Day 262 – 5 min yoga fail

I used to love yoga. Long ago in the days of skinny and flexible, back when I was in college, I would do yoga and feel connected to myself. I loved feeling my body move and flex and stretch. It felt good to hug my knees and pull on my feet. I enjoyed the relaxation of breathing out and into a stretch.

When I started this journey last summer, I tried to incorporate yoga into my life and routine. It was not successful for a few reasons. First, I quickly found that I was too fat for most of the poses I knew. I didn’t let this deter me and quickly found yoga videos for curvy women. That didn’t offer me the yoga feelings I remember and often left me feeling … well… fat. Add to that my attempts to do it at 5am, and I was doomed. I walked away from yoga and didn’t look back.

Except that now I’ve lost 60 lbs, and I can run. After one of my runs this past weekend, I was stretching and had an moment of that old happy yoga feeling. I had placed my ankle on my knee and pulled my knee toward my face to stretch my hip, when I discovered that I could kiss my own ankle! SO COOL! (Yes, I’m aware it could also be considered a bit gross, but it made me happy.)

It got me thinking that maybe it’s time to give yoga another shot, so while I was at school, I found and downloaded some yoga for runners videos. I was all excited to give one a try tonight, and here’s how it went.

Video woman has us start on our knees sitting back on our feet and folding our face to the floor (child’s pose). I try to sit back on my feet and discover I still can’t do that and it REALLY F-ING HURTS to try. I stop the video, and huff past the pain while trying to peel myself off the floor. There are tears involved, but damn it – I am NOT giving up! After trying a pillow under my butt, sitting cross-legged, and attempting the original pose again, I discovered that I can lay on my face on the bed with my butt in the air and the mattress cushions my knees enough for it to work.

Childs Pose

It took some doing, but once I was on a soft mattress, I was able to do something that resembled this pose. This woman makes it look SO simple. I know I ended up with my butt in the air, but I did feel a nice stretch in my hips!

I restart the video. I’m now attempting to do yoga on my bed. The woman has us lay in child’s pose and stretch our shoulders, and I’m DOING IT! Then she has us pull back and stand up. Shit, I’m on my bed. I stop the video and pull my mattress off the bed to the floor, get on the mattress and restart the video.

The woman has us hang like a rag doll and hug our knees. She encourages knee bending which is good, because mine are REALLY bent a lot! But I’m doing it, and it feels good to hug my knees and stretch the back of my legs.

Knee Hugger

This is how she hugged her knees.

my knee hugger

This is what it looked like when I did it, but I must say it felt good! I felt it stretch all down my hamstrings.

Then she has us step back into lunge. It’s awkward and my legs scream in pain, but I hang in there. I make it through downward dog, cobra, and 3-legged dog. By now I am sweating and swearing and my arms are shaking with my massive effort to contort my body to make it do anything. I’m trying to match the video’s second lunge  (with the other foot in front) when I fall over.

I toppled sideways, rolled off of my mattress, stepped on my own finger, and banged my hip and elbow on the floor. I decided that was enough yoga for tonight. When I paused the video, I saw that I had made it 5 minutes and 27 seconds in – that includes the 40 second intro when the host introduced herself and welcomed me to her video.

Part of me wants to laugh, and part of my wants to cry with frustration. How can I lose 60 lbs and still feel just as fat and awkward and incapable as I did 8 months ago? I never expected losing weight to change my life or my identity, but I did/do expect it to change me physically. I want to be able to do yoga again – mainly because I want to feel like I can control my body and the way it moves and stretches again. That’s one of the things I hated most about being fat – I hated not being able to cross my legs, hug my knees, sit cross-legged on the couch, and move freely. I always felt like my fat physically and literally got in my way. I know I’m far from finished; I still have 40 lbs to go, but I’m starting to wonder if I’ll actually get that freedom of movement back…ever.

Sorry for the whine. It’s been a rough day all the way around. I believe I’ll go make myself a cup of tea and head to bed. I do think that moving the mattress off and back on the bed should totally count as a workout!

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11 thoughts on “Day 262 – 5 min yoga fail

  1. Your story made me laugh! I can’t do yoga at any weight – EVER – but I joined a yoga studio 3 weeks ago. I feel the same way!! The instructor often reminds us not to hit the barre with our legs – ha – my leg has never come close. But I have hit my head so many times bending to get my water bottle (now I hang a caution towel over it – fool me 12 times …) – where’s that reminder?!?!

    I’m up this morning to take a Tabata class (which I do love) followed by a yoga class (which I need) and all I can think is it would be so much easier to just go for a run. But I made a commitment to cross-train this old body.

    I’ll be thinking of you and your mattress as I moan and groan trying to straighten my legs, use my double blocks, fall out of poses, etc. I have a feeling you will have a much faster path to “yoga-zen” than I will – good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are too hard on yourself, it takes time to get flexible again. And I hate child pose, they always say how relaxing it is, nooo….it hurts like heck and my knees scream in pain to be on them. I go to a big class where everyone can do things so much better then me, but hey…I’m there and doing what my body will let me. I love how much it makes me huff and puff and sweat from just doing something so gentle. I know I’m not doing the full poses, but they make me stretch and I always feel so happy with what I have done. I love Youtube for finding videos that I can do at home, Bad Yogi is really sweet for making you feel better about not being pefect at poses…even though she is young, beautiful and flexible…poor girl.

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  3. Think back to when you started running and even the little run’s felt hard? It’s just like that with the yoga. You’ll have to start at the beginning again, start small and build it up. If you stopped running for a long period of time, you’d have to start from the beginning again, and although frustrating knowing you used to be able to do it, it’s the same with yoga – you have to be patient and keep at it and then it’ll become easier 🙂

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    • Yes, yes, all things worth doing require hard work and dedication. I do believe you are correct, and you certainly make a good point; sometimes I just wish it were easier and faster. 🙂

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  4. Hey Lucy, found your post on my feed. Saw the picture and quickly recognised it as Ekhart Yoga? (Correct me if I’m wrong?) I also practice yoga at home and it’s awesome! It’s been a year since I started, at first sporadically and this week I’ve been able to do it everyday! 🙂 I just wanted to let you know that yoga like your weight loss story is a journey. So don’t feel bad if your body hurts at first doing these poses or you can’t mimic exactly what she is doing. Allow yourself to have some space and it’s never a sign of weakness. When I started a year ago I also felt very frustrated like yourself but I didn’t give up even though I stopped for a few months or so. A year has passed and I can do a lot of challenging poses – like chaturanga (yoga push ups) and crow (thought it was impossible for me with such weak arms and core). But my point is, just keep practicing. Also check out 30 days of Yoga with Adriene. It has helped me a lot to love yoga and find what feels good (or what works for your body). Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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