December Yoga Challenge Day 1

Sukasana. Easy pose. Ha. Yes, technically easy for me to sit this way. But I find this seated meditation pose to be one of the most challenging asanas of all. Give me a handstand, a forearm stand, a scorpion. A one-legged tadasana, hell— one handed handstand! But to sit with ease….THAT is my challenge. When I practice tough poses my mind chatter disappears and I am fully immersed with alignment and breath that I have no room for the bullshit chatter. When I sit still, my mind goes off in a million different directions. I have a tendency to be very hard on myself and am quite the perfectionist, so often times I find myself sitting, trying to meditate and criticizing myself.  Then I begin to criticize myself for being self-critical. And it goes on and on until I’ve had enough of sitting still and I start to hyperactively move again to stop the chatter. When still and at physical ease, we are faced with that running loop in our minds. We are exposed to ourselves, and that can be not only frustrating but kind of scary as well.  I tend to avoid classes like restorative yoga or yin yoga because it is in these practices that we strip away the physicality of our yoga and get to the nitty-gritty of the inner workings of our mind. Being still and at ease is a challenge I don’t readily accept because I don’t like how mean I am to myself. So what to do? The past few years I’ve realized that jumping into a bazillion different fitness classes tends to take my mind off of my fears and anxieties. The problem is, if you never face it down, it never really goes away. I know what I need to do, the problem is actually doing it. More often than not, the thing we have an aversion to is usually the thing we need to do the most. Ask yourself: What frustrates you? What do you avoid doing? Why do these things turn you off and what could you possibly learn from doing them? I know where I need to be, and it’s not in a 2 hour hot power yoga class.  It’s in the restorative studio with a blanket fort and quiet. I need to face my own damn mind and figure out why I can be so kind and compassionate toward others but am so fucking mean to myself.  Today, Day 1, I know what I need to do. What shit are you avoiding? I challenge you to begin to ask yourself these questions and face down those fears!