January 10, 2011

My version of 'Eat Pray Love'

I have something personal to share with you... Something that I would call my version of 'Eat Pray Love' and what I would consider finding beauty in within.

I met up with a really close friend of mine recently. We both had a bad fall out, over some stupid argument. She shared with me something that a friend will only do to someone she cares about. I learnt that my tolerance level has really dropped ever since I started this intense job. I can't deal with daily annoyances like I used to and every small little thing gets to me. And I knew for the longest time, that I needed to change myself. But it hasn't been easy. It's hard to change character. And it's nearly impossible to change it when you don't remove the major imposing factor; that is my work.

Don't get me wrong; I love what I do. I think this job has really given me the opportunity to learn the most amazing business concepts. But I admit that this job stresses me out like never before and I can bet you that my brains are probably as fried out as my hair ends. Not to mention that I'm emotionally drained. There are moments at 2am, I'm slogging my heart out in panic because of a crazy deadline, and I feel alone and desperately insane.

So I changed the way I dealt with my stress by taking up a yoga membership and resigning from my regular kickboxing classes. I still miss punching the anonymous Mr. Villain in midair, but it really did nothin to calm my nerves down. After 60-minutes of hardcore punching, kicking and pretending to be as merciless as Jolie in the movie Salt, I am drained and exhausted. However, the next day at work, I'm still irritable and annoyed. Physically I was feeling great, but mentally I was still stressed out.

Fast forward 11 months later...
I have 1 more month left till my subscription to my yoga studio ends. It sucks that I cannot completely finish a 30-day Hot Yoga Challenge which is supposed to be the duration you require to feel any changes in your body - physically and mentally. People always claim that yoga is great for balance and internal healing. Well, I have been doing yoga for a year now and I can't truly say that it has completely met my expectations. Looking back at all the practices that I have done... I realise that I have been completely and utterly sporadic in my classes. I cancel classes all the time. I always make excuses. And I just simply substitute the class with running or lazing at home. Last month alone, I only attended 2 yoga classes and spent $170 bucks. What a waste of money, really.

Well, I guess it's not too late. I'm doing a 20-day Hot Yoga Challenge. It means that I will do 60-minutes of yoga, repeating 26 yoga sun salutations and breathing deeply to the core, in a room heated to 40 degrees. I will drench 2 towels worth of sweat. Kick my legs higher, open the pelvis, focus on the one spot, bend that right leg lower in a warrior pose, suck the belly in and cool down the aggressive 3rd voice that is telling me to quit.

I have been doing yoga everyday for 7 days now. I am scheduled for a trip to Brazil at the end of the month, which only leaves me with 20 days to complete my challenge. I suppose it's better than nothing and I'm curious to know how I do feel after 20 days of hot yoga. When I'm ready, I will do 60 days to fully torture myself and hopefully achieve some degree of mental enlightenment. Gee, that sounds really sadistic, huh?

So after day 7, my body is still aching from the upward dogs and my legs feel incredibly sore and numb when doing standing splits. When it comes to warrior pose, my mind is going on overdrive and telling myself to just take that child's pose. But I don't because I'm too proud of being seen as 'lesser' than the person next to me. Mistake number 1. Being completely unforgiving to your body because of pride.

But the true challenge of hot yoga is starting to reveal after 7 days of continuous practice. I can't do my Utkatasana (chair pose) like I did on Day 1 or 3. My ass hurts and my hip bones are stubbornly not aligned. Even worse, everything hurts like a mofo. My teacher tells the class softly "How are you going to deal with it?" At the back of my head, I'm thinking... I can deal with it by standing up and doing a forward bend... Uttanasana. Hmm.. lovely. An easy way out.

My scalp is itching like no other. I am always drenched with sweat and the yoga mat is probably infested with germs (from myself and all the people that use that mat alone). But I try to have some faith that the cleaners use some form of strong-grade detergent to remove any infestation. Still, I get acne on my scalp and it drives me crazy during work. My hair is getting drier too. I noticed that my hair ends are breaking. I suppose my hair was not enjoying the salt drenched hair and 40 degree heat everyday. It's not fun.

But I will not quit. Not yet. All this to feel a difference with how I feel about myself and in search for inner-peace. Yes, I agree... No pain no gain. But the best thing I've noticed already is the glow to my skin. I guess beauty can really come from within!

1 comment:

gigidob said...

The Hot Yoga challenge sounds amazing. I'd heard of it recently but always said that it's not something I could ever to, it's way too intense for me. Maybe you're onto something and it's really quite inspiring. Keep going and I hope that you will find the peace that you seek. I was an emotional/ mental wreck last year and likewise, I was and likely still am terribly irritable so this is food for thought for me.

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