What have you learned about yourself in your time on earth?
I ponder this question frequently. For me, this involves looking inward and making decisions based on personal values, strengths, and skills.
I also enjoy talking to friends about their path, and though I often fail miserably, I try my best to not infuse my goals or way of existing in the world on them — people are different and have different circumstances, motivations, and personalities.
I like observing people — strangers and acquaintances — and often find myself perplexed at their behaviors. I see a lot of people who appear to be making decisions based on the status quo or without much forethought, and they often seem stumped as to why they’re unhappy. I have certainly been guilty of this, though I like to hope most of this is in my past.
Wow. That was quite the digression. I started this post to tell you about the yoga routine I did today, and the above words seemed to pour out onto my screen. Hmmm…
In my 40+ years, I’ve learned that it’s essential to involve movement and bodywork in order to function optimally. I mean this more in the intellectual/being productive realm.
I mean, I’m highly aware that exercise in the proper amounts is good and necessary for the body — we are constantly bombarded with headlines and research to support this.
But coming back to my introductory question, I’ve learned that I have to move in order to learn best and to digest information optimally — more so than the average person.
There are times I still fight this. Traditional schooling ingrained the importance of sitting still and forging on to get work done, and I fall back on this habit frequently. I often find myself sitting at my desk, typing away furiously only to wind up frustrated with not being able to appropriately articulate the contents in my head — and often my words are anything but concise — now is somewhat of an example…
I also fall into a negative space when I dive in seeking out more more more information. My intent is pure — I want a better source or THE perfect link to back up my argument, but before I know it I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole and often forget what I was looking for in the first place.
And I end up more frustrated because my work isn’t close to being finished, and I’m tense, restless and want to escape my workspace. This happens a lot during the week when my kids are in school. I try to squeeze in one more thing before I start my afternoon mommy duties (homework, shuttling to and from activities, dinner, baths, bedtime.)
Next week I’m making a point to take breaks every 30 minutes and either go on a brief walk outside or do a 5-10 minute yoga routine.
I’m thinking about this today because I woke up this morning feeling like I had to move my body — I needed to stretch, but I also felt the need for something vigorous, and unfortunately, it’s pouring down rain here, so I can’t go for a walk around the neighborhood.
Several posts ago I discussed how much I like doing yoga at home, thanks to all the awesome YouTube videos.
My favorite online yoga instructor is the face/personality behind Yoga By Adrienne — Adriene Mishler. Check out her bio here.
Her openness and personality shine, and her videos all emphasize showing up where you are, a term we often hear in yoga classes, but when Adriene says it, I feel that that’s how she interacts with the world. It feels authentic, a quality I wholeheartedly appreciate and seek out wherever I go. She also has routines for beginners and for more advanced yogis, but she goes out of her way to offer modifications to poses, and she often points out that even the most advanced yogi just might not be feeling it some days, and that is okay; try and easier modification or simply rest in child’s pose. Listen to your body is a big message with Adriene — as someone who spent most of my teens and early 20s NOT listening to my body, I need this reminder. She also has lots of free videos that guide you through individual poses — very helpful and a necessity for people new to yoga practice.
Today’s practice was more intermediate to advanced, though it was only 40 minutes — many studio classes are 90 minutes, but it was exactly what I needed.
Here’s the link to her site that includes today’s YouTube routine, called Yoga for Strength.
What do you KNOW about yourself. Is there something specific you’ve discovered that’s necessary for you to function at your best?