Skip to main content

Reset

When teaching my prenatal yoga classes, I always give the same schpiel when I first bring my class into child's pose.  I let them know they can come to this pose at any time throughout class for any reason if they need a break, even if I don't guide them there; that it's a chance to hit the reset button and come back to their steady breath, their intention, and to completely relax their body; and I say that it's just as important if not more important to learn how to tap into that relaxation and release as it is to master the more physically challenging poses of class.  I talk about that intention - something they are to keep their mind focused on throughout class with the expectation that the mind will 100% wander off and get distracted - and how each child's pose is a chance to come back to it, no matter how far off you veered, without judgement.

In labor, the body gives you a break in between contractions.  The body is designed to give you that rest and release in between the intensity (however maddeningly brief it might be), and if you're already in the habit of taking rest where you can get it - and as best as you can, not worrying about what happened before or about what's coming next - you'll be that much more prepared and present to take whatever comes at you next.

Today I finally started my day with my morning ritual I'd set out for myself that includes Brain Gym exercises (which I could have sworn I'd blogged about before but apparently not, so that'll be a future entry!), meditation, journaling, etc etc.  I traveled down to northern VA for five days earlier this month to visit one of my best friends of all time, her husband, and their gorgeous gorgeous baby boy.  And who wants to meditate when there's a baby to play with?

A few days after I got back, I developed one of those low-grade, nagging change-of-season colds.  I don't know if it was the preschoolers, the weather, or both, but something got me and just had me dragging for a week.  The travel, the cold, the various schedule shakeups - it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed in the morning in time to get to work, let alone meditate.

Now - I'm finally back.  My Tuesdays are finally just for getting chores done in Astoria (and the return of book club tonight!!!) and I got up extra early with Marc, who headed off to Philly before the sunrise for a day of workshopping the exciting new play he'll be working on this winter.

So - finally - ritual.

And it occurred to me while I was meditating for the first time in awhile that my normal reaction would be to worry and feel guilty and feel like the worst yogi ever for letting so much time slip since I had done my own practice, and how hypocritical, etc etc.  But how hypocritical of me to judge myself for being human when I continually tell my students - the mind wanders, we falter, but all we can do is reset without judgement.

Reset without judgement.  

Even if you do it a billion times during your class, your day, your life - you're still building mental strength and receiving benefits.

It also reminded me of one of the funniest quotes I've read in ages - a friend was sharing an article about the silliness of 'food guilt' on Facebook and pulled out this quote that has stayed with me all week:  "Unless you baked that chocolate cake with blood from a murder, there is no need to feel guilty about it."

I think we sometimes use the feeling of guilt as an effort to keep ourselves on track.  At least I know I do.  If I don't have the presence of mind to feel guilty for slipping up on something I care about, what's to keep me on track for next time?  It sort of makes sense except that a) it's unrealistic and b) why give myself negative motivation when I can give myself positive motivation instead?  And also just plain not take myself so seriously?

Meditation, eating well, being patient with people - insert whatever virtue you struggle with here - it makes us feel better.  When we do it, it's good.  When we don't do it - guilt is absolutely pointless.  If it served a purpose, we'd all be perfect.  Instead, just notice how the absence of whatever that virtue you strive for makes you feel and at the earliest opportunity - reset.

Life will knock you off your path with sickness, with a few random curveballs that make your busy week busier, and with just plain lack of motivation.  It's the coming back to your intentions and the ways in which you take care of yourself that matters, not whether you do it every single day perfectly.  Even if you get knocked off and have to get back on track a billion times, it's the coming back that matters.

This has gotten a little unwieldy and rambley and I feel like there's so much more I want to say on this subject, but I'm going to post it anyway in hopes that it at least resonates with someone.  I suppose the point is - less guilt, more love.  And more taking advantage of opportunities to reset ourselves.

Comments

  1. Reset without judgment. Yes. Slowly figuring out how to do that. Talked to my therapist about all the wasted time and what I could've done better and he said, very kindly, "May I offer you something?" "Yes." "STOP IT."

    He's a keeper.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Magic of Brain Gym

I cannot believe I haven't blogged about Brain Gym yet!  That is absolutely bananas, and also sort of great because after a few years of incorporating the little bits and pieces I learned from Shari (founder & director of Karma Kids Yoga and the only boss I've ever had with whom I've also done crazy things like the pose on the right, which she named "fart neck"), I finally took the "Brain Gym 101" course this past weekend to learn more in depth about the what's and wherefore's.

Brain Gym is a lot of things, but what it is primarily is a way to facilitate better learning through movement.  Although it started in the field of education and helping children learn better, everyone can benefit from it.  You may be reading and writing just fine, but do you have a situation where you struggle to communicate your needs clearly to a partner, a friend, a co-worker?  Do you struggle with random bouts of unexplained anxiety that you struggle to release…

Home is Where the Heart is

One of the most cloyingly saccharine cliches of all time?  Yes.  True?  Also yes.  Sort of.

It's been an incredibly eventful three weeks.  At the end of June, my sister underwent major abdominal surgery to repair a major diastasis caused by two back-to-back large pregnancies.  On that same day Marc and I headed up on the Megabus to Massachusetts for a fun long July 4th weekend of family (including our two delicious little LeVasseur nephews!), wine, fun, and going through endless boxes of nostalgia from his childhood as his parents prepare to put their gorgeous house on the market.  The baby pictures!  The metric tons of books! The middle school poetry!  Oh, the earnest and terrible middle school poetry...

Then last weekend, I flew to SC for a whirlwind celebration of the twins' third birthday with family (third!!!), helping out my sister, who is recovering beautifully in every sense of the word.  Just shy of three days of nonstop work, play, and extreme highs and lows of overs…

Health Scare

I had a whole draft of a blog in my head all made up, but it has been a day.  And now that I've come down from all the life-stuff of the day, I'm left to ponder with a growing, nauseating dread what 217 elected representatives voted for today.

Forgive the pun-y and ridiculous title.  I'm just so afraid that this is our country now.

In case you're wondering who voted how, check out this helpful page in the NYTimes.

Listen - we all know Obamacare wasn't perfect.  But I know several people who would literally not be alive today without it.  I wouldn't have health insurance without it - and you better believe I use my health insurance.

Instead of having a group of adults who can intelligently discuss policy and talk about improving our health care system, we have a group of children who stick their fingers in their ears and simply shout about destroying any bit of legacy President Obama may have had.  They've denigrated this so deeply that there are literally p…