“One of these things is not like the other “
Any mother from the 1980’s will remember that song that was a daily ditty in our lives. Well that is what came to mind as I settled into my Vinyasa Yoga class this morning. Half the class was male, and there was not a grey hair in the place ! Average age 30+ and ME… happy retired “pensioner”. Did I pick the wrong class ?
Our mind can go into some pretty self defeating thoughts. Although I have learned through a few years of yoga practice, that we don’t compare ourselves to others and to do what your body can do.. not what everyone else does – my mind did go there. “How am I supposed to do a practice meant for people 30 years younger than me?”
I want to let you know that the class was fine, my mind took a turn elsewhere and although most of those younger people didn’t come home to a couch and a cup of tea, that is okay with me. I did most of it, adapted what I need to, and feel much better for it.
I love my Yoga practice. It has given me more flexibility, a way to relax my very busy mind, a way to relax my muscles and my body (my friend and massage therapist used to say “the only way to get you to relax is to trick you” !) – and a surprising core strength that helps me with other exercise. When I forget to go, or life’s busyness takes precedence over heading out with my bolster and mat, I know in my stiff hips and restless sleep that I need to continue this.
Just a side thought – as I know I have some Christian followers, as I did our last pose ( Savasana or sometimes known as “corpse pose” for the more macabre) – I remembered a conversation with some Christian friends re “emptying the mind” and the concerns about that. My practice is very attuned to my beliefs – and the so called emptying of the mind for me, becomes that prayerful, peaceful space sometimes we reach just before sleep. And probably nobody notices that I don’t utter Namaste.. but instead pray that the light within me will be that light of Christ.
Yes, my mind plays tricks on me – makes me feel self conscious when I go left instead of right in the Wednesday morning dance class, or a flow yoga, makes me wonder if I can take the stress of life some days, makes me feel just a little less than that lady with the lovely figure seated next to me. But as my yoga instructors say ” reign that mind back”. For me in my day to day life, some of it stressful, I do reign my mind back, and suddenly I am not a 65 year old woman trying to do a thirty something’s yoga practice, but I am me, pushing my body to an eventual ” fitness” that is just right for me.
For those of you who know me well – this is a path many times I have avoided !! In fact I gleefully posted that if you see me running you better run too, as something must be chasing me.. but that part is still true.
My mind has taken a lot of reigning in lately.