Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's All Good

It was the most perfect of days - the weatherman gave it a ten. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, the temperature was 72 and I was headed to the beach in the convertible with the most perfect of beach buddies soon to be in the car with me and the most perfectly packed cooler (chocolate, beer, strawberries and other goodies). I was momentarily delayed on our trip at a traffic light. I looked in the rear view mirror and noticed the guy behind me jammin' out on his steering wheel like a rock star drummer. Must be a good song - maybe I should go back there and ask him what it is - I thought. It would probably make a great tune for my cycling class! I smiled and headed to the rendevous spot for the beach thinking about the rough work week behind me and the relaxing day ahead. Mixing tough with fun. It's all good - I thought.

My yoga class tonight was the perfect size for personal attention - ten. We started with the basic warm-ups and moved on to class mixing beginner poses with challenging ones. Half of the class struggled with the challenging poses, losing their balance, sometimes tumbling gently to the floor laughing or making "say what?" comments when I mentioned where I wanted them to try to move their arm or their leg, but continuing to try. I told them it was all good. The fact that they were laughing and enjoying themselves through their struggles was a good sign. They weren't giving up but were enjoying the challenges and the little "ta-da" moments when part of a pose actually worked.

We all have struggles mixed with good times. It is how we approach it that makes all the difference. Stay on the positive side - it's all good.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

We Are What Drives Us Crazy - Are We?

I just started leading my Saturday morning yoga class in their sun salutations - a vigorous warm up before the real work begins. We were on our third round and I suddenly realized what I had said, stopped myself in mid cobra position (on my belly with chest raised) and started laughing as the class continued their string of poses, unphased by my break in the rhythm. They knew that there would be an explanation and that it would probably make them laugh too. They were used to it and enjoyed it - (that's what they tell me). It takes the edge off of the hard work they are performing.

I remained on the floor as I started my mini performance - an exaggerated description of the poses stretching out every other syllable as I spoke slowly and carefully. "Lunge deeeeeply into the pose as you breeeeeeathe slooooowly with eeeeeeach moooooovement" I said. I started to smile. "I can't believe it", I said. It has always driven me a little crazy to hear yoga instructors speak with that slow drawn out speak and I heard myself say one word - just one tiny word - during the sun salutation that gave the tiniest most micro-indication that I might be headed in the same direction of the yoga "rack" instructors - stretching out every word. Please no - not me.

At least when you are aware of something you can stop it. And I stopped it dead in its tracks right there.

But it was then that I realized that this may not be the only instance of my being what drives me crazy. I started a personal reality check.

I took a cycling class the other day and cringed every time the instructor screamed her zealous "eeeeeh" and "whoohoo" into the microphone in between the talking that never stopped and heavy breathing that reminded me I should be working as hard. It wasn't the expressions of enthusiasm that bothered me as much as her screaming it right into the mic at full volume. Then I thought about my own class and how often I express enthusiasm as I egg them on to work harder and bring themselves to that "can't talk - need CPR" zone. But I calmed myself as I realized I always push the mic to the side and I do stop talking (heck - I am just trying to breathe like they are) and all was well again in my yoga and cycling world.

They say (who are these "theys"? - and why do we listen to them?) - that those things that irritate us most about other people are actually a reflection of ourselves and our faults. Granted some of them are - but streeeeeeeeeetching out my words and screeching into the mic are not mine.