Sunday night yoga – a time to get present and toss aside anxiety about the transition from weekend to work week. Yes, this was my intention. But what I found on the mat was a super judgmental freak. I’ve noticed her before – butting in occasionally, criticizing my crows or shaming me for not attempting my headstand.
But yesterday she just wouldn’t shut up. My practice literally became a repeated procession of pose and response. Here let me give you a few:
Downward facing dog, dip your heels down to the floor. And she said, “It’s just not anatomically possible for you to ever reach the floor. Years of yoga and you’re still a good inch away.”
Half moon, stack your hips and extend your leg with energy. “I was so much better at this last year. I was graceful, now I’m awkward. I’m wobbling.”
Wide leg straddle, reach the crown of your head to the floor and take the inversion if it’s in your practice. “I’m still not there. I can’t believe I’m still not there. I used to do this but I can’t. It doesn’t feel possible.”
Pigeon, send your breath where you need it. “I can’t stand this. I really can’t stand this today. I normally can but I can’t stay here. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.”
Yes, that witch was completely merciless. She kept talking even though no one else was commenting on my yoga practice. There were no adjustments. No prompts to find my edge. No praise of other students. Nothing except a coached flow of poses.
But I’m glad she came out with such intensity her chatter couldn’t be ignored. Who knows how many times a comment here or there went unnoticed as they were ingrained as truths about my capabilities and limits? So I’m grateful for the obnoxious voice that disrupted my Sunday night to take me another step farther on the path to mindfulness where I can permanently remind myself she isn’t real and doesn’t matter.