From vanity to sanity

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I rise early but not always easily. The alarm sounds and I fight the urge to stay in bed while my sheets make their argument for “just 5 more minutes”.. .Their high thread count can be very persuasive. Peeling myself away from them is the first victory of each day. As I head for the bathroom my body sounds like a pachinko machine. My hips pop. My knees and ankles crack. I roll my eyes a lot first thing in the morning. That’s right, I wake up super sexy. Now in my mid thirties my body seems to have so much to say. She’s more high maintenance than ever and yes, I am glad that she communicates her needs so freely but, some of her techniques in doing so border on dramatic. I splash some water on my face and before I get distracted by emails and other b.s. I hit the mat. I try not to let my mind wander into the day ahead. The ever growing to do list, what gruesome nonsense our president may have tweeted while I was dreaming, my unresolved business with the IRS or why the hell my hair is doing that weird thing today. By the time my brain is making noise my body has hushed and become less awkward to navigate. I lay on the floor and pretend to be a locust. Then on my knees like a rabbit. Up and back, I am a camel. I teeter and balance like a stick. With intention and tit sweat my body becomes a bow aimed at the mirror..

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In the beginning of my yoga practice years ago I’ll admit it was simply an affectation. I was not stretching for nirvana or searching for peace of mind. More like Lester Burnham in American Beauty when he began jogging with his neighbors, I just wanted to look good naked. Luckily I ended up with a little of both. A journey that began as an exercise in vanity has brought me some bliss and offered up some sanity.

On the mat one day a wholly beneficial and better-late-than-fucking-never epiphany landed in my mind: I give my attention to so much shit that truly does not deserve it. And If you’re reading this I’d bet you my mother that the same is true of you. Daily I dump these completely unworthy thoughts like a bad date who treats the waiter like shit and eats more than their fair share of dessert. No one has time for that.

One thought/concern I leave on the mat every day is other people’s expectations of me.  We all know that society expects a lot of women. It’s exhausting. You gotta be beautiful, smiling (always), smart but not too smart (that can be intimidating). Mysterious, well mannered, captivating, accomplished, sexy, virginal, married, forever young, nurturing, a boss, approachable, perfect… These thoughts are toxic. I believe that years of attempting to be any number of these things at once is how I came to perfect the eye roll that I mentioned above.

Yoga is antivenom for all this inanity. It provides me with a healthy view of what I truly am and the power to stop considering whatever the hell I’m not. Because I am a lot. People have told me this plenty of times. What good news! I am more than enough and the same goes for you.

It’s been said that nirvana is where you are provided you don’t object to it.. So I will continue to fight the power, fight the patriarchy, fight fucking traffic. As for for nirvana I think it’s no coincidence that it sounds an awful lot like Shavasana. No objections here.

If you don’t practice but want to, you should check out local babe, Adriene Mishler. Since you probably read this on your phone I’d like to recommend her Yoga for Text Neck video.

See? I got your back! Namaste!