A Few Words About Those Stupid New Year ResolutionsWritten by Lori Pollard
Every year we hear the same annoying tips about the ole resolutions; “Be realistic, be patient, get excited about your goals, write your goals down”, blah, blah, blah. The invigorating feelings of the New Year can be inspiring and all, but I think there’s such hype, that most of the time, we just end up feeling worse than before. I think that’s kinda counterproductive. Not to mention, they make you feel like crap, and I will never endorse either one of those by-products, so here’s my two cents. If you’re gonna set an intention for what you’d like to improve then go easy about it. Like, “I’d like to lose some weight, but first I’m gonna mentally prepare myself for this and go slowly.” What I mean by this is- why do you want to lose weight? What would it be like, and look like to be in better shape? Is this visualization of the new you really all that important compared to everything else you’ve got goin on in your life, and what you are going to have to sacrifice to achieve this? Whatever your goal is, you gotta look at why it’s important enough to you, before you actually try to follow through with this goal. If you don’t know the answer to these questions, than you probably don’t have the right plan, or motivation to follow through anyway. Which will just make you feel worse. So, is looking good in a pair of jeans really more important than losing time with your family/friends/self to exercise, eat different food than everyone else you’re with, give up some of the food you love, and the energy it takes to make new habits? You get my point. At the same time, if a doctor has told you that your health is in jeopardy, now that’s something you may want to pay attention to. Why? Because how are you going to find joy, and time with your loved ones if you don’t physically feel good, and if you’re not around to do it at all?
Like my old therapist used to say, “Pick your pill Lori.” Most of the time, if you know what and why things in your life are important to you, you’ll get a clearer picture of what you truly want. You’ll go about it more from a more authentic place, and you can feel good about whatever results ensue from here. So, if a little extra weight means you get to enjoy more time with your loved ones, or downin a few brownies with the girls gives you that joy you’ve been craving this week- then get on with your bad self. At the end of the day, if you want to be happy, embrace your choices and don’t look back.
Last Updated on February 11 2012
Yoga: A Place Where I Don't Have To Fu*%#n CareWritten by Lori Pollard
Last Updated on February 11 2012
So I'm in yoga today and before we start the physical practice, we're just sitting and preparing our minds for some serious, physical shit. I'm in a good, almost expansive mood today, so I'm feeling confident and happy, and I start thinking about how grateful I am for this yoga studio, my body, Katie(owner/teacher of the studio), and the people I'm practicing with. This place is one of the few places that I can come into, and just not have to give one damn about what anyone else, including myself, thinks of me. I think this is because this particular studio/teacher has had the egolessness and presence to make her business and life passion about not just doing yoga to have a rockin body and impress others with how you can contort your body, but more importantly about accepting where your body is right now, and appreciating what your body has to offer you physically and emotionally. There are times when I feel like a badass warrior in class, and other times, my balance is all over the place, and I feel like I have no strength whatsoever. Instead of going into my usual, "What's wrong with me? Fight harder, push harder Lori- this is unacceptable", I am able to just rock back into child's pose, and give myself permission to just do the best I can, and not beat the shit out of myself for it.
This studio/owner is unique from any other yoga experience I've ever had, and I've heard other students who come from some pretty progressive places, comment in the same way. This place, with it's warm tones, laughter, genuineness, and constant reminders verbally and non-verbally to just go with it, and let yourself be has opened me up in ways that no other form of exercise or therapy has. Everyone there is quitely rooting for you. There's no lame high fives going on or anything. But if you're pissed off, sad, scared, or whatever place you're are, you can sit on that mat, breathe in with everyone else there who's going through whatever crap they've got goin on, and everyone gets it. When I fall out of a pose or can't quite get the handstand, I can laugh now, or just breathe into the next pose- that last pose is gone just like the past we carry around- gone. Breathe, accept yourself, move forwardly gently and with confidence, go into childs pose when you need to. Ride it out, and pretty soon you're in warrior two feeling hopeful and strong again.
For all of you Fresnans who want to support downtown, or not, but just want a different place to escape to. Somewhere away from where you usually go, and walk into something that from the first moment you enter, you can feel warm and free- get your butts down to Coil Yoga. Easy to find right off of 41. I can get there from NE Fresno in 15 to 20 minutes depending on traffic, and it is well worth it for what I get out of it. There are also classes for all you professionals who work downtown that will fit in great with your schedule. If I worked down there I'd be there all the time. If you're doing yoga in a gym, or a trendy studio that's offering just the workout experience-that's ok at times, but you are missing out on some serious stress relief, and pure unadulterated peace that Coil Yoga offers. I'm not writing this to plug the studio, although I'm happy to do that for Katie, because she freakin deserves it, but because with all of the stress and fear I'm seeing lately, I truly want to extend something life changing to the people I care about. You don't have to be flexible, strong, thin, etc... there's classes for everyone for all levels, and for different purposes. I could wear my jammies to restorative yoga. Nobody cares what you can or can't do-that's the beauty of this place with these people- I don't have to take myself so seriously or be anything except honest and genuine with whatever I am at that time, with me on that mat. It's heaven, and I think I deserve it...
Thanks for listening, and sorry if the potty mouth offends you,
Therapeutic Yoga: How One Pose Can Get You UnstuckWritten by Lori Pollard
I have dabbled in yoga, meditation and various spiritual teachings now for about 10 years. Over the last 7 months I have become much more immersed and serious with my yoga practice, so when I attended my first therapeutic yoga workshop recently, I was a little thrown off when I proceeded to bawl my head off during class. There was a faint, familiar voice in the back of my malleable, dozing mind saying, “There’s no crying in yoga!” One minute I was feeling warm and cozy in a pose that for the life of me I still can’t pronounce, and the next minute the wise, compassionate instructor was placing a
tissue in my hand. The pose brought me to my knees, and opened my heart in a soothing, familiar ineffable way that completely enveloped my entire body. In that moment of emotion, I couldn’t have articulated exactly what I was feeling, but instead, I felt it at such a primal, involuntarily physical level that I broke down and just succumbed to my tears.
I was able to compose myself by the time we all sat up for what I call, criss-cross apple sauce pose (the actual name has a lot of syllables that again, I never remember). Still grappling with my unexpected emotional outburst, I heard the instructor say in a very gentle voice, “That pose emulates lying on a mother’s chest.” I held back my knee jerk reaction of sitting up bolt right and yelling, “No way! That’s exactly what I felt!” This would’ve been totally inappropriate, so instead I pretended to act like what the instructor said was completely obvious, and tried to transition to the next pose with grace. However, focusing proved to be impossible, because my feelings of longing were experienced at such an illogical, inarticulate, crashing cellular level. Did I mention that I am a therapist and a Life Coach? I’m rarely at a loss for words, and I’m pretty open to having emotional experiences for crying out loud, so what the heck was going on here? Secretly, before my spastic epiphany, I was somewhat skeptical of therapeutic yoga. Again the small voice, “So, this is therapeutic yoga? No wonder they call it that.”
For some time I have read, intellectually understood, and even embraced the whole Deepak Chopra- mind-body ideology, but until that moment, I had never experienced, or felt it in such a profound way. In that moment my body allowed me to open up, bypassing my mind through my heart to a place that I had been unable to reach with other therapeutic methods. My body said to me, “You just want to feel safe, loved and nurtured sometimes Lori. It is a basic human need.” My body also told me that even though my mother wasn’t perfect, I still longed for this woman, not just a mother figure, but my mother to make me feel loved and accepted just as I am. It took my healing to a much deeper level that transcended the need for words or analysis. The truth is I didn’t really need the instructor to give me a name for what I had already named for myself. And even more shocking, I feel it would’ve tainted my experience to dissect it with words, and my over active left brain. The wisps of images of me and my mom flew through my mind, and told me everything I needed to know. It is the difference between hearing a description of the ocean, versus actually sitting on the beach smelling the salty, sticky air, while feeling the moisture on your skin, and witnessing the vast, unrelenting waves crashing over you.
Last Updated on January 09 2012 Read more: Therapeutic Yoga: How One Pose Can Get You Unstuck