeping pills are bad. And I know that my insomnia is probably at least partly due to stress. And I also know that I have a really lovely life compared to many people and, as someone who has quite a regular yoga practice, I should be better able to manage my stress.

Sadly, knowing all of these things does not make me sleep better.

If you have any fail-safe sleep-aids, please, please share them. Right now, I feel like I'm at my wits' end.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I had a really great string of classes this week.

On Wednesday night, the teacher taught us a really neat sequence that involves transitioning from crow to a tripod headstand then back to crow and into plank. It was really challenging, and I'm still working on it, but I loved it.

Thursday night two of my friends came with me to class, and I got to introduce them to one of my all-time favourite teachers. They seemed to like the class and said that they would try to come every week. I'm always so interested when non-yoga people enter the yoga world, and seeing what a difference starting a practice makes in their life.

Yesterday I had a teacher that I've seen quite frequently in the last few months (she subs regularly at our studio, and would always come into the store afterwards to chat with me), but that I haven't had as a teacher in over a year. She made a comment during class that my practice was looking really strong, which left me feeling all glowy and happy.

Then on the way home, I started to think about what she'd said. Why did this comment make me so happy? What does it matter how good (or bad) my practice is looking. Do I practice in order to achieve something? What am I trying to achieve?

It's hard to figure out, because I tend to be fairly goal-oriented, and the only tangible "goal" that I can see coming out of my practice would be doing my teacher training. Fair enough, that is something that I'm interested in. But it's not the reason that I practice.

Is my goal to stay fit? That's another possibility. I'm not very active, I don't go to the gym, and now I sit at a desk all day. I certainly do like the feeling of strength and endurance that yoga has given me.

Does anybody else ever question their reasons for practicing? Or are you able to let go of all that and just DO?