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happyblog: yogasmic

it's a gift from the universe when someone enters your life and consistently brings good energy. Becca is one of those people, and yoga is one of the things Becca brings to me and to the world.
this article by Maureen Dowd on the awesomeness of yoga is just another in a long line of Becca's blessings.
about two months ago, in typical Phoebe fashion, i decided to start a year-long yoga challenge. i would do yoga every day for 365 days, come hail or sleet or snow. i have to be that all-or-nothing or else i don't feel like it's a real commitment. but, two months later, i've been to yoga probably a dozen times. maybe more, but definitely not every day.
usually, i'd consider this a big failure and either trash the whole idea or start over again. but there's a lot more to yoga than yoga, and i think i've actually been pretty successful at approaching my life as a breathing practice. and, y'know what? every day is both unnecessarily absolute, and also unrealistically arbitrary. i don't need to go to a yoga class or do a sun salutation every day to get the benefits of mindfulness and deep breathing.
that sounds a lot like a justification, but isn't everything? life changes every day, so we must yoga accordingly.
it's already been a journey!
after almost a year of going back and forth between power vinyasa and bikram, i felt like the first thing i needed was a more relaxed approach...and that lead me to Abhyasa and J Brown. it was like a deep exhale just walking in the door. i learned how to go softly through a series of poses and work as hard as i could at the same time. (here's where it gets fluffy) there's a lot of love in that space.
i will probably always go back to YTTP as long as i live in new york, even though it is a yoga factory, it's humid with sweat, and packed with NYU students. but that doesn't matter. they do an hour-long, intensely demanding power vinyasa flow that makes me feel flexible and strong immediately...and, after a week, makes me feel like a superhero. the great thing about a yoga practice that's so anonymous (so new york) is that you can really go there and get whatever you want to get out of it. there's no one looking at you, so there's no need to please or compete. or...i should say, i feel no need to please or compete in that space. that's a rare luxury for me.
and i will always bow at the altar of Tricia Donegan. she is a goddess, and i adore her. her bikram studio is a show (and her friendship with Gaga makes this more noticeable every day), but as soon as i step in the room i am only there with myself. when the weather gets cold, and it's dark in the afternoon, this is where i will be. maybe not every day, but a lot. Becca and i started a 30 day challenge (she completed it!) our first month at the studio, and after 15 days i've never felt better! then on day 16 i got sicker than i've ever been and could barely get out of bed for water for two weeks. i hope my body can find a better way to get rid of all my shit this time around.
the biggest place where deep breathing has been of service is in this whole love thing. i'm not accustomed to vulnerability, even though i long for it, and every time i reveal something of myself to him it's like pulling out internal organs. so i walk a lot, and ride my bike a lot, and breathe deeply every day so i don't vomit on him. he says i act like i've never interacted with anyone like this before, and that's true. i don't interact with anyone in the same way, and i never know what to expect. in the past, i've always been the last to know how i feel, and now i know and i don't know how to process it. it's a constant stretching while trying to stay connected to myself. in a way, this is the hardest part of my yoga practice.
Becca suggested a while ago that i need a couch for romance. a transitional space between chairs and bed that lets you be together but not too intimately. i still do not have a couch, but i am working on being flexible enough to switch between chairs and bed without having to overcome my own obstacles every time, but also knowing where to put the boundaries so i still protect myself. it's about balance, and about staying in a position that's hard and uncomfortable at first, but sticking to it. and about knowing where and when to be soft. and just letting things happen while i breathe, and trust that i'll still be myself on the other side.
the axiom is wrong: practice doesn't make perfect. nothing does. practice makes practice. and that's good enough.

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