Posted by: Mary | March 20, 2010

Wine and yoga don’t mix

The lesson of the week this week was that wine and yoga don’t mix and I need to treat my body nicer. All week I was drained. Some of that drain was not my doing, some of it was. For the bazillionth time, maybe I have learned a lesson.

I felt somewhat exhausted early in the week because my dog was waking me up in the middle of the night several nights in a row to go out. I knew something was wrong and it turned out she had a bladder infection. A trip to the vet and some medicine and she was on the mend and I could sleep again. Right? Wrong.

Tuesday night I did a stupid thing during dinner, I drank way too much wine.

Wine normally doesn’t bother me, then again I don’t usually drink that much with my dinner. Tuesday night, after what was actually a really good yoga class, I had some pasta and poured too much wine. My friend Debbie bought the bottle for me for my birthday. The wine had a particularly high alcohol content 15% alcohol by volume, which I forgot while imbibing. I had a glass and then another. I should have just said no. But, I thought there was only a teensy bit left in the bottle. So, I poured another glass. Bad move.

Regardless of whether there was just a little bit left or not, I was already buzzed. I didn’t realize it immediately, but then I noticed I wasn’t as agile as I should have been. (read stumbling) The decision to pour the final bit was such a bad mistake and I paid for it. I could have just dumped it down the drain, but no I couldn’t do that. Stupid.

I slept so poorly during the night. I was already worn out, and the wine made my sleep restless. I don’t think I ever fell into a deep sleep and I woke up feeling like I’d been through a war. I made it through the day Wednesday, but I was very low energy.

I went to yoga on Wednesday night hoping for a great class. What was I thinking? I always try to do my best physically, but I felt like I had weights holding me down. Class was difficult and I couldn’t figure out why. Duh? Then of course it came to me; dumbass you drank way too much and you felt like shit all day. Why I expected my body to perform at peak condition during class I have no idea. But, at least I may have sweated out the alcohol that was polluting my body.

I don’t drink nearly as much as I once did, but I still drink some. I like red wine. But, this week’s yoga class experience makes me realize I need to treat my body better. I’m not saying I’m giving up the vino because I think a little red wine is good for the heart. That’s what my mom always used to say. But, too much is definitely bad.

Yoga is about being aware and being in the moment. Often, I know I can get caught up in the moment and lose my awareness. I was enjoying the red wine a little too much and wasn’t paying attention to my body telling me, ‘hey, you are stumbling a little bit you idiot!’

When I was younger I drank a lot and treated my body badly. I smoked for a long, long time. I felt compelled to smoke and drink because my friends did, but I could have been my own person and not done what everyone else did. I wasn’t that strong. It’s a cliche, but I wanted to be cool. I kept smoking until I learned my mother had lung cancer. I stopped. She died. It’s been about 8 years since I smoked. Now it repulses me. The smell is awful and it just looks nasty.

I drank too much too and that really isn’t an attractive thing. I’m definitely not an ascetic and don’t plan to cut alcohol out of my life, but for the most part I have learned to curb my habit.

Having friends (triathletes, marathoners, yogis) who take care of their bodies has benefits because they don’t do things to harm themselves, like smoking. And, they may drink, but if they are going to run, swim, bike or do yoga the next day, more often than not they aren’t downing mass quantities of booze when they go out. There’s always an exception, like the weekend when there was a whole slew of birthday celebrations. But, mostly my friends are too busy to be boozing. The positive influence has had an impact on me.

Back to the yoga, though. Since my yoga practice has gotten deeper I don’t want to eat really bad stuff or drink a lot because the whole point of doing the yoga is to get healthier physically and mentally. What’s the point of trying to improve your body only to pollute it? I still have food challenges, like craving cheese fries on a rare occasion and my cookie habit – I’m working on it.

But, I really try to limit the amount of processed crap I put in my body now. I’m still making progress and I’m not perfect. But, I eat a lot more vegetables and fruits now than I probably ever have. I have even started eating spinach! That is huge for me!

So, now I plan to limit my wine drinking. I’m not saying I’m not going to drink a glass with my dinner on occasion, but I think I will make the occasions fewer. It will be a good experiment to see how I feel sans alcohol. Thank god the wine is all gone that will surely make it easier!

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