I have always been into gentle yoga.
A year or so ago, when I was practicing yoga more regularly, it was always the gentle classes I liked the best. It was typically me and a room full of seniors or people with injuries and I felt right at home. The movements were slow, the instructor’s voice even more mellow than a typical yoga instructor’s voice and my body appreciated the easy, thoughtful stretching and savasana in a way it never could in the regular classes. It truly exhaled and gave in without any struggle or effort.
The first three months of this year have been anything but gentle on me. Despite my very best efforts, my mind and my body and my anxiety were anything but mellow. I felt like I was drowning in worry and stress and physical exhaustion. All day, all night. Almost every day. I was a ball of nerves, lashing out at my husband, my kids and worst of all, myself…trying to be tough and strong when what I really needed was to be easier on the whole situation. I was missing moments and living in a fog of stress that I couldn’t see beyond. I wasted those months living in my mind instead of in my heart.
I am about to turn 40 in a few weeks. And I want to go into it feeling wiser, not just older. The main cause of my stress the past few months has passed. But in its wake, it left me with a big, glaring lesson about life and how I manage it and the way I want to live it. How I want to take care of myself and my priorities. How I want to navigate my days and my goals and my needs. And it’s an awful lot like those gentle yoga classes. It’s with ease and slow movements. It’s with patience and grace. It’s surrounded by people who have the same energy and moving past those that don’t.
I know this mindset won’t be easy to hold onto. Another storm will come my way and I will find myself back in that space of stress and anxiety and busy and annoyance. But I hope to weather it better next time. When I am 40. When I am wiser. When I am stretching my mind instead of struggling with it. I want to hold onto that.