Another day, another hot yoga class.  I will confess that I am greatly enjoying it.  As the first class I went to was so bizarrely hot, every one since has been a blessing.  Each instructor brings their own brand to the practice and it is interesting to note the differences.  My favorite so far has been the instructor who periodically turns on the fans.  God bless her sweaty heart.  While you expect a certain amount of liquid leaking out of your body during a hot yoga class, I didn’t expect what happened yesterday.

To lead off – my life is stressful.  For the most part self-induced as I seem to have skipped the “no” gene pool.  Can you do a cake for me tomorrow ? Sure.  Would you be able to help out this weekend ? Sure.  Are you going to grocery shopping now, now, now ? Yes !  Can you take us swimming ? Ok.  Are we going to the library ? Yup.  Would you like to join another committee / group / team on top of your school load, Guides meetings and family obligations ? Well heck ya ! I’m down with self-flagellation in all forms !

I recognize that I do this to myself.  For school – I don’t want to miss any opportunities to make the most of this experience.  I want to walk out with as much media time as possible.  So I volunteered for and was chosen to assist at a local Veterans Lunch tomorrow.  I also joined a team who is helping a major local hospital with their fundraising efforts.  In the meanwhile, for the Guide unit, we are hosting a dinner based on recipes from a January 1944 “The Guide” newsletter to show case what a meal would be like during the war.  On the home front – well same old, same old.  It’s soup making time.  OH! AND! I volunteered to make bake goods for our church sale next weekend and help my daughter in the tea room for the whole day and make a gift basket to be bid upon and collect stuff to fill two shoe boxes to donate and OH could I please make some of the delicious brownies I brought to coffee hour today for the tea room to serve ? OH and would I be stupid enough to offer to make not just Brownies but also, in addition to, on top of, a lovely Brown Butter Blondie ?  Seriously.  I have been dropped on my head at some point in my life.

Me, Me, Choose Me ! No wait - I've already volunteered ...

So yoga got moved to Saturday and off we went.  I had spent the day doing homework, getting family shopping done, doing laundry and general tidy.  My friend and I are sporting our requisite yoga gear (I am still lulu-less I’m proud to say) and in we go.  Through out the practice the instructor was talking about trusting your instinct and owning your practice.  She made a few other comments, positive ones, that struck a chord with my friend and I.  You see, we are both fabulous people only we don’t know it.  In fact we run from it. Screaming.  Loudly.  Living in a perpetual state of denial about your fabulousness causes stress.  Because what you do is never good enough.  What you say is never right.  What you feel is probably wrong and God forbid if you feel proud of yourself because the guilt / shame / embarrassment of having accomplished something will immediately be struck out by the negativity because isn’t that all you deserve ?

Well my friends – this is tiring.  This never-ending parade of emotion that has open lion cages and people throwing flaming daggers at your head is exhausting.  There is not enough sweet creamy things to make it better.  Did I mention that I can’t eat chocolate and choose not to drink.  No addiction issues as yet but I come from a long and illustrious line of alcoholics.  Why court that particular disaster ?  Plus I’m a sloppy drunk who tends to swear a lot.  Not pleasant to say the least.  My point being is that my arsenal to rebuild and restore my soul is somewhat limited.  I choose to read.  I choose to drink LOTS of great tea.  I choose Dulce de Leche.  This in turn causes more guilt as my steadily expanding ass and rapidly shrinking clothes will attest that this particular lifestyle choice is also not working.

Do you see where I am going here ? It is never-ending.  The cycle just keeps going around looking to spit out that elusive sock which no one can ever find.  And I’m a holder.  I keep it all in.  And I don’t forget anything.  I also find it rather hard to forgive – myself or anyone else.  Mostly me though.  This goes a long way to explaining my Type A personality and ongoing battle with IBS.  After 20 years I am finally taking my Gastroenterologist’s advise and taking up yoga.  Jerk.  Not quite ready to forgive him yet either.

Now we are getting through the class and I’m doing pretty good.  I’m not a backwards bendy kind of gal due to a spinal issue but I can balance a forward eagle like nobody’s business.  After 30 minutes of heat and poses, I can hook my hands under my feet up to the wrist !  Limber baby, I’m all about the limber.  And then the instructor starts talking again about being proud of yourself.  About working on your practice in your own time.  About trusting yourself.  Oh sweet Jesus in birkenstocks – what is she trying to do to me ?  After 20 more minutes of trying to imitate a spastic pretzel, it’s time to lay in Corpse pose which is hugely apropos.  I am, after all, feeling half dead.

This is a pose I enjoy.  Very much.  Kind of goes back to the size of my ass but I digress.  During this pose, the instructor chose to play a song which for the life of me I cannot remember the title too, but it talked about being grateful and taking chances, etc.  At this point, my stress started to leak out of my eyes.  Luckily I was still sweaty but eventually the leaking over took the sweating and I had to wipe the leak away.  Pure emotional crying has never been easy for me.  I apologize for crying at my dad’s funeral if you can believe it.  So crying in a room of strangers who I just got sweaty with is not high on my agenda.  I suck in the leaking.  I am not going to show overt emotion and weakness in front of strangers.  My friend who came with me can probably count on one hand with fingers left over the number of times she has seen me cry in almost 30 years.  I have leaking issues.

At the end of the Corpse pose we rise and begin to tidy.  I am wiping my leaking stress and sweat away.  I am overcome by why this has happened and not happy about it at all.  I go to ask the instructor and discover that she has been crying ! I then over hear someone ask her about it and she admits to having “glowed” during class.  I wonder if that’s euphemism for leaking and sure enough it is.  Well I never !  She advises that all kinds of things can come up during yoga.  This has freaked me out.  I’m in for a pound with this one as I’ve paid for the month but I’ll be damned if my stress is going to leak out every time.  Or is that really a big deal ?  Is it really such a bad thing if my stress leaks out ?

I’m starting to think probably not.  I’m starting to think that maybe I completely under-estimate what kind of stress I am under.  For it to leak out during a yoga class should be a signal to me that I need to do something about this.  I need to address my “issues” and tell that negative little so and so that lives in the back of my brain to shut the hell up and join me in an ohhhhmmmmm.

The open heart chakra.

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