Yoga and the danger of being inside my head

Yesterday, I had a ridiculous, stuck-inside-my-own-head sort of day.

Saturday morning I went to the Bikram yoga studio I frequent for an 8 a.m. class. It’s rarely crowded – maybe 20 people on the busiest class I have attended – but mostly it’s 10 to 12 morning people. Yesterday was sparser than usual with only 8 students.

I have a like-dislike relationship with yoga. It’s not quite the “hate” I have on for exercise overall, but it’s not an “oh goody! I get to go to yoga practice today!” type experience either. Most of the time I’m so focused on the poses (and not spontaneously toppling over) I do not have time to think about much else. Sometimes, though, I go into it with a bad attitude (“I don’t want to be here” amplified by power of 1000) and it makes for a piss-poor experience. But I need to work on my body’s flexibility. If I don’t do yoga, I hate the rest of exercise even more passionately, and it makes it so much simpler to find an excuse to blow it off. If I just suck it up and do 2 practices a week, the rest of my must-do-it exercise is less painful and therefore more bearable.

I continue to wait for the day I wake up loving to work out.

For whatever reason, I came out of yoga in an emotional funk, one of those “I don’t want to try” feelings. I got lost inside my own head and bad attitude, in turn being confrontational with M about a … wait for it … new shower curtain for his bathroom. Really? We are raising our voices over a shower curtain? I know, I know – completely ridiculous. Unfortunately M cares about what I think, and even though I know am being ridiculous about the damn present shower curtain (I hate the way he has the rod raised up to the ceiling; reminds me of highwater pants) and the replacement he wishes to purchase, I cannot seem to end the argument without screaming at him to JUST. LET. IT. GO.

Hardly one of my finest moments. But this is what happens in our marriage with me working full-time plus and M being the domestic engineer. While I am comfortable in the roles we have selected and accepted for ourselves at this period of time, I am realistic that it’s not all rainbows and unicorns in my household. M can tell me how and the rest of our family struggling with jobs and decisions how he understands our difficulties, but truth is he’s in a cushy spot right now and it’s sometimes impossible for us to listen appreciatively. Truth is I have fewer choices about what to do about my soul-sucking full-time job right now, because we need the benefits and I am 54 and not going to be a first choice when competing with a 20- or 30-something with a lot more education an willing to take a much lesser salary than I presently command. Age discrimination is a real thing, and it gives me pause about stepping out and seeking out something else right now. On top of which … I just am not ready to take on a new firm and new environment and new office politics until it’s absolutely necessary.

The thing with M and I is he gets me. He sensed the impending funk coming and had its arrival confirmed with an explosive conversation about a shower curtain that is not even in my bathroom. He rides it out and does not take my screaming mimi too personally; it blows over almost as suddenly as it started and is accepted as a symptom of some bigger head-case crisis blooming.

There were several boring shops in our errands yesterday. Home Depot, local hardware store, even Costco, Target (shower curtain central for us) and the grocery store – boring. I would have been much happier vegging poolside and reading beach books. While waiting in Home Depot for M to locate the pieces and parts needed for a minor repair on the pool, I found myself withdrawing further and further into my own thoughts and riding the hamster wheel of “what if” scenarios, none of which are even on the horizon of potential right now.

I have become obsessed with death and preparing for it. This feels like deferred worry about something beyond my control rather than dealing with choices that could impact my joy or lack thereof in the here and now. But last night I had dreams of M waiting impatiently for me to die so he could go off and be with some unknown floozy just waiting to happen. I woke up and shook it off, because it’s both out of character for M and probably a sign I have been following too many betrayed spouse stories and empathizing too strongly with their plight.

Today is a better day so far. My neighbor wanted to do our urban hike earlier to beat the heat, so I was up and on the street with her by 6:30 this morning. A couple of hours and 8 miles later I am back with a much clearer head and a 26 item to-do list for the balance of the weekend AND some work-work for my part-time gigs to finish before tomorrow. M will help with the to-do list and some items will be pushed off into next week, but I am typically better with an action plan. It takes my focus on the manufactured drama inside my head and puts it back where it belongs – out here in the real world right in front of me.

Now that I have crossed a couple of items off that list – exercise, write blog post – I am off to conquer the rest of what I can get done today. At least half of those things can be done today, and that’s my primary goal. Well, that and some relaxing poolside with my latest beach book, but that’s on the list, too, so I’m good.

Hopefully all of you are enjoying a peaceful, relaxing Sunday as well.

4 thoughts on “Yoga and the danger of being inside my head

  1. So forget about waiting for the day where you wake up and suddenly love working out. Wait for the day you wake up and think I still hate working out but it makes me feel better – so I’ll go do something anyway. You don’t have to love working out you just have to do it. Like brushing your teeth or taking your meds. Sure you can skip those things – but if you do – you will physically feel bad sooner or later. I use a trainer for lots of reasons but one is to keep me doing the exercises until it has become such an ingrained part of my life that I feel physically bad when I don’t do that. Six months in and that is actually starting to happen.

    But that in stuck in your head/emotional funk/tired of having to do this/why do *I* have to this/etc – I wish I had a good answer for that. Some days the “what ifs” make we want to go hide in the closet.

    BTW – on the yoga – w/o any idea of course on what you may be having difficulty with – you might want to invest in one or two one on one sessions with the instructor where you show them where you are having issues (balance, a certain movement) and they give you some specific tips/modifications/additional moves to build up the balance/strength you need/etc. While getting that during the class is ideal – this would allow them to spend time with you directly and figure out the key issue without holding up the class.

    Hope the funk is better soon!

    • I was actually really excited to report on my extra yoga class today in another post and wanted to get that done before responding to your comment.
      Yep, I can see you get my head funk about the diet and exercise restrictions, and it happens significantly less than it did even 6 months ago. I still have the flare ups – and you can here “melancholy baby” playing as soundtrack to those posts. The blogging, though, helps me enormously with the uneven periods. I greatly appreciate your no-nonsense approach to my whiney “but WHY???” pleas.
      I am with you on the personal trainer, and there is no way i will continue without that accountability to J, feeling like I might let him down or threaten his overall livelihood if I quit. M gets a little miffed about this, but as I explain I need him to be my husband and rock-solid supporter first, my fitness coach a really, really distant non-priority. I know he gets it, but he is so much more naturally inclined toward fitness. If I were even a little more like him I would not be paying a trainer or paying for yoga. I would be self-motivated to go to the gym on my own and capable of doing yoga DVDs or taking classes at the gym.

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