Things in Erin’s Brain
Have I ever told you about the first time I went to yoga?
I dreamed of trying it, but was afraid I’d make a fool of myself. I didn’t know any of the poses, I didn’t know what to wear, I didn’t have a mat, and I felt insecure in the fact that I wasn’t perfect at something I had never tried before. (Yeah, it’s a crazy place in my head).
It took me years of driving past a yoga studio right next to my house for me to dare step foot inside. I’d stare through my windshield, longingly, wondering what kind of magic was happing in there. Then I’d shake of the wonder and focus on the road. One New Years Day (it may have been New Years Day 2012…) I made myself get brave and I went in. I fell in love. The owner was a kind, gentle, KIND soul. Did I mention that she was kind? She didn’t laugh at me (my bar was pretty low) and she didn’t just keep repeating corrections over and over and over, hoping I’d get a clue. Nope, Stephanie came right over and helped me get into my first downward facing dog with a smile and a “You got this.” She set the bar (HIGH) for what I look for in a studio today.
Over the years I have turned to yoga to carry through some really tough times… without it I may be writing this Hump Day Newsletter through some type of straight jacket. It taught me about my body. How I move, how I think, how I breathe (or not – considering I had a propensity to hold my breath all the time).
Through the years and various moves I have always had a “yoga home.” Until 2020. My favorite studio closed, and I floated around like a grifter; a class here, a class there. Nothing felt quite right. I’m really, really lousy at maintaining a home practice. For the record I’m also not good at using any of the other home gym tools / equipment / contraptions currently occupying the front room of my house that stare at me and taunt me, “Erin, are you going to ROW today?” Mmmmm. Nope. “Erin, do you want to lay on this cushy weight bench and heave some weights up and down, up and down?” Mmmm. Maybe later. (aka NEVER).
But every time I try a new place, the old anxieties creep in. What if no one talked to me? What if my mat was not like the other mats? What if my 5-seasons-old yoga fashion was not cool enough? What if I had to hit child’s pose for half the class while everyone else powered through their 10,000 vinyasas?
After being off the matt for months I worked up the gumption to try the new Anuttara Yoga here in Fort Lauderdale (at Oakland Park and Federal for the local peeps).
- Yes, I changed my outfit twice.
- Yes, I was afraid my 10 year old Lululemon mat would not be cool (but I LOVE it and I have good traction on it and it’s soft enough for my bony knees and whatnot).
- I did NOT have a sweat towel thing which made me anxious (but I don’t slide around on my Lululemon mat so I don’t need one – but I was anxious anyway)
I arrived early to get a spot that wasn’t directly under a heater. I dig warm / hot-ISH yoga, but I don’t like direct heat and I don’t like Bikram style 120,000 degree yoga. All of that worked out beautifully.
My outfit was fine.
My mat was amazing.
What was interesting was that the group was probably 50/50 men and women. So the energy had a more masculine vibe than I had experienced in quite a long time – but again – it was good!
The class started out smooth.. breathing, stretching, flowing… and I thought “Oh yeah, I got this! I can totally keep up this pace for 90 minutes.”
Yup. You’re right << Test First Name >>, I totally jinxed it. All of a sudden (it *felt* like all of a sudden) the cues got faster and harder and FASTER. I was sweating more and more. I promised myself I wouldn’t overdo it. I PROMISED MYSELF. So as the class progressed, I hit child’s pose. For those not privy to the lingo – “child’s pose” is basically kneeling on the floor with your forehead on the ground in front of you. It’s a resting pose.
And I rested.
And drank water.
The class completed a sequence and I rejoined for the other side… then back in to child’s pose.
Truth – I probably spent 40% of the class on the floor doing my own thing.
Because that’s what I needed to do to honor my body and my mind. I needed to pause. It wasn’t going to do me any good to push until I passed out or until I made myself so sore that I couldn’t walk the next day. Who would that serve?
Did anyone care?
Hahahaa – If they did – frankly, it’s none of my business. ‘Cause I did ME.
I had a really great class and I’m looking forward to experiencing more classes at Anuttara.
Because it’s all about love…
Massage Minute brought to you by
Tell me, have you learned a few things from my Manual Lymphatic Drainage series? There’s so much that goes on in our bodies that people rarely talk about and I feel like if we *do* talk about it we can learn to love ourselves a little bit better.
As promised, here are some tips to help you keep your lymph system moving and flowing. And when you’re feeling stuck or sluggish? Give me a holler.
- Exercise: Move. Your. Body. You don’t have to kill yourself with burpees or run a marathon. But movement is the key to moving the lymph system. I’m a fan of jumping jacks, but walking works too (pump those arms!).
- Dry Brushing: A superficial technique, dry brushing can stimulate your lymphatic system, aid with cellulite reduction, and slough off dead skin cells. It’s not very comfortable – I have to psyche myself up to do it – or perhaps I need a slightly softer brush. Here’s a little video demo I selected because it is short, to the point, and I found that Margie made me smile. Remember: always dry brush towards the heart!
- Stay Hydrated: This is hands down the most important self-care tip. Every system in your body works better when you drink water. So you just need to break down and do it. Here’s a list of hydration apps to help remind you (did you know once you’re feeling thirsty you’re already dehydrated?). I’m guilty of not drinking enough water too, so if you have a clever way to remember to hydrate, please share!
- Wash those fruits and veggies: This falls under the realm of paying attention to the environmental toxins around you. We are exposed to many environmental toxins that are out of our control, but be sure to always wash your fruits and veggies. If you’re really diving deep into healthier, cleaner living, please visit my Lemongrass Spa Products page. Lemongrass Spa’s mission is to provide natural products that are clean and made fresh, right here at home in America. The family skin care products range from cosmetics (I adore their lipsticks – no chemical taste and amazing pigment!) to lotions, scrubs, soaps, hair care, and essential oils.
Have any more questions about Manual Lymphatic Draingage? Ask away!