My Inner Worlds
Yoga Progress Report
Seven weeks ago today I took my first Yin yoga class at Raleigh Yoga Company. Since that day I have found more range of motion, a freedom in my body, and a growing desire to take better care of my health. For the past year I’ve tried to give up alcohol. Matt and I even made it a couples thing, thinking it would strengthen our resolve. Our last effort together tanked when I told Matt I was just going to drink when I wanted, and he’s left me in the dust in his success of living an alcohol-free life. This weekend I’ve finally found that place inside that prefers to stay sober, to stay clear of the inflammation it causes in my muscles and tissues, to be free from the brain fog it gives me. When I gave up consuming refined sugar many years ago (I had to for health reasons), it took me years to find that place where I preferred to live without it in my system. It’s rare for me to cheat on that no-sugar rule, but I yo-yoed for a long time. I may have found my balance point for not wanting to stray from the no-alcohol way of life.
This is huge for me. I’m Taurean, which the astrology buffs will know translates to “likes good food and beverages in a luxurious, comfortable setting.” I already eat gluten-free and absolutely don’t cheat on that. Sugar, alcohol, and gluten products comprise most of the “fun” food in my opinion. I have to find things in life that mean more to me than food and drink, and yoga has opened a potential door for that. I’ve even had thoughts of trying vegetarianism again, but I’m not jumping into too much change at once. Sustainable steps will lead me to success in meeting my health and fitness goals over the long term.
I still have neck pain after seven weeks, but my lower back has fewer issues. My eyesight has yet to improve. My cervical spine hits a nerve that I think affects the vision in my left eye. I can wake up with blurry vision in that eye, unable to read even the largest text, but still able to see light and color. It lasts all day, sometimes up to a week. The first time it happened was scary, but I’ve gotten used to it over the past three years. My intent for Bikram yoga is to heal the spine and allow my eyesight to remain steady and clear.
Yoga works for me and my life goals. I’m so glad I finally took the plunge and started my practice. And…today for the first time I stayed in toe squat for the full two minutes without releasing the pressure on my toes. Happy dance.
8/13/2017 03:42:20 pm
I've been sober since my first child was born 38 years ago. Before I was a party animal ! Luckily it was easy for me as I apparently lack the addiction gene. I still would have the occasional beer with friends but my ex was a full blown alcoholic so in an effort to help her I quit drinking 100% and after our inevitable divorce several years later I never started back with 15 years totally alcohol free. Started back after that having the occasional drink when out with friends until a few years ago when I just decided I didn't really have the desire anymore. Figured if my friends couldn't accept that I wasn't going to have a drink they could stop being my friends.
8/13/2017 08:11:47 pm
Thanks for your comment, Joey. I have zero peer pressure to consume alcohol, for which I'm grateful. I just love the taste of wine and single malt scotch. But I've known for over 20 years that my body craves sugar in one form or another--it can be sweets, carbs, or alcohol. It's difficult taking all three away instead of just the two. Sugar addiction is not fun.
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