Beating the Winter Doldrums

Me saluting the sun at Kits beach. Photo credit: Pure Souls Photography

As a born and raised 2nd generation Vancouverite, you would think tolerance of wet weather would be ingrained in my DNA. You would think these windy, rainy, gray days that end at 4:30pm would feel like home to me. Nope.  No way. In fact, I think dealing with them becomes more challenging each year that goes by.

Today was one of those days. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I meandered through my day with a forced smile (like they say in show biz, “fake it ’till ya make it”), but really I was relieved to have some quality time with my couch at the end of the day. As I sat staring mindlessly at the TV, I felt drained and blue and all of a sudden I found myself way down in the dumps. Hmmm… maybe some home made guacamole will help…Nope. Perhaps a glass of wine… No again… I’ll just search the web for something to make me smile… No luck.

I realized it had come to what I knew all along. I needed to get my butt up off the couch and as Olivia Newton John said circa 1983, “ Get Physical”.

So after a last ditch attempt of retail therapy at Ikea, I dragged myself to my gym and pumped out 40 minutes of cardio. Within minutes, I felt a hundred times better. Gotta hand it to those endorphins, they know what they’re doing. I followed up my gym visit with a home practice of yin yoga full of hip openers, twists and mild inversions.

Amazingly, within a relatively short period of time, my mood did an about-face and here I am feeling energized, calm, focused and (drum roll, please) happy.

What got me off my couch in the first place was the memory of my experiences at the gym and with my yoga practice. Sometimes it seems like it takes all the effort in the world to get me to my mat, but ultimately, I know how I’m going to feel after-wards: healthy, energized, strong and… happy. It is that memory that brings me back again and again.

So it is time for bed now and I expect to have a restful sleep tonight. Not just because of my new pillows from Ikea, but because I took the time to be good to myself. My needs have been met. I will go to sleep and do it all over again tomorrow… and love every minute of it… or at the very least, I’ll love how I feel in the end.




Flipping Myself the Bird and Other New Year’s Resolutions

Happy 2011, y’all!

I have finally come out of my holiday comatose of good food, good drinks and good company. Although I always look forward to the holidays, there is something to be said for getting back to routine.  So I am back to it. Back to teaching, back to the gym (along with the entire world, or so it seems in my gym), and back to my yoga practice.

I usually resist the urge to make New Year’s resolutions, but the last few days I have been thinking… It is a natural time to pause, review and make new goals, is it not? So what the heck, here it goes:

1. Beat procrastination. Seeing as I have been meaning to write this post since January 1st, and it is now January 9th, I’m tempted to say I have already failed on the procrastination front. However, it is still the beginning of January, and there is still hope. In 2011 I will take “I’ll do it later” out of my vocabulary. Now is the time. Carpe Diem.

2. Love Boat Pose. Dear Navasana: Why are you the bane of my existence? Perhaps if I practice you every day without fail, I will learn to love you like I learned to love my grumpy, great-auntie Freida who could make me laugh and cry within the same 30 seconds. It is my resolution to try.

3. Flip my inner critic the bird. We all have one. That voice inside that usually shows up when we least expect it. The voice that tells us we are not good enough, not strong enough, not pretty enough, not perky enough. Well I am plenty strong and more than good and I could care less about being pretty or perky, so this year, I am finally standing up to myself. Stop the bullying already! Every time that useless voice comes up, I am going to turn around and flip it the bird. I just did it right now. Feels great. Give it a go.

4. Remember to soak it all in. I remember being a kid during summer break and complaining to my dad that I was bored; nothing to do. He told me to enjoy it while I could because “when you’re older, a year will pass in a blink of the eye”. He got that one right. My life is blessed with so many amazing people and experiences. It is my hope for 2011 that I will remain present in each situation, resting my attention only on what is in front of me, and not the millions of other distractions there are in this fast-paced world. Perhaps then I will actually be able to slow the hands of time, or at least hear the clock ticking.

I’d love to hear some of your resolutions, and how they are going so far.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2011!