There's No Crying in Yoga

January tends to be a messy month for me.  Blame it on the pressures of the new year or the extra holiday pounds or that my lease expires-- whatever -- it's just a mess.  Always.

Unfortunately, this year did not disappoint my previous statement.  JOY.

Here are a few ways that I kicked off the lovely year of 2015: 

  • Moving my entire condo into a single bedroom. (Because, apparently, it is a good idea to save for a house you actually own in your late 20s.  Growing up is for the birds.)
  • Figure out how to find middle ground when sharing a bathroom with a nine and a thirteen-year-old boy. (So, where can I put my once-a-month basket of fun?)
  • Find a part-time job that pays well and doesn't interfere with my writing. (I'm pretty sure that the office is located next to the pot of gold at the end of your local rainbow.  Also, they are not accepting any new applications at this time.)
  • Launch my new blog design that I had been working on for nearly three months (on my own to save money, of course, because I need a big girl house).  Then, when it finally launched, I got to learn that I actually despised the new website builder I chose and would need to return to my former web host with my tail tucked between my legs and an empty bowl awaiting me.  AWESOME.
  • My scale is an asshole.  That's not actually something that happened BUT I feel that it is necesarry to mention right now.
  • My best friend's sister (& good friend of mine) became ill in a way that stings your soul so deeply that you feel it in your bones.  And there's no amount of money that I, or anyone else, can give to change it.

So, on January 1, 2015, I was essentially misplaced, stealing AXE shower gel from a teenage boy, jobless, blog-less, skinny jean-less and God wanted nothing to do with the twelve dollars and fifty-three cents that was in my bank account in exchange for my friend's health back. (Beleive me, I tried. Apparently Heaven isn't running on a cash-basis.)

Is it February yet? Where are my damned chocolate hearts and flowers.  EFF.

Two weeks ago, I decided I needed an adjustment.  An outlook adjustment--STAT.  

So, what could I do to jumpstart this wonderful new and positive me?

YOGA.  Yes!  Yoga is definitely the answer.  

All the "yogi" friends I have seem to be happy and all zen and stuff and they know how to breathe really deep AND they look good in those trendy 90s crop tops!  OH, crop tops.  For the love of God, can I pretty freaking please get to wear one of those damned half shirts before they go out of style again?  I just want to feel like Cher from Clueless for one effing day.  Am I asking too much?!

Moving along.. Back to yoga:

So, yeah, I went.  My friend/amazing new roomie got me a pass to her fancy gym and I was stoked.  She said it was an intermediate class. "Heated Vinyasa" is what she called it, but, all I heard was: Sweat a lot while learning to become a better person than you currently are and maybe not look like so much like Chris Farley tomorrow.  Yep, I'm in.

 I took a bikram yoga class once when I was 21.  Granted, I weighed 12 pounds, was insanely hungover and spent the majority of the class in child's pose trying not to die and counting how many times people farted, BUT I went dammit! 

Bring on the Vin-sauce-blah.  I am obviously a PRO.

The fact that the oldest person in the entire class felt most comfortable placing her mat next to mine should have been my first sign.  She was about 65 and it was her first time in the class too.  We exchanged a good luck half-smile and class began.

Let's go ahead and fast forward to halfway through the class: I was sweating like a well-fed turkey on Thanksgiving Eve and, very obviously, the worst "yogi" in the room.  Even my next door neighbor, Betty, was kicking my ass.  And I thought we were friends.  First-timer my ass, Betty.

But the soft-spoken (and much less sweaty) instructor said to keep going.  And, surprisingly, I did.  I was shaking like a leaf and attempting to twist myself into a position, which I'm pretty sure belonged in a Kama Sutra book, when I decided I was going to quit.  I was just going to walk out and wait for my friend outside of class and maybe watch some dudes huff and puff while lifting weights.  

That was it.  I was throwing in my saltwater towel.  This is a bunch of SHIT.

But then, she said something that hit me unexpectedly. 

I want you to push yourself to that point where you feel weak and strong at the same time.

Her words struck me.  They somehow kept me there.  They pushed me.  

After her gentle message soaked in, the music began to move me--not just through me.  Then, without realizing at first, it made me cry.  Not a sob, but rather just a few streams of hot tears.  Heated Vinyasa tears to be exact. (Thank goodness it was hot yoga where sweat and tears can play the same roles.  I couldn't be seen crying on my first day of school.  I'd be eating lunch alone all year!)

In the moment, I couldn't place the exact reason for the sudden emotion.  

Maybe the tears came because, while I was embarrassing myself in a yoga class, my friend was in a hospital room doing exactly as the instructor said.  She had no choice but to be strong in the face of something that was trying its best to make her weak.  Now that is brave.

Maybe it was because 'weak and strong' was what I needed to be in my life too.  What if all of the nonsense I was dealing with was really just pushing me and shaping me and even preparing me?  

I needed to learn to bend with the storm.  To stretch through the discomfort.  To hold my position long enough to take root somewhere new.

I finished the class.  I smiled at Betty.  I thanked my friend for taking me.  And, even though I ended up pulling an abdominal muscle because I was convinced I could still bust out my backbend like I was sixteen, I am SO glad I went.

Why?  Because it made that list at the top of this post go from a broken foot to just a pebble in my shoe.  

Sure, it's still irritating, but I can still walk on it.  I'll find a way to get it out eventually.  

I'll get a new home.  I'll lose some weight.  I'll find a job and a blog design I love and maybe even make my blog that job.  My friend WILL beat this.  And to be honest, I kinda like sharing my bathroom with those two crazy kids.  They make me laugh and think it's hilarious when they scare me by hiding around the corner.  They keep me on my toes.  And they are willing to share their soap. Win-win situation.

I even plan on trying yoga again.  I may have to invite Betty to power walk the mall with me to build up the strength to, but I'll get there.  

And when I do, I won't mind being the weakest in the class anymore.  Because that just means I have the most strength to gain.

Nama-freaking-ste.

If you are able, please donate to my sweet friend Ashley's journey by clicking here.  Thank you & God Bless.

Charlotte Crow

I'm a modern day farmer's daughter who shares and seeks inspiration from the comical & beautiful things that get caught in life's curious little web.