Here's the Thing

Friday, 14 May 2010

Baby Steps

I will start with the larger 'Yay' of the week. I managed to stay in my Thursday evening Yoga class for the full 90 minutes. Yes, I didn't do all of the postures - I am still working my way up to that. Staying for the first time though was a goal for me and I achieved it. Simi, the teacher, was pleased for me and I, of course, felt the buzz of success (which means I got a bit less sleep than perhaps needed).

There is a key to Yoga that appeals to me. It focuses on breathing and posture, but also on listening to your body and only pushing it as far as it can go. No further. Therefore, the fact that for the first two classes I had to leave before 90 minutes was not a bad thing in the mind of the Yogi, more a sign of gradual development. That in my third class I stayed, showed progress and I am sure that over time, my progress will move more to the postures themselves, as I manage to do more of them (by which I do not mean perfect, more, actually take part in.)

I am a great believer in baby steps. In small, gradual improvements or adjustments to the self that build up over time. Some of them are barely noticed until the moment you take a pause and look back. Human beings are not built to with-stand sudden change. It throws of the equilibrium and leads to all sorts of changes in mood and metabolism. Much better to move gradually and fluidly at a level your mind and body can accept.

I sometimes look back and accept that however much I may complain of being under-the-weather, depressed or tired, I have still come quite a long way.

My social anxiety at one point in my life, meant I had no real friends, rarely left the house for more than school and the occasional family visit and refused to answer the phone. My depression has led me to attempts at killing myself, at least one of which nearly worked and stripped my body to the core in terms of health and coping abilities.

When I look at now, versus then, there is a change. Subtle, but still significant and achieved in the very baby steps that means I would not always be aware of it.

I am a PA. I answer the phone and talk on it, not just in work, but at home as well. I have met people, made friends, lost friends, moved my body from barely functioning to a state where I can begin to deal with some of its complaints. I am going to Yoga. Doing that alone means braving two tubes and a hot room full of people. Yesterday, I managed not just to get through the tubes (packed from delays) and stay in the class, I also spoke to people afterwards. Made friends.

These are not big things to most people, so why - some might say, make a fuss? The answer is simple really. It is a confirmation for me. A baby step - but one that means more in retrospect than it may looking at it by itself.


  1. I am getting back into yoga after a long absence from it - and it feels wonderful to stretch out and feel connected to my body again! I love the feeling of strength when you are holding a pose - sometimes all that "core" stuff sounds like crap, but in that moment it makes perfect sense. I'm looking forward to continuing, and like you, gradually improving!

  2. That's brilliant! I loved doing yoga (only a very gentle yoga). I still use some of the breathing techniques to help me wind down and sleep and some of the stretches on my stupid back.

    Well done xox