I decided to shake things up a bit and try some yoga in the mornings instead of Pilates. I’m still a Pilates girl at heart – don’t fret! – but after six months of the same videos I was feeling unmotivated to get up and work out in the mornings. I valued my health over routine (crazy to admit, but it’s true!) and knew that I could easily use this apathetic lull to fall into disrepair and discouragement. It’s been six months of steady, good, healthy progress and the fear of losing all of that helped me come to my senses. Yes, I’m a routine lover at heart, but sometimes even the most list following, plan making ones among us need a change of scenery.
One of the phrases that the instructor repeats often throughout the practice (is that what it’s called?!?) is “smooth transitions.” When we move from one pose to the next, or move through a series of poses, she pipes up with a tidbit like, “Remember, stay smooth through your transitions.” Ugh – she’s right! It’s so easy to focus on the following pose and blast right through the transition, losing focus, form, and strength just to get to the next thing.
What a timely word of wisdom for me.
I struggle with transition. Like I said: rules, lists, plans, prepared expectations – that’s my love language, baby! Tell me what’s going to happen and then make it happen and I’m a happy camper.
But, that doesn’t happen. Rarely, if ever. Especially living where we live, doing what we do, with the infestation of tiny people that call us parents. Things change. We course correct0. I struggle.
As I flail in the midst of yet another change, the mantra that floats to the surface is, “Just hang on. Ride the waves. Get to solid ground. Once you get your bearings you’ll be just fine.” (what’s with all these nautical references?!?! Hah!)
What about those transitions, though? What’s the phrase… the only thing constant is change? It’s quite true around here. Do I suck it up and carry a chip on my shoulder, taking up an offense every time something changes at the last minute? As if my life and my priorities should be the axis from which the world spins? Or…or…
…grace in the transition.
…focus in the transition.
…beauty in the transition.
…purpose in the transition.
…strength in the transition.
As I’ve bumbled through these past few mornings of yoga (much like I bumble through life) it’s struck me how the transition sets me up for success. How I lead myself from one pose to the next prepares me for a solid, engaged, and present movement. Rushing through the transition to arrive at the next pose is basically cheating myself. I rob myself of that subtle shift from one thing to the next. In the shift, in the transition, in that subtle moment where I think I might topple face first onto my mat into a heap of quivering flesh…I can choose to snap back to focus, to ground myself, to fully connect.
Smooth transitions. In life. In yoga. I’ll keep practicing.