Tuesday, January 6, 2015


My resolution started around Christmas. I knew what I wanted to do, but was pretty scared.

I have pretty much always stuck to resolutions that involved me *NOT* doing something: giving up something, stopping something, etc. And honestly, my resolution success rate is pretty high! (Like when I resolved to give up Tom Cruise movies in 2013! No, really, that actually happened....) Mostly my resolutions have already been things I have resolved NOT to do/see/be a part of. So, when it comes time to officially "do" them starting New Year- it is easy mode.

This was the first one I ever made that actually made me take some kind of action... no more "not" doing something... this one MAKES me do something.

Yoga. Daily.

For those few interested in WHY I chose this, here is a history...

I have practiced yoga for years. I started when I was 14 or 15- in my room with my Seventeen magazine (or was it Cosmo? Don't judge... whatever.) and I started doing yoga by practicing the poses in the diagrams listed on those glossy pages situated between perfume ads. I picked up a few videos along the way and did yoga in a few gyms, Churches, dance studios, and homes with friends etc. When I lived in Saratoga Springs a free yoga class was offered each week and I loved it! I would go and felt amazing. I tried to do "yogalates" but hated it (it was there I got my first taste of "yoga" versus "exercising and calling it yoga because there are a few asanas and stretching involved between pushups".... just loved that regular hatha yoga class. Had a few mats, had a few outfits, kept going to class and doing home practices between classes. My first inversion was in that little hatha yoga class. I was terrified and thrilled! I DID IT!

Fast forward to my time at the U of U. By this time I had experienced so many different kinds of "yoga" I was pretty sure I knew what it was... but I was dead wrong. The yoga instructor teaching my yoga class on campus was AMAZING. It was the first time I ever did 90 minute practices (longest had been an hour), and the class introduced us to even more types of yoga. CRAZY AWESOME FABULOUS. It was there I mastered my Ujjayi breath, learned to step out of my comfort zone, realized the correlation between yoga and just about everything else in life, and found my personal yoga-nemesis (if such a thing were actually exist): yin yoga. 

When we left campus and moved to Reno I found an AWESOME studio called Yoga Loka. I signed up for unlimited yoga and went as often as possible, and even signed up for special classes to learn more about various types of yoga. Had to stop when Kurt's work schedule got more crazy, but we were members of a local tennis club with a yoga instructor who was pretty good as well, and they had a childcare center there so I could bring the kids. Got pregnant with FinaFee and did prenatal yoga, and loved that. It was in Reno that I met my soul-mat: the Manduka Black Mat Pro (extra long, because I am 5'11" and wanted more space). I love that mat so much, if I wasn't married I would marry it. I learned that the mat can really make a difference. (I donated my other mats. I will never need another mat again! No I am not paid to say this- it really is just that awesome. If you have knee issues at all- look them up.) 

Moved to Iowa. I started doing yoga a LOT more often. I remember bringing Fina home from the NICU, and grabbing my mat and a blanket and going outside, I did sun salutations to the sunset. It was awesome- in the sense that it was awe-inspiring. When I was later with Fina at Blank Children's Hospital I did yoga in Fina's MRI waiting room... it was one of the times I could not help but cry in my pose.. I remember crying like a baby in downward dog... makes sense now... wow. Our time in Iowa was by far the hardest emotional time of my entire life (thus far) and I know yoga helped me stay grounded. While in Iowa I continued to practice at home (thank you, Yoga Journal and GaiamTV) but did not go to classes (this is my own fault. I didn't even try the classes at the Y- I had already made up my mind that I would hate them, so didn't bother. There were classes available at studios in Des Moines, but I just couldn't justify the drive). I was invited to teach a yoga class for a local studio, and had started researching yoga training when we moved.

Moving to Nauvoo actually halted my practice for a long time (I suppose in the scheme of life a year isn't "a long time" - but in my yoga life, it has been the longest I have ever gone without practicing). I got busy with school, homeschool, dig, pageant, etc. Just sorta fell out of it. My Yoga Journal would keep coming, but often went unopened (shame!) and I found that my health and wellbeing were out of balance. My spirituality increased exponentially, but my physical health was being neglected. I noticed it about a week before General Conference, and decided to make changes. Then, General Conference solidified my decision, and I was able to lose about 8 pounds and was feeling good about the path I was treading (And then the holidays happened... and we just won't discuss the peppermint bark my mother brought for me....or the cookies... or the other candy... we just won't go there...). At the end of the year I had gained (really putting myself out there now!) 16 pounds. NOT okay.

So, I knew I wanted to be healthier. Not thinner, per se- I mean, that would be cool too- but my main concern is for HEALTH. It was then I realized I needed to get out my mat!

So... there you have it.

Every day I will be doing yoga. Even if it is just a few sun salutations. Even if it is a single pose, held for 90 minutes... because sometimes that is what has to happen... My goals are to have a nice fat 90 minute practice at least once a week (I would love more, but homeschooling 3 kids and having a husband who works more than 60 hours a week makes that a bit tricky- but you've gotta work with whatcha got!), a *gulp* yin practice once a week, and to go with whatever I feel drawn to in between.

The point is that this year I have a resolution, and I am going to share it. I LOVE resolutions, but was not willing to share it before now. No way. Too scared. What if I don't actually accomplish this? Then I will have failed. And if I tell anyone, then all of the world will know I failed. I will be a FAILURE. It was not until I took a fun little personality quiz and saw that the INFJ resolution outcome was: will not tell the resolution for fear of discovery of failure. Pfft. Stupid accurate personality typing.

Here's the thing though. I am more than my personality type. I am more than my fears. I am more than the poor food choices and health choices I made in 2015 (or for years before then). I am more than that. And you know... I want to talk about it. I want to share what it is like. I want to share my journey. Why? Partly so I will be able to look back on it, and partly because there is a microscopic chance it might impact someone else too. Mostly it is to tell the universe that I am seriously ready for this- and I want it to happen. I am not afraid.

I was meditating on this the other day, and I realized that this is one of those moments where I have absolutely no idea as to what the outcome this action will bring. While I am sure there will be physical benefits (I have already lost 2 pounds), I cannot help but wonder what kinds of spiritual, emotional, and mental benefits will come as well! That is exciting!!!! So, I want to be able to document the process- not to hold myself accountable (I do that well enough on my own)- but to remember what I was experiencing along this journey.

I am really excited. It has been a little over a week (I started before New Year), and I am already able to do poses that had once taken me a year to perform (thank you, muscle memory! WOOHOO!) and I am feeling really great about this. I did my first headstand inversion tonight- with the support of a wall. I had not done a headstand in close to 3 years! But you know what? Tonight was actually the longest and most comfortable I have ever held a headstand, and I was even feeling good enough to float without the support of the wall for some of the time! My heart was so happy!!!!

The week's highlights:

Pose: Best headstand EVER! By that I mean I was happy and comfortable in the pose!
Best video I did this week: here. This class had foot massages! 90 minutes. Totally awesome.
Best sequence/additions: here. I loved the affirmations of each pose.
Physical benefits: Increased flexibility already. Had that lovely post-workout light-sore feeling all week. -2 lbs.
This week's soundtrack song: Shake It OFF! Letting go of my fears!

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