My newest love is a bargain book I picked up at Barnes and Noble called The Body Shop Yoga: Natural Fitness for Body and Soul. For all of about $5, I now have a complete book illustrating a variety of beautifully photographed yoga poses and divided into categories such as Serenity and Vitality and Grace.
I only bought it because it was bargain priced, but after thumbing threw the pages and using the book on multiple occasions as a resource for my burgeoning at home yoga practice, I would gladly pay full price for this little gem. It's beautifully photographed, easy to follow, well-detailed, and contains a comprehensive variety of sequences to follow. I like to choose two or three sequences every day and marvel at how whole I feel at the end of each session.
I've only been practicing for a few months now and already I can feel a difference. Not so much in a My Ass Looks Great in the Dressing Room Mirror from Every Angle Way as a I Just Feel Better way. And while the first might be a boost to the ego, the second is essential to my motivation to even give a damn about my ego and consequently, the size of my ass.
For me the focus is on finding the quiet in my head. A lifetime of inner critiquing emphasized by every single
Clean Your Plate, Those Poor Starving Kids, Have another helping, You Might Want to think About Losing Some Weight, Sweetie familial and societal trigger is hard to overcome. Especially when that baggage comes with an eating disorder and a daughter who I am set to do everything in my power to help her travel the path of love of self, body, and spirit that I am just now finding.
I can't pack up my mat and drive to a fancy yoga studio. It would be lovely, but life's just too crazy for that right now. So instead, I wait for the day's responsibilities to set with the sun, kick off my shoes, don my yoga pants, and close myself off in the spare room. It's filled with already-packed and sealed boxes in preparation for our move and Buttercup's play tent and stuffed animals. I also see a step stool, an unused lamp, and more empty boxes to pack more stuff.
I have just enough room to run my yoga mat against one of the walls with my book and iPod set up against the wall of boxes. And while I work to clear my mind and focus not on the uncertainty the boxes represent but on not falling on my face while practicing King Dancer Pose, a new thought brings a smile to my face.
I can only control this very breath. And the moment that comes with it belongs to me.
Another version of this post originally appeared on Bookieboo, a nationally recognized motivational community for moms striving for better health for themselves and their families.