The Wall Between Dolphin and Headstand

It’s the morning after the night I went to yoga class. I’m muching on chicken nuggets and romaine lettuce (crunchy, counters the saltiness), taking my time, feeling the warm soreness that I’m not sure what to do about, since it would feel good to stretch, but then I am planning to go to class again tomorrow morning. Do I stretch or rest?

My body says, rest. I give in, allowing for some time to write.

I went to yoga class last night and encountered my limits.

In dolphin pose, with the headstand in mind, the instructor asked me to walk forward. It didn’t make sense immediately because I was upside down, but I figured she meant to ask me walk towards where my feet were facing, which was, closer to my face. I felt my center move to the back of the crown of my head.

I learned later that my upper body was collapsing, so the effort needed was to resist the collapse by hardening my arms.

My arms felt way lighter than the rest of my body, and my head was just a passive body part whose job was to stay safe and centered.

How did I get here, in this place where my body mass is not just enough? What did I get used to that led me to this excessive accumulation?

Responding to Work Stress

When it’s stressful at work and I’m unable to manage it, I either resist the work, or rush the work. I lose my cool, set aside my well-being, and drop everything to finish the task.

I turn into a computer, a machine, a tool, a robot.

A robot can do tasks in bulk for a short amount of time. Human office workers aren’t robots, they’re humans who work in the office.

What could the body do to protect its owner from the stresses from work, from trying to perform like a robot? With the brain in charge, it fortifies itself. It gathers mass. It’s cozier, feels safer, more grounded.

Re-Thinking “Fast, and Hard

I don’t believe my body wants to give itself a hard time.

It’s just that the “work fast, and hard” ethic that I observe when I try to perform like a robot seems to have spilled over to how I eat.

I learned to “eat fast, and hard,” taking in high volumes in limited periods of time.

Homework

I close my eyes, and visualize my body’s frame, my bones, and practice seeing my body mass being just enough, massive enough for me to feel healthy, not too heavy for me to carry. I imagine what it would look like, and feel like.

It is my intention to slow down, relax, push back against stress, and to trust that my human nature has mechanisms for wellness and healing.

Please Persevere.

I just came from the yoga studio, slowly consuming a green smoothie for breakfast. I haven’t been practicing for two weeks until today’s class. Two weeks back, there was a wedding early Saturday afternoon, and last week, I was bogged down tired in the mind from work.

My energy has been fluctuating due to stress surrounding a job application after six years on my current job. It’s mindblowing that I am actually seeing possibilities of taking a role different from what I have, and that a new team sees it, too. Around that application, I have sent my CV out to a few other companies for options. I fear that I’m selling myself out, exchanging higher pay for wakefulness in the day. I’ve been digesting articles about the risk of night shift work, coping strategies, and experiences of others in the night shift.

Too much thought, with little action I can do aside from doing my job and job hunting. Hello, anxiety.

The silence of the hiring manager this past week could be a sign I have not been selected for the night shift role. Money’s the only thing disappointing with my current job, the rest of it is great.

There is a transition of priority here. Instead of work being the center, I’m building my own program for life outside work. Life (wellbeing, adventure, creativity, etc.) first, employment (money) second.

Strength Training Payoff

Today’s practice had little strain despite being away for two weeks, but the attention was good, my muscles strong. I respected my body’s limits, revelled in the strength from my breath and strength-trained muscles, and the moments of expansion that can only come from flowing from one pose into another.

Asana Highlights

Favorite poses of the day include three-legged dog, warrior II, and cobra. I could play with these on my mat at home before my next studio attendance!

To warm up for downwardfacing dog, I planked first, then went to the pose, then folded my legs by bending my knees, and then pushed my legs straight, to bring my heels to the floor. I did a few reps of bending my knees and then pushing my legs straight. It felt like working out my upper body and arm strength, while being playful with my legs and feet. Before I discovered the technique, I would go through most of the session not being able to set my heels down while in the pose.

I strained with wild thing because we transitioned into it from plank. I prefer transitioning into it from a forward-facing seated pose with one leg folded, knee to chest, sweeping the arm from front, circling to the back, and the other arm pushing up.

I could also look into that pose that I think was referred to as inverted triangle, how it’s supposed to feel, or look like.

Off-the-Mat Take-Away

A practice won’t progress if the person keeps stopping. I want to persevere for these reasons:

  • To establish a lifestyle that is good for the biochemistry, the flesh, the bones, skin, circulation, mental and emotional states
  • For the present: To have space and time for me, away from the influence of others, so that I can make decisions, and learn about myself
  • For the long-run: To forge my own path