Two things I think of quite often: Yoga and my belly. I mostly think about doing yoga, I think about the good things it brings – the brightness in my cheeks and the sparkly eyes I get after a good session, the oh so lovely feeling of stretching out my muscles and the shaking in poses from the not so strong muscles. I don’t do yoga as often as I would like, due to discomfort in my back (I know, you hard out yogis will say “Keep doing it, it’s wonderful for back injuries!” – I know this, my issue is complex (not an injury) and some yoga aggravates it. I’m working on it, ok?)
One of the things I’m day dreaming about right now is being back in North Vancouver and going to my fave yoga spot: Yogapod
I discovered this place just before summer as I was looking to join somewhere that wasn’t a gym but that offered yoga classes and wasn’t stupidly expensive. I stumbled across the Yogapod website and was pleased to find that they had a 30 day membership that was quite reasonable. The catch? You had to go every day for 30 days. It was a 30-day challenge and I thought “heck, why not! I love yoga, how hard could it be to do it every day?”
It was hard. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Because of my work hours, some days I HAD to do a hot class which I ended up resenting VERY much especially because it was high summer. On the days that you missed a class (which I think I did twice) you had to make it up in a seven day period with two classes on one day. In theory, this idea was great. In practice it was a pain in the ass!! Towards the end of my yoga challenge I was crying in my classes because I was tired and sore and just did not want to be there. But I also didn’t want to give up. For one whole hot class, I did the first few poses and then just lay down on my mat and closed my eyes for the rest of the time. I did feel a bit silly but I was so far past the point of caring what anyone thought of the crazy person lying on her mat, not doing yoga in a yoga class filled with people doing yoga, that it felt so good to just lie there and breathe. Weirdo. It had been said, at the start of the challenge, that if you didn’t feel you could do the class that it was OK to lie down. I owned that.
I managed to complete the challenge and I was so very proud of myself. I have since come to terms with some of the hate I felt for the challenge. Plus, I’ve not stuck to many things in my life (see Every Two Years) so I get a bit chuffed when I have done something I didn’t think I could do… like that 5km fun run I did on a whim (see Run for fun).
To keep me motivated during the 30 days, I would reward myself with healthy treats. Conveniently located a couple of blocks up and across, was a vegetarian/vegan/gluten free cafe called Buddha-Full. I used to get the Tall Totem about once a week (maybe twice, one week) and it made me happy to be walking home in the sun with my mat tucked under my arm, happy thoughts running around in my mind and a massive smoothie in my hot little hand.
I day dream about Vancouver quite a bit as I try to keep it as present as possible in my mind. I try to think of the things that I loved/liked so that in my mind it’s represented as a happy place; somewhere I want to go back to. I didn’t plan on being in NZ as long as I have been, I should be back in Vancouver already, but plans change and we are at the mercy of immigration so I feel like the more I am in NZ the harder it will be to leave. I don’t want to resent Vancouver for making me be there because I love one of it’s residents and none of my best friends live there. It’s a nice place with a lot to offer and before I left I remember walking home from work and thinking about how happy I was, in general, with my life at that moment. So, I try to have it in the back of my mind as a good place to be. Which it is, I just might find it hard to remember that when I get back there and am lonely and waiting to be told if I’ve been granted permanent residency or not. Perhaps to keep me busy, I’ll do another 30 day challenge 🙂
The following photo is not to do with yoga or bellies but more just a nice photo that reminds me why Vancouver will hold a special place in my heart…