Thursday, January 6, 2011

Well, I tried.

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, really. It comes down to knowing myself, and I know that I'm a total flake. I desperately want to prove to myself that I have the discipline to do (or not do) X, but then I pretty much inevitably don't do (or do) X.

E.g: Do 30 straight days of yoga (well, I did do that once, but life was so different then). Don't bite my nails. Do walk to work instead of taking the subway unless weather is totally heinous. Don't eat crap. (I originally typed "carp," which I haven't eaten - success comes in mysterious ways!)

When I started the work-study program at my studio in March or April, the cleaning days assigned to me were Thursday and Saturday. Since then, I have rarely missed a single Thursday or one weekend day (I switched to Sundays) of practicing at the studio. I cleaned early one Saturday morning in June before driving five hours to Cape Cod with my dad, but I didn't take class. More recently, with my car's increasingly frequent freak-outs, I've corralled my fantastic boyfriend into driving me down to the studio. (I'd just take his car if I could drive a stick. But this way he helps me clean, too!) I missed both days when I went to San Diego at the beginning of November, but I took one class (at training, woot!!) while I was there.

So, for almost a year, I've been taking two classes a week, pretty consistently. (My home practice has become almost nonexistent since 1. buying a house, and 2. getting a second dog.) I'd like to step it up, but I feel like planning to practice every day is just an easy way to set myself up for disappointment. Another idea had been percolating for a while; I decided last month to add in one home practice a week (ideally on Tuesdays or Wednesdays to balance out the Thurs./Sun.).

My first attempt was yesterday, when I stayed home sick from work. It went something like this:
Give bones to Leo (2) and Lucy (10 months).
Try to keep dogs off rug long enough to roll out mat.
Roll out mat.
Separate dogs, who are fighting for the "good" bone (?).
Remove Lucy from mat.
Press "play" on iTunes Bikram class.
Start pranayama breathing.
Transcend these odd barky noises.
On fifth breath, throw bone into kitchen so Lucy will leave me alone.
Transcend, transcend, transcend.
In forward bend, untangle (my) hair from Lucy's mouth.
In through the nose. Out through the nose. I am the perfect picture of peace.
Balance tested severely during standing head to knee, when Lucy walks underneath my picked-up foot.
Fall out five times, get back in six times.
Apologize profusely to Leo for kicking him in the ribs while stepping out for triangle. (He shouldn't have been on the damn mat!)

I got as far as standing separate leg forehead to knee. Working that pose, this is what I saw:

Leo's tail is the blur. I think he was trying to get the "good" bone away from Lucy (on the floor). On the other hand, this is how they play, constantly.

At that point, I gave up on trying to practice and chased them around the 20-degree backyard for a long time.

Chalk it up as a learning experience: Now I know that home practice goes much, much more smoothly when the boyfriend can distract/deal with the dogs. The hiccup there is that he's spending hours every night, post-dinner, studying for architecture exams. It shouldn't be a big deal to ask him to *not* study one night a week. Right?

I might have to get the dogs their own mats. Lucy would look great in Shakti.


  1. Your comment with the discovery of Rachel Devine made me SO happy! Your comments always make me so happy :D


    Love this post. Good luck finding a way around the pups. Wish you could come over and practice with me on my nice hardwood (and pup-free) floors! I am hoping to do more at-home practice. Buying a few DVDs from Amazon. Can't wait!

  2. I've never been able to get into a steady home practice. I don't even have pets, but somehow there's always something to distract me/prevent me from practicing. Still, yoga clothes for dogs is a
    brilliant idea - even if it can't make them concentrate, meditate, focus, it would make for funny pictures.

  3. LMAO you're hilarious. and now that i saw how long your hair really is, the picture is much clearer LOL!

    i give u total mad pancit props for being able to do a home practice. i don't have the discipline, nor the heat to do it at home.

    i started going stir crazy at the end of my trip, so much so that i was tempted to do it in the hottest Bkln bathroom known to earth...til i realized i was too out of shape to even attempt half moon.

  4. I can do a few asanas at home, but never the full thing. I'm super weird about having enough humidity. :)

  5. Catherine-
    thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. I really appreciate that positive feedback.
    And now have stumbled onto your blog and really love it! This post especially had my laughing because I have 2 dogs as well (Lucy-4-puggle and Gus-3-beagle) and that is EXACTLY the way it would go it I tried to practice at home- God love ya!
    Hope you can find some balance- sending you good energy :)

  6. This is so funny! And similar to my recent experience of home practice (for different reasons) that I just started. My 3 year old Cash is yoga dog and licks my face non-stop when I’m in cobra which I don’t mind too much, but I had to pin her once for putting teeth on me cause she just goes crazy some times and thinks I’m really practicing to play with her. It is great, most of all I love when she lays next to me in savasana, totally distracting but I feel very loved.