Posted by: Mary | April 9, 2010

Demons be gone from my yoga mat

Last week I felt like the mean, negative bitch was back in town. From out of nowhere I had such a mood swing, I just wasn’t myself – my new self. Luckily, I don’t think anyone else really noticed it but me.

I hit a low point and went to a negative place that I haven’t been in a long, long time. I think too much sugar, PMS and  stress contributed to bringing out the demons of self-doubt, anger and negativity.  I felt so off kilter and angry. Even going to yoga was a challenge.

I did go to yoga though. Going with the flow – the Vinyasa flow that is – wasn’t easy. The demons in my head kept making themselves known with them their negative messages: Things are bad. You won’t get what you want. This always happens. Things will never get better. On and on the chatter went during class and afterward.

The funny thing was that I had recently started to re-read Joel Ostein’s book Your Best Life Now. The book basically explains that you have to believe in yourself, know that you deserve more, know that God is on your side and that a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances will pay off in the end.

For more than a year I’ve been in a job transition. During this time I have changed my mindset from one of negative self-doubt to positive belief. So, reading Osteen’s book made me want to yell: I am positive! I do believe I deserve more! I know that something better is out there for me! I have pulled myself out of a pit of negativity, so why is nothing changing?!!

All of this negativity made me question my positivity.

Yet, things have changed for the better in my life despite the trials I have experienced and am experiencing. The most important thing that changed was my attitude. Most of the time I’m living in a place of belief: the belief that things happen for a reason – a good reason; that things are better and will be even better in time and that I am destined for more.

I was just having a bad week and I think we are all allowed to have a pity party once in a while. My bad week made me question lots of things about myself.

I realized that I cannot sink back into the pit of negativity because things aren’t going the way I would like them to. If there is a Creator and a plan, maybe my schedule and the All Knowings are just not aligned. That is no reason to despair. If I haven’t found the job yet, maybe that is because there is actually a better job out there for me and I’ve been saved from being miserable doing something I wouldn’t really like.

Over the course of the last year I’ve learned that life presents lots of challenges and how we approach those says a lot about who we are. Is it a problem or an opportunity? My mood swing was an opportunity for me to realize that yes, things are still not settled in my life (and actually things will never truly be settled), but there must be a larger reason why. I have to believe it’s because there are positive forces at work and things will end up fine.

How does all of this tie into my yoga? Like I said earlier, going to yoga class was difficult during this semi-demonic period. I went and I did the flow and I tried, but maybe not as much as I normally would. Not because I didn’t want to work hard, but because I realized it’s not a competition. What I needed was to get through the class because I knew I would feel better in the end. It really didn’t matter that I pushed hard, I just need to push.

Actually, some of the best poses for me during the last week have been the resting poses. Just lying on my mat and doing nothing. It’s what I needed, a chance to turn the voices off and just be.

For the last year I have pushed through classes, sometimes more methodically than purposefully, and I realized during the last week that maybe what is lacking in my practice is that connection. It’s not a competition (Type A personalities always want to compete) and pushing harder isn’t always better. For me, I realized I need to be more aware on my mat and enjoy the moment,  lingering more rather than trying to speed through the flow.

A lot of the positive changes in my life are a direct result of my yoga practice. I yoga therefore I am. My awareness of who I am and who I want to be evolves as I practice yoga on my mat.

A week ago I was in such a funk I wondered if I would get out of it. Last night at yoga I had one of the best classes in a while. I pushed when I needed, pulled back when I needed. I finished class feeling blissful and renewed. My groove is back. The demons have been banished, for now. They always rear their ugly heads, but that is why yoga is so important to me.

Challenges will always present themselves. With a positive attitude, awareness and an ability to take a step back I know I will make it through. I’m going to keep trying to shine my light a little brighter even through the darkest of days.



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