Sundays were always the worst. By 3 pm, I started to feel mopey. By 5, I was a bit snippy, side-eyeing my husband for the smallest perceived offenses like NOT offering me Cheetos when he was in the kitchen, despite the fact that I had just informed him that he was not, under any circumstances, to allow me to have any more Cheetos. By 7, I was downright unpleasant. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact problem but all I knew was that I didn’t wanna: Didn’t wanna cook. Didn’t wanna clean. Didn’t wanna sit around. Didn’t wanna go out. At bedtime, I’d wonder if I was sick. Maybe dying. A quick search on WebMD would assure me that I was correct. I veered off of the good doctor’s website in search of cheap entertainment to distract my restless mind, endlessly scrolling through youtube dog videos (so cute!) and other people’s oh-so-perfect family photos on Facebook (ugh, so gross). But the 30 seconds of entertainment served only as a brief detour from my negative thoughts and growing anxiety.
Until one day when I realized that maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t healthy. Maybe I needed to make some change, find some new ways of coping, get a hobby, possibly even…dare I say it…MOVE my body?!! Assured that there was no way I was going to run unless someone was chasing me, knowing I wasn’t ready to commit to swimming in polar plunge New Hampshire conditions, and not having owned a bicycle since my Huffy in 5th grade, I wondered what people did to get out of their minds into their bodies these days. Google told me yoga was the way. It would solve all my problems. Grouchy? Yoga, Google said. Tired? Try yoga, Google spouted. Old? Yoga is the fountain of youth, Google assured me.
Where do I yoga? Do I need equipment to yoga? How many players are on a yoga team? Are downward facing dogs as cute as my dogs? Google had the answers. The most important answer being: Ohana. Though I don’t have a good track record of doing what I’m told, I decided to put aside my general dislike of authority and agree with Google. So I signed up.
And it only took one class, my friends. One Lisa-led, heavenly, tough, blissful class. One class where I focused on moving my body in a way I hadn’t before. One class where my brain had to think about places it had forgotten about and joint angles it never met before. I don’t believe in love at first sight. But yoga at first practice? Oh honey, yes. I was devoted. Like all good love stories, it began online and dramatically. And like all long-term relationships, we have peaks and valleys. But the way yoga changed my psyche has been monumental.
Am I telling you I don’t have anxiety anymore? No. But I can read my body and I know the anxiety is coming. So I can head it off BEFORE I start feeling like trading in my husband for a chef/housecleaner. I have physical practices that help me take my mind right into my shoulders or hips and out of my head where my brain is 5 minutes from convincing me I am having a heart attack despite the total lack of symptoms. I can meditate and feel a part of something much bigger than my small problems in my small self in my small world.
Ok, Cynthia, what’s your point? Here it is: Maybe you’ve never been to yoga. Maybe you’ve been practicing for a long time. Maybe you just started. Wherever you are in your yoga space, find that magic spark you had with yoga and work on your relationship with it. Recommit to class and be present. I promise you, your Sunday night self will thank you.