Hello and Happy Monday,
I spent a lot of time reflecting this past week and have had some wonderful insights. Most of the insights have been about what is holding me back, or what I think is holding me back.
When I first started this blog I thought it would be fun to explain the yamas and niyamas through my lens, and when I got through that, I thought, well, I'll go through the entire 8 limb path, and when I got through that, well, Corona hit and here we are 19 months later! I never would have thought that I had the discipline to write a blog every single week for this long about yoga! Granted, the last few weeks have been about surviving our stay at home orders and this pandemic, I think after going through the 8 limbs we all know yoga can be in anything. And now I want to get back to writing about yogic philosophy. Next week I will start explaining the Kleshas, which are obstacles. Buddhists believe all life is suffering and the yogis believe that the obstacles, specifically the 5 klesha's, are what causes our suffering.
So what is standing in our way? Are they real obstacles? Are they illusions we are creating? Yogic philosophy suggests that we are in our own way. I couldn't agree more. We set limits and restrictions on what we can do. A lot of it comes from our upbringing, what our parents might have said, or not said to us, the messaging from society, and our own stories based on how we view the world and past events.
So one of my big insights was breaking down this obstacle and illusion. Growing up I was told that I was not athletic. Even though I wanted to be. I danced, but that wasn't the same as being on a team, so I was told by my family how unathletic I was, which translated to, "I am uncoordinated", " I am weak", "I am not good enough to play on their team". I believed it and it became my story. I remember many years later taking spin classes at the Prudential Gym and the teacher called us athletes. I laughed. I was not an athlete, I could barely throw a ball, or play a sport, I wasn't even interested in sports. At the time, I was running 5k and 10k's a few times a month, but none of the bibs made me feel like I was an athlete. I had limited myself, set up mental roadblocks. And then this weekend happened.
Since COVID, I've been riding my Peloton every day. We've had our peloton since 2018 and I go in phases with riding it, usually "life" taking me away. I love riding this bike that brings me nowhere but takes me everywhere. I joined a group on FB called Tour de Peloton where you take a ride with every single instructor. No breaks, no stopping. There are 23 instructors and the shortest "ride" is just about 3 hours. I've only spent 90 min on the bike, so I thought I could never do that ride. I instead signed up to do a Tour de Cody, 9 rides with one instructor, Cody!. There is a list of specific rides with the same rules, no breaks, no stopping. I got up on Saturday and did it. I was nervous. I had never been on the bike that long. Not only did I complete the ride, but I also wasn't really even tired after. Perhaps I was feeling that "runner's high"? (which I never got while running!!) It turned out, I made a mistake and one of the rides was the wrong ride. It would mean, that even though I did this competition, it didn't count toward a "badge" with this group. I was disappointed. I knew it didn't take away from my accomplishment, but I didn't do it right. Maybe, I thought, this is part of why I am so unathletic, how could I be part of a team if I can't even follow the rules? I barely slept. I woke up on Sunday and did the ride again, yes, all 9 rides again, in the right order, all the right rides. I PR'd on two of the rides and I beat my output on every single ride. Is it possible I didn't know how strong I really am??? 74.82 miles in 2 days. Beaming, I was beaming, I still am.
I shared my news with a few of my peloton groups and one of my friends, said this, "My old boss used to say that when he meets people he thinks “Would I want them on my team.” Jess, I want you on my team! You are amazing." If I can be part of a team, yes my interpretation of the team is in an athletic way, then I HAVE to be athletic. Poof, that old story is gone... for now. I know it will creep back up, it's been a story I've told for a long time. But for now, it was an ugly obstacle, an illusion, and a distortion of the truth.
I believe life is about remembering who we are. At the root, the core, our inner light. What other untruths am I telling myself? What limitations am I creating? What obstacles do I choose to believe are in my way?
I can't wait for next week when we get to dive into the Kleshas. In the meantime, tell me what ceilings you have gone through? What walls you have broken down, what doors you have kicked open. I want to know!!
Please make sure to sign up and join me this week and going forward:
Classes are live during the time listed, but you can watch and join in at any time.
Monday 9:30 am Yoga Flow
Tuesday 10:00 am Gentle Flow
Wednesday 9:30 am Pilates for Yogis
All classes as Pay What You Can (suggestion is $5-$15 per class). I know it's not easy for everyone to pay right now, but I also know the impact of movement on our nervous system. If you cannot pay right now, please don't allow that to deter you from signing up and taking classes. If you can pay, I am so very appreciative. Payments can be made via PayPal CLICK HERE, Venmo @Jess-Purtell, or check. I can send my address to you separately if you want to do that. Also, I've set up my class packs to be used with my online classes. Visit my webpage and check out the packages you can purchase.
With so much love and virtual hugs,