Sit Still and Breathe

I’m not a relaxed person.

If you know me in real life, you probably just laughed out loud and consider that sentence to be the understatement of the year. I get worked up pretty easily and have a tendency to catastrophize situations.

It’s part of my charm. And while running helps me work out a lot of my anxiety and pent up energy, I sometimes need something with a little less impact to soothe my nerves. Like this:

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too new-agey on you and start chanting in Sanskrit or telling you to realign your chakras. I promise. I just realized it’s been awhile since I’ve talked about anything besides what I’ve been cooking and consuming. And though I’m trying to work myself back into a decent running regimine, the truth is my running life has been pretty unspectacular as of late.

Partly due to the fact that I’m not sleeping. Again. Which is mostly because of this cute little ball of anxiety I’ve been carrying around in my gut. It’s a neat little compilation of stress, anger and self-doubt that I’ve been trying to reason with politely during the day. It prefers, however, that we spend our time together wrestling in the wee hours of the morning…These things happen.

Life has been a bit stressful in these parts as of late (I know, I know, I know…What else is new?) and I feel a bit like I’m losing my cool. Complete Meltdown Molly isn’t all that fun to be around. She’s a bit of a drag. I get that. And I truly am sorry to all those who have deal with my drama – directly or indirectly. I’m doing my best to make sense of everything, examine my options and make the best possible decisions I can.

But I suck at decisions. And though a lot of people say that things happen for a reason, and we should not have regrets and instead look at those instances in life as opportunities to learn and grow – I sometimes have a hard time with both of those statements. Because there are things that have happened to me that I still don’t understand. And I do have regrets.

But back to yoga. My love affair with yoga began around five years ago. And much like the ups and downs I’ve had with running, my devotion to any sort of practice has had many peaks and valleys. Mostly valleys lately. But my 3am anxiety-induced wake up calls have led me back to my mat. And my trusty, albeit ancient, Ashtanga yoga book.

Sometimes I just need to be told what to do. So after doing a half hour of random asanas and a nice round of sun salutations (or are they considered moon salutations at that hour?) I settled myself into a nice long Savasana – otherwise known as corpse pose.

Now, don’t misunderstand – I see the irony. I cannot relax while lying in a similiar pose in my own damn bed, but one room over – on a yoga mat I stole from my sister – I am finally, absolutely, totally relaxed and at peace. This has, and I suspect will always be, one of yoga’s biggest draws for me.

Sure, the craziness of my life will still exist when I’m finished with my practice. And, no – I do not expect the solutions to all of my problems to be magically bestowed upon me during the hour I spend bending, stretching and breathing. But, in the end, my load feels a little lighter and I don’t feel so lost in the chaos.

I leave my mat accepting the fact that perhaps I’m a little off-track, but I don’t have to always have all of the answers. And I’m reminded that sometimes all I need to do to find my way back to where I belong, is sit still and breathe.

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10 Responses to Sit Still and Breathe

  1. Kacy says:

    Yoga is my jam, and I try to do it once a week (although I failed that goal last week), but I still can’t relax during savasana about 99% of the time. My brain sucks. I’m with you on the night time brain wrestling. Ugh.
    I’m glad you’ve been able to find peace on the mat though! As someone who can relate to your un-relaxedness (new word!), I know that any time you get a moment of it is a huge blessing.

  2. Lizzy says:

    eeek yoga is tough, because I am not a relaxed person either!! which is why running works so well for me…I seriously need to “pump my self down” in order to go to yoga. but it’s sooooo good for preventing running injuries that I do.
    love this post!!

    • Molly says:

      I totally agree – sometimes a nice, long run is all I need to work through some of my pent up energy. And I never thought I’d be able to do yoga, let alone come to love it, but – like most things – with a little time and patience I got there. And you’re right – it is terrific for preventing injuries!

  3. Maybe the yoga mat is your “security blanket” of sorts? Wonder if you could get a good night’s sleep on it?

    I’m awful at yoga. So so awful. And even when I do actually bother to do it, I can’t lay still at the end. Nope. Too fidgety.

    • Molly says:

      Ha ha…Maybe it is my security blanket! I’m a pretty fidgety person, too. But for some reason yoga is the only thing that calms me down. It took some practice to get there, though!

  4. Yoga’s a new-this-year thing for me, and I have recently become obsessed. I also struggle to calm down but yoga seems to do it- I’ve been hitting up hot yoga on Southport and it’s literally my new favorite thing- have you ever tried it hot? Also, I’m jealous of your sweet book, and if it really teaches you “how to relax” please come teach me :)

    • Molly says:

      I’ve been dying try hot yoga – though I’m secretly afraid I may pass out. It’s worth the risk though as I hear nothing but good things about it!

  5. I think the yoga thing is a good development. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am the most fidgety person alive and can’t calm myself to do yoga and the minute you tell me to realign my chakras we can’t hang out anymore, but I think this is good- your post even sounds centered. 😉

    • Molly says:

      Actually, I’ve been meaning to tell you, I think your Crown Chakra needs a little re-aligning. 😉

      Joking! Only joking. Yoga is a good thing for me all around. I feel less bananas and therefore act less bananas. It’s a win-win for everyone, really.

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