Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yoga part 3 - down dog and tears


This morning wasn't going well. We were already a stressed house, my husband is having a hard time at work but he can't get away from that job because the new government has basically frozen all public service hiring. Then our big 80 litre fish tank sprang a leak and we had towels trying to protect the carpet. Then my daughter made herself a raspberry smoothie for breakfast and spilled it all over her school clothes, table, upholstered chairs, floor ... a sea of pink.

I got that cleaned up and the kids off to school. Came back to try to find the leak in the fish tank, luckily it turned out it was just the filters being completely clogged so the water couldn't get through and was overflowing over the top of the tank. I did an emergency clean on the filters, as I picked them up a heap of gunk was released back into the tank. Luckily it doesn't seem to have killed the fish and over the next couple of hours the cleaned filters have cleared the water again.

I finally sat down to some breakfast, which helped settle me.

Then I decided if yoga was ever going to help me, now was the time! I tried a one hour "standing yoga" basic hatha yoga class, the same guy as the short session I did last night. He's an older guy with grey hair and a hippie beard which I laughed at at first but I rather like his calm voice (his accent reminds me of Bill Oddie from the Goodies) and I find him less intimidating than the skinny women who twist themselves into pretzel shapes.

It was labelled as standing yoga but it actually started with 10 mins lying on my back on the floor, which went ok, then 10 mins on my hands and knees which I found quite hard with my damaged shoulders. I persisted though, taking a rest back on my heels when I needed to. Then I had to go from hands and knees to on my hands and toes with bottom up in the air, what I think he called a down dog (actually I always thought it was downward dog, maybe the name varies in different countries). I didn't know if I could do it at all but I gave it a go and got into the pose ok, my arms trembling with strain but shoulders not hurting. Then I burst into tears.

I've done one "real" yoga class ever (in a gym with a face-to-face instructor, I mean), more than ten years ago (maybe twenty) and I cried then too. I think I hold a lot of tension in my body and releasing it can be emotionally uncomfortable.

I finished that sequence of moves, taking more and more breaks for my shoulders as the repetitions got too much, then finally we stood up. I did the deep breathing and centring of the body then ended the session after having done half an hour total. I was feeling tired and trembling and emotional and that seemed enough for one day.


  1. It's not unusual to have a release of emotions during yoga. I think it's so fascinating how our bodies and emotions are all tied. I've heard "down dog" called "downward dog" and "downward facing dog". Adho Mukha Svanasana is the "proper" term. Say that 3 times fast. ;) (and yes, I looked that up... there are very few poses I know the sanskrit terms for LOL)

  2. Hi Natalie! Sounds like a stressful day. I better you're looking forward to a more normal one. Actually, I was going to say almost the exact same things as Jennifer, regarding yoga. Also, don't do any yoga poses that don't feel okay to your body. For example, when the class did side planks, I always opted out because it is too much stress on my shoulders. You're the one who's responsible for your body, so opt out if you should. :D