Sunday, January 17, 2010

Angry Yoga

So I show up for yoga class yesterday afternoon, and after writing a short blogpost before I left the house for Girya I knew what my challenge for my practice was going to be.....stillness, calmness, focus, compassion, trust (to know I'd survive!).....but I didn't know how hard it was going to be until I got there and learned, last minute, who was teaching that least favorite teacher. In fact, I dislike this teachers class so much that her class is the only one I purposely try to avoid.....whoops!

I've had alot of anger show up during my yoga classes these past few months. Anger, depression, feelings of defeat, and failure. Feeling angry is not fun, and I don't like it! Anger is not pretty. Anger is "hard", not soft. Anger is not yoga. What am I so angry about?

Well, if I had to answer that question off the top of my head I would say that I'm angry that my practice sucks compared to my practice 1 year ago. At least I think it sucks. My practice is harder than it's ever been, and up until recently I blamed it on the extra bodyweight I had gained over the past year. Think about it.....put a 20lb backpack on and try to do all of the same physical stuff you normally do.....try some yoga poses with a 20lb backpack on and let me know how that goes for you! Was I angry about the extra weight? Hell yes. OR was I angry because I let this extra weight take my practice from me, a practice I was proud of, and worked hard for. Yikes, did I just become a victim of this extra bodyweight? It was time to take it back! Take back my ability, my talent, my skill and my hard work.

For months I suffered being a victim of this extra weight. I let my bodyweight keep me from felling good about myself, keep me from having a good practice, keep me from being proud of my practice. It still affects me....I'm not perfect. Yesterday was a good example because it put me to the test....seriously! You should of heard me swearing under my breath and fighting the "pissy" look I'm sure I was trying to hide on my face! My emotions ran the whole gamut.....disappointment at who was teaching, avoidence because I wanted to skip class and just go home, determination because I wasn't going to give up and let it get to me, calmness because I knew if I didn't remind myself to stay calm it was going to feel like torture, and I'm tired of feeling tortured in's sometimes I can embrace pain, you know, "No pain, no gain", but that's physical pain....different than emotional pain. Then, to top things off, I didn't like what I wore to class.

I know what's important in my yoga practice, I wrote about it just hours before class. you know how hard it is to look straight into your own eyes and be still? Look into your own eyes and remind yourself that you're capable, strong enough, soft enough, smart enough, that you're going to be OK....more than OK?

I survived. I did better than survive, I left in a better mood than I came with. My practice was good, I still don't like this teachers class but who knows, she may become my favorite! I'll be sure and let you know if that happens!

PS I just looked at the yoga class schedule for the next week, and guess who's teaching my next class? Yep!


Mark Reifkind said...


I just wish my yoga practice "sucked" one millionth as much as yours.
hell, right now I just wish I could practice.

Lu said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who avoids certain teachers! I do, find myself constantly looking at the teacher schedule to see who's on, and when. :-) Though they always stress that that the dialogue is the same, to me, it really does matter who is up on the podium saying the words.

To me, some teachers are too "preachy", or they add to much commentary, which I personally find annoying. And when I'm annoyed, my classes seem harder, the room seems hotter, and the poses last forever! Don't even get me started on how annoyed I am at how the 60 day challenge turns the studio into a zoo, or how crappy it is when a beginner is in the front row! ARGH!

Keep up the yoga, and see you in class!

Tracy Reifkind said...


the only time my practice truly sucks is when you're not there with me to hlod my hand during savasanas!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I stopped looking at the schedule a while back to "get over" the chance of predetermining a mood....It's MY practice, not theirs! With "the one" exception, lol! Which is why I was blindsided yesterday!

You use the word "annoy" (which is a good one btw), I use the word "angry"! But I agree with you about how everything seems harder...and it probably is....I mean, those negative emotions take up alot of energy that we could use in our practice.

The 60 day challenge! You should go back to the blogpost I wrote about it last year! I decided to ingnore it this feelings haven't changed.

The only thing worse than a beginner in the front row are the people (and some teachers) that insist on the same freakin' exact spots every single class, double classes, triple classes....yuck. give me a least move your ass once in a while....whoops, did I say I got over my anger? My bad.

lzjohn said...

Came back from struggling as a newbie through a Sunday yoga class and read your blog. Love the blog, love the humor and love the recipes, but please please show some compassion for the "beginners in the front row."
Where else are we supposed to go?

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm all for beginners taking a front row, or front seat spot, it shows determination not intimidation!

But....Bikram Yoga is different in the fact that the teacher (up front) does NOT demonstrate the poses, they simply describe how to get into, and out of, a pose. In a Bikram class the ideal spot for a beginner is the last 2 rows, so you can see other students demonstrate, as you listen to the instruction....without looking all around, and behind, creating distraction.

Not to mention alot of class is spent trying to balance on one leg! And beginners haven't yet built up the stamina to hold still while others are trying to other words....

We're snobs! LOL

Don't worry we'll (Mark and I) get your skinny ass into a Bikram class one of these days!

Diana said...

I hate trying to stand on one leg, shit,I haven't done crazy poses like this Yoga stuff since trying to get pregnant 14 years ago! lol
This extra 20lbs you speak of, it's not from all the 800+ snatches you do?? Are you sure it's fat and not some serious muscle going on?? I didn't meet a person who seemed overweight by any means back in September. When I do some yoga poses standing up against the wall, it's awesome when the instructor comes over to shove my chest back thinking I don't have my back tight against the wall when really it's just the awesome muscle I now have that gets in the way!! :)
If this 20lbs you speak of is truly "extra" weight you just happened to "eat" onto your frame, you'll find a way to get rid of it again. I'm working on this 15lb I added back on. It's always a struggle, but we get it done. Maybe you need to run now!!!! LMAO, I absolutely would LOVE to run in a race with you! Hell, I'll even come out there to do!!!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Bitch I'd kill you! Bring it...if I were stupid enough to train to run, you'd never catch me!

YOU KNOW I'M BEING FUNNY, KINDA, RIGHT? I'M NOT REALLY CALLING YOU A BITCH....IN A BAD WAY, LOL And, you know I don't believe in running for anyone that isn't "built for it"....who is it that has stress fractures in their feet from running????

But seriously, (thank God for friends that let you talk shit and
give it right me a bitch all day long and it wouldn't bother me), when I saw you in Sept I weighed about 142-44 and to my surprise I gained weight after I got back from that trip. I say surprise because my clothes fit only slighty differently, so when I weighed in at 150 I was shocked. Not depressed, just shocked because I thought I weighed less than 144!

So, I "get" the muscle to fat ratio thing, but come on, let's be serious, what former fat girl doesn't dream of weighing in the 120's?

I'm getting over it though....can you tell? lol

Diana said...

You just can't let them stress fracture alone can ya??!!! Those are way part of my past! I've stressed my collar bone from bad snatchin, so I guess it's safe to say no matter what the sport, when technique sucks-you get hurt!
So, not quite I coming out for a race??!!!! lol
Swing on biatch!!! ;)

Tracy Reifkind said...


I love freak!