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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Making yoga a priority

I've always had bad posture. When I was a kid my parents were constantly telling me to sit up straight.

As an adult I ignored my poor posture until I had a knee injury and I realized my weak knees were affecting more parts of my body than just my knees. I learned how to stand without locking my knees and pull my chest back so that my back wouldn't feel so much pressure. Even so, I knew I should be doing more to strengthen my body.

When I went through my divorce, 10 years ago, I bought a yoga book and began doing the poses at home. It always helped me feel better, but I could tell that I wasn't getting the full benefit of the stretches.

All of my varying jobs in the past 15 years have been sitting in front of a computer, which means my back developed an (un)healthy habit of eight-hours-a-day-hunched-over typing and staring at a screen.

After Annika was born last year, I spent so much time holding her and nursing that my poor back and shoulders began to stiffen up and I felt like my mass of back and chest muscles were turning to stone, more like rounded marble. Chiropractor sessions and acupuncture helped, but it seemed more like a patch than a cure. I began to feel like I was turning into a hunch-backed old woman. 

For 10 years I've wanted to do yoga. I wanted to do it really well. There is something about the mind body connection of yoga that really draws me to it as a form of exercise.

So why didn't I bother to sign up for a class?

I realized that I haven't ever made self-care a priority. Before I was a mother, when I got stressed out I'd take a sick day, or a vacation and enjoy myself to the point of exhaustion. But now I've realized, as my friend Tareeshia (yes, that's really her name, and no, I did not misspell it) says, being a mother is relentless.

You can't take a sick day. You can't just take off for a weekend or plan a week-long of self-indulgence. Self care has to become a priority and part of your routine. It can't be something you put off.

In my post yesterday, (which was supposed to be about yoga) I wrote about setting priorities and self care. For the past four months my lists of self-care activities have included yoga every time.

Then a friend of mine and her husband opened a yoga studio. I couldn't really give myself any more excuses not to go.

So finally, after 10 years of procrastinating and four months of putting it off, I finally went to a yoga class.

It was fan-fuckingtastic.


  1. Yoga rules, right? I really need to make it more of a priority too. Good for you!

  2. I'm right there with you Martha. My posture is horrendous and I don't make yoga nearly the priority it should be in my life. Perhaps I'll actually get to a class this weekend. Dan is even off work on Monday!


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