Adventures in Imperfection

One Hot (Yoga) Mess of a Mama

lines~~curves

shadows~~light

yin~~yang

good days~~bad days

Our lives are a ballet among contrasting landscapes and emotional highways. One moment, we are screaming down a back road in a sweet Chevelle with the windows rolled down and our hair flying everywhere. The next instant, we are pulled over getting a speeding ticket. The day is ruined. Or so we think.

Insert your life experience:

excellent job~~displacement after twenty years of service

a gorgeous new skirt~~finding it tucked into your undies midway through a staff meeting

finding the love of your life~~they find somebody else

prepping all day for a test~~you studied the wrong chapter

life is at your fingertips~~doc found a lump

The big things, the little things–they all land punches and dent our armor. As a writer, I’m a sucker for a metaphor and a ponytail yanking life lesson. Such has been the case for the last two Mondays of yoga class.

WHOA partner! Bring your happy butt right back to the story (Bestie Kels–I’m talking to you). I’m not going to spew Sanskrit onto your screen, nor will I pontificate on the chakras. Although, chakra sounds suspiciously like chocolate, so let’s explore that next.

Consider this a “yoga-lite” lesson–no headstands into the flat screen or bendy, twisty, emergency-room-landing poses. Just be, baby!

https://www.google.com/search?q=convoluted+yoga+poses&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiV3qDzg9nJAhUC92MKHaffDzoQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=complicated+yoga+poses&imgrc=Fv5UexvklzbPVM%3A
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Yoga Mondays start like this:

4:45: Clanging alarm

4:46: When my brain tells my body it is too tired for hot yoga.

4:47: Scroll through Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Drop the phone and accidentally “poke”  some of my friends. How rude! I try to ‘un-poke’ but I’m not wearing glasses, so it’s all fuzzy and I’m pleading the 5th.

5:00: Launch into a session of self-scolding on having wasted thirteen minutes reading mindless chatter, and poking sleepy bears.

5:02: Awake and determined not to spend the morning on an iPhone. Go to yoga as planned. Louisa is always there,  and seeing her makes my day better.

For the last two sessions, the room has been extra hot. The instructor said it was 102, but with the humidity, it felt like Hell. Today’s temp crept up to 105. Whenever I go, I set an intention to have a productive, anxiety-free week–starting with the primary cause(s) of restlessness. Like the study in contrasts above, my last two Monday classes were entirely different:

Breathe and let go~~Holy sh*t! Just make it through

In each instance, our instructor takes us through the Warrior series. In my intentions, I work through each flow and apply a life event to match the sequence I’m practicing.

Warrior I: Symbolizes our personal ability to overcome ego and ignorance. The warrior flows challenge and tests us but in doing so bring us strength, focus, confidence, and courage.

My son is knee-deep in wrestling season. Even though Dane wrestles near his natural weight, his meals are an orchestration of calories, protein, carbohydrate, healthy fats, and hydration. The daily practices can be grueling and energy-sapping. But, he craves the work, the discipline, the team, and the feeling of accomplishment.  As a parent watching his/her child, it’s triple-time hard to take. I have promised more than once that I will not lose my cool while he’s competing. That means no yelling, embarrassing my husband, or falling on the bleachers. I can accomplish the first two, but the third one gets me at least once/year.

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Strength, focus, confidence, and courage. A prayer for my children–especially when the match moves from the gym and into real life.

Warrior II: requires strength and stability, but also flexibility in the hips and upper body. The sequence teaches us about one of the fundamental principles of yoga practice; the balance of steadiness and ease. It also teaches us to involve the whole body and to remember that which is out of sight.

Dane started his season by making it to the finals during his first meet. Ultimately, he won–but only after a bloody nose and four overtimes. I didn’t yell, but I used every square inch of the concrete I was standing on (hubby calls me a “wiggler”). Dane inspected my hands after his OT match. They were shaking, and I don’t remember breathing once.

I crave balance in daily living. Flexibility, insight, and steadiness–if only I could be this parent, this person, every day. Breathe, Mama. Why are you shaking?

Warrior III: often referred to as the most challenging of the warrior series. I always lose my breath, get light-headed and nearly fall throughout the entire flow. Even though it’s acceptable to use an aid, such a block, for support, I usually don’t. I can’t balance, can’t stretch, can’t reach, won’t ask for help…can’t control anything. 

One of the most difficult parts of parenting is watching your children do as you’ve prepared them to–leave home with feathers flying and landing in an empty nest. Tanna is a college senior, and heading to nursing school next year. She’s seeing a nice, young man and all of a sudden I’m seeing the future stretch out before her like a big Kansas rainbow. One moment Dane is plowing his Tonka toys through mud and next he’s wearing a bow tie and escorting a young lady to the high school winter formal. I snap several photos of my children and see the same theme in each–where did the time go?

Spoiler alert: I hate not being in control.

Humble Warrior: Considered a transitional pose, the humble warrior can teach appreciation for the journey, instead of always looking to the destination. 

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Today’s class had me kneeling in humble warrior more than what I would have liked. I kept losing holding my breath and falling. Sweat was dripping into my eyes, and I stripped down as far as public nudity rules would permit. Humility provided today’s edit; a set of more true, non-poetic words. Horror stories of chronic anxiety and frantic problem-solving replace the gentle metaphors and bow-tied life lessons that flow so smooth and unfold like a gorgeous tapestry.

What stops you in midstream? What personal stories do you hide? Nothing undoes and humbles me more than agony about not being a good enough mom.

My college senior has spent a stress-filled semester of tough classes and a nagging worry about not getting into nursing school next year. Recalling our conversations over the past week; You can do this! Just make it through. It’ll be better next week. Keep going, Babe! I wanted to be her warrior and knew I couldn’t. Knew I shouldn’t.

Being the lone woman in a house of men can be a chronic challenge, too. Moms have to dodge daggers within the framework of complicated father-son relationships. Men seem to have the ability to argue, fight and be more bonded once they resolve their issues. This man-dance will always fascinate and frustrate me. My insides struggle to keep the outside from interfering–Let it blow over. Just make it through. One more flow. But, my full-on hummingbird nature takes over, and I cannot stay out of it.

I hover over Scott’s head, flutter in with suggestions and then fly off to find Dane. I swoop into his room with homemade food, and positive affirmations. Fortunately, my boys know this about me and continue to tolerate my migratory tendencies.

Somehow, I’ve built a life that has fooled family, friends, and co-workers into thinking I am book-ended up and calm. Only a handful of people know that I’m riddled with overwhelming nerves, emotions, and fretful internal fits. Most days, I’m just trying to make it through to the next. Like you.

I counsel my children, “Control what you can control.” And then, I find the next thing on my list to finish, smash, work through, and manage. Know a good role model my kids could use?

How egotistical is it to think that I can control anything? That we need to control everything? It was when I bowed my head to the mat at the end of each yoga session that I recalled how often our hands had come to prayer during class. When my bum knee wouldn’t bend, my gentle instructor placed a block at the pressure point. How many times in the last seven days did I clasp my hands in real prayer, or let someone help me? Ooopsies.

Grace in letting go escapes me, but the desire is there. We are human, and the best we can do is keep trying. We will continue to have beautiful days when the stars align, and all is in harmony. Those prepare us for the days where we white-knuckle through the hours until we rise above, and our Warrior 1 starts to peek through the hot mess.

Looks like I’m going to need another Lava Yoga punch card for 2016. Join me? I’d love to find your mat next to mine.

Shavasana, baby!
Shavasana, baby!

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” – Dalai Lama

~~~~~

(Thank you to Louisa and Mish who talked me into yoga. Special thanks to Kelsey who let me sleep (I’m not tired!) in the middle of her living room floor amongst her other Saturday fight night party guests–nobody even stepped on me! Huge thanks to my boys who tolerate the flutter and fix. And finally, to my girl – you got this kiddo. xo )

~~~~~

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84 thoughts on “One Hot (Yoga) Mess of a Mama

  1. I love how you weave words and ideas together. Such a beautiful tapestry. And the puppy in Shavasana is too precious! The need for and the need to control…hmm. Yes. Sometimes I play the “what if” game: what if I didn’t do XYZ PDQ? What would happen? Would the world really end?

    These days I’m trying like crazy to let more and more go with regards to Little Man and school. This fall when I really let go, he fell flat on his face. That, combined with one horrible teacher match-up, made for a few really tough months. After jumping in and wrestling back control, some major changes were made, and now Little Man is back in control again (for the most part). It’s scary sometimes when it comes to school grades that now, finally, matter (to a point). One thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that no matter what, no matter how things end up, Little Man will be ok. That thought really releases me. He won’t follow my Dad’s footsteps to Harvard. He probably won’t follow his own father’s footsteps to the Navy. He won’t follow my footsteps. He’ll create his own new, unique path. And the best part is, I don’t have to know at this point how it’s going to go down. The unfolding ride of it will be the miracle to watch. (I recently learned that the human brain is not designed to know how things will happen. It’s designed to recognize patterns only.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “He’ll create his own new, unique path. And the best part is, I don’t have to know at this point how it’s going to go down.”
      This was the best paragraph I could have read today. Thank you so much for the kind reminder and for sharing your son with us. He’s lucky to have you for his mama 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh the trials and tribulations of the helicopter mom! I know it well. I start my exercises with something similar to the Warrior 3 pose and didn’t even know I was doing yoga. I usually falter a few times before I can gain balance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fun post. I always love the way your words help me see your life as well as give me inspiration in my own. I feel for you with your kids getting older. It’s so hard, yet wonderful, to see them become their own people. It sounds like your young-uns are doing just great. Good for your daughter going for the nursing program. That’s a tough one. I can imagine your talks with her because my college daughter does the same with her hard classes–always calling to tell me she’s going to fail (which in her definition means a B) and me trying to convince her she’s smart again and definitely capable and wonderful and all that mom stuff we say because we see them as they truly are and they sometimes get that belief beat out of them by the world. Have a great day. Since you’re such an early bird, it’s probably time for a nap, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Streeeetch….just waking from my nap 😉
      I love your perspective on our kiddos, too. Have you ever noticed that once you talk your children down off a ledge and they are better…suddenly we are a bundle of nerves.
      Actually – you always seem calm and introspective…may I have my girl call you next time?
      I always love hearing from you Char–I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!
      Michelle

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  4. I’m sitting here nodding my head at every sentence. I have a super hard time asking for help and sometimes I don’t even recognize that I need it! I chuckled when you said you didn’t remember breathing once during Dane’s match. That’s a biggie for me. I hold my breath, tense up and wonder why I feel out of sorts. I think I’m going to shavasana now. 😉 xxoo

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love how you tied yoga moves to life struggles and see the practice as a way to work through them. I do yoga once or twice a week to reap the benefits of flexibility, but I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed it. And I could never do it in such a toasty room. Yikes. But I imagine it really does help one’s focus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me several sessions to figure out how to make the connection. However, one more session at 105, and I may not have survived to write. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it so much!
      Michelle

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  6. Mama, I think I know what’s wrong…it’s that yoga thing…from your descriptions that stuff is dangerous 😀
    But seriously, do the puppy pose above…it de-stresses like crazy :), and kind lady, you need to feel all those things, so when those magical moments of marriage for your daughter, big wins in wrestling for your son, great moments of togetherness between father and son…will be so much more appreciated because you do know the lows, and are now feeling the beauty of when it all comes together.
    You do have it all together, just appreciate all that you share into the mix….and let it go….you’ve done your best, and it shows in this beautiful writing here.
    Wish you were my mom 😀 (but don’t tell my mom :)).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some days, I think the only reason I was born was to be a mom…and I like that notion.
      Thank you for the gentle reminders about enjoying those moments–the man I married does the same thing.
      I hope you are doing well.
      Namaste, my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very well thank you Michelle, my kids have flown the coop, married, had kids and I’m now watching them do what I did for them…or not 🙂
        It is a very interesting journey. The only part that had me stumped was in seeing my mistakes in them….until I realised it was now their journey, it is going exactly where it needs to, so I let it go. I’m there to help with all my (now) grand wisdom if needed 😀
        Have a beautiful Christmas for you and family Michelle, blessings to all 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Bless your heart that you have managed to practice hot yoga regularly! I gave Bikram Yoga a try a few years ago. I *tried* to get through it on 3 separate occasions, but ended up letting my remaining 7 classes of a 10-class pass hubby had gifted me, go unused for fear that I might assassinate that militant and judgmental yoga instructor. I’ve since heard other hot yoga is not as unpleasant (Moksha, etc.) and regimented and nazi-ish, like Bikram, but I’m still traumatized. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only thing that ever gets me through is my sweet friend on the mat next to me…and the fabulous instructor. She is kind, quirky, and so patient. I’m not really the yoga-type, but I do like a bit of torture sometimes.
      Speaking of torture…have you posted your second day of adventures yet??

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      1. Nope! Headed to the airport for what I hope is my last biz trip of 2015. My plan is to maybe do some writing in my hotel room in Atlanta. You know, during all that downtime I’m sure to have between all day meetings and biz dinners. :-S

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I nose dive all the time!
      You found me the EELS, my friend. In fact, you are responsible for more than doubling my musical library. Thank you for that…and for all of the other gifts you bring into my world. Xo

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  8. I mean, I knew I always loved you, but then I realized that you’re a yoga girl and then I fell MADLY in love with you and can’t remember my first name anymore because I’m drooling over my old bikram days . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! You crack me up, Katie. I’m still new to yoga (less than a year)…but, I’m addicted. You have pooches, right? Don’t you love it when they downward dog next to you on the floor?
      Thank you for stopping by, Katie. Love seeing your pretty face. xo

      Like

  9. “I can’t balance, can’t stretch, can’t reach, won’t ask for help…can’t control anything. ”

    So incredibly much that. So, so much. And I just managed to send myself spinning off into anxiety this morning about something clothes-related (ok, body-within-the-clothes related) and I *KNOW* it completely does NOT matter, and at the same time it also kinda does. So there’s that.

    I think this is a day I just want to hide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear, sweet Lizzi,
      I’m sorry that you want to hide. I know that feeling, too. To be as small as possible, and not make a sound. So, you know what? On the days we don’t feel like hiding, we clang and bang and spread our joy (daresay HOPE!). On the clanging/banging days, we love our bodies and relish in the feeling. We remember the good feels and that we are amazing individuals. Those days get us through the bad…that, and friends. Friends like you. xo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Nadia!!!! OMG…how awesome to see you here.
      I love your theme for the year–totally fitting, and easier said than done, right? I rejected the notion of yoga for almost two years until the friends I mentioned in the post coaxed me to my first class. It’s changed my life. Seriously!
      OMG..it was so good to see you today. Thank you for stopping by. I need to head over and check what you’ve been doing. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yoga has just become my new years resolution – well, at least TRYING it!
        And it’s great to read you again! I have taken almost a year off blogging – jumping back onto the WordPress swings shortly!! xo

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Mama,

    I done lost my reply to connectivity issues. So here is my really poor attempt at re-write.

    First of all, love your post. It’s Mama, the essence of Mama. As for Chakra, that words tends to remind me of Chaka Khan. I do so miss the old school tunes. Rufus and the gang were lots of fun.

    Stick your arms straight out in a Frankenstein pose . . . that’s as far as your control goes. From your pretty little nose to those fingertips. That’s it, all you get. Everything beyond that is totally out of your control. And even THAT isn’t really something you can control. Scary as shit, I know. But hey, when you consider that we’re living on a blue marble spinning down a cosmic highway surrounded by galactic tractor trailers? We good.

    About halfway through your post, I had a revelation. I was like “Holy shit! I’m a hippie!” Because I can totally see myself walking the earth some day. Just me and my bag of necessaries. I’d have to work out the hygiene thing (Daily bathing is a must) before embarking on this rest of my life journey, but once I do, it’s on.

    I think you have more hippie chica in you than you’re giving yourself credit for. And I mean that in the most peaceful, hygienic sense. Fo. Sho.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am laughing my ass off!
      The words, “Holy shit! I’m a hippie!” have crossed my mind more than once. Maybe there’s a little wanderlust in all of of that involves a backpack and a wrinkled map. Truly, I think it has a lot to do with these Sam and Dave characters weaving their way into our lives. It’s a welcome escape.
      Thank you so much for typing a comment TWICE! It sucks when that happens. Sometimes, I just walk away and start all over the next day when that happens. Thank you for not walking away 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I so admire anyone who can do Yoga and stick with it. I have done it in the past and it is awesome stuff. I always feel like I have had a massage from the inside out.
    I’m just not motivated IN THE LEAST to do anything good for me right now. I have been eating bad, not exercising, not drinking my water, not, writing… not, not, not, not…. *sigh*
    I did send out Christmas cards… late, but I sent some. Got my Christmas shopping done. THANK GOD for Amazon! lazy… see??? Ugh…
    I need the holidays behind me and start a New Year. Other than that, everything is groovy! LOL!
    Merry Christmas my friend!! Love ya, K/C 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesssss to Amazon!
      Lazy? That is not the adjective that comes to mind when I think of you, C. I think kind, considerate, funny, supportive, and completely awesome!
      I totally feel you on what I call the post-holiday sluggy feeling. Let’s start the New Year’s fresh together. Sound good?
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. You are the best!! Xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a sluggy feeling.. but I have had it for several weeks. I do not like the “holiday season” in this season of my life. I want it behind me. I am not really lazy, but I have been lately.. *sigh*
        I look forward to the New Year because it is a new beginning and new adventures. I have 12 hours scheduled for school in the Spring (probably will drop at least one of those classes) and I am auditioning for the Spring musical at school. I am determined to get my degree. My hubby always says, the next 2 years are going to go by one way or the other. You might as well have accomplished something instead of saying Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… That is my philosophy now.
        Happy New Year my friend! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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