I'm beginning to feel a little better over here, hunkered down at home. I made a point to shower and get dressed yesterday; the last couple of weeks have seen me mainly in sweats, rarely freshly showered. I've spent every free (and not so free) moment working and am beginning to feel a little more on top of things in that department.
My work time is my time. And my working out time is my time too. Leighton made a comment the other day about how much I've been heading over to the YMCA lately, that I'd be getting really fit here soon. The point, however, isn't just or even primarily physical fitness. Through exercise and particularly yoga, I find strength and balance. Now more than ever, I need that.
When I was pregnant with Lilly, practicing yoga was the only exercise I could do till the end that didn't hurt or feel uncomfortable. This is me just days before labor started practicing pre-natal yoga with Shiva Rea.
After 64 hours of labor even walking hurt for months. But yoga still felt good, and so I continued with Shiva Rae's post-natal yoga.
Now I'm trying to nurture an appreciation for yoga in Lilly, practicing yoga with her along the instructions of Marsha Wenig in Yoga Kids: From Silly to Calm. I don't want to push it; that would be very un-yogi and really just kill the joy of it. But Lilly is getting more and more into it; sometimes she'll break into some of the poses spontaneously and I love that.
I originally started practicing yoga as a grad student back in the mid to late nineties. I started practicing then to find my body which I had fallen out of touch with. My life evolved around thinking and writing fueled by coffee and cigarettes. I was underweight and overworked, my back and shoulders constantly aching.
I stopped smoking and started exercising as a college professor, still overworked, but also dealing with a difficult relationship. Becoming strong physically helped me find strength to put that relationship behind me.
I was never one to eagerly race to the gym, however. Not until I became a mom. Now more than ever I need to work out. I need to stretch my back and shoulders aching from carrying. To tread out frustration. To zone out on the elliptical machine while thinking through things, preferably to some upbeat tunes on my ipod. To feel awake again.