The Voice

No, not the TV show, but the voice of doubt.  The one that creeps in when you're in the middle of a workout.  The one telling you to quit, slow down or not head out for the workout altogether. I heard this voice, while standing in tree pose during yesterday's yoga class. For those new to the practice, one can practice Tree pose with different foot positions.  The first, is with the toes on the floor and the heel pressing against the inside of your ankle.  The second is with the foot flat against the calf of the opposite leg and the third is with the foot squarely planted into the inside of the opposite thigh.  Standing tall, with the leg planted squarely into the mat, I took my arms above my head, which looked like tree branches.  The swaying is natural, as with a tree, but I felt myself slipping and had to drop my foot in an effort to not fall over.  When I first noticed I was coming out of the pose, I thought to myself "What's wrong with you? You've been practicing yoga long enough that you should be able to do this perfectly, stay still and stand tall."  Every these words would circulate through my thoughts, I would fall out of the pose and get more frustrated.  Ugh.  That voice!

I couldn't ignore it, so I acknowledged it.  I heard it and then imagined the words leaving out the top of my head, similar to a cartoon bubble.  I didn't fight it or tell myself I was stupid for having the thoughts, setting up an internal battle, but focused on my breathing, the strength in my standing leg and smiled.  Sometimes, the small gesture of a smile really does melt away stress.

This is the class where we take our pressed hands to our head, to think nice thoughts, our mouth, to say kind words, and to our heart to do kind deeds.  I left feeling happy and relaxed.

Today is a combo strength/cardio workout; strength first followed by a long cardio session on the trainer (bike).

Happy Friday... Namaste!