Undress the Stress: Days 35 & 36

Yesterday (35) was not too stressful because I spent all 24 hours of the day sleeping and eating and working.  AND WATCHING ALIAS.  So I guess the most stress I felt was at the end of every episode when there was a ridiculous cliffhanger.

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As for today, I can’t really decide how much of it I spent stressed and how much I spent otherwise.

I woke up stressed because I was tired and lacking sleep and didn’t have time for my morning meditation routine.  It’s never as good of a day as it could be when I don’t get to start the day with some stretching/breathing.

The best part of my day was taking my very first yoga class, as part of my stress management class.  Our professor is also a yoga teacher and she incorporated this class into our lesson plan, which I thought was great.

She taught a pretty advanced-beginner hatha class and it was very enlightening for me.  I realized that I’ve been doing yoga for YEARS now and never even knew it.  I always thought that my morning stretching and meditation routine was just my own made up way of relaxing, but I found a ton of similarities between MY yoga and real hatha yoga.

I really enjoyed the physical aspect of the class.  Not only was it relaxing but it was challenging too.  Yoga requires concentration, strength, perseverance, and a strong sense of dedication to the moment.  Since it was a class required of my stress management class, some of the students did not really want to be there and I think that took away from the experience, but it was amazing to see everyone trying and keeping their minds open.

Practicing yoga really is a way of rewarding oneself.  You feel lighter, calmer, better.  I know today was only my first class, but I’ve been meditating and stretching almost every day for years now, and I can say honestly that it makes an enormous difference both mentally and physically.  People always tell me how calm and go-with-the-flow-y I am and I know I have my morning routine to thank for that.  Taking a few moments at the beginning of every day and shaping that day in my head every morning puts me in a mindset in which I feel empowered and invincible.  Yoga is similar in that it has the power to free.

The rest of my day was a little more stressful.  Actually, I’d say it was more busy than it was stressful.  But busyness seems to cause stress so I guess that’s what it was.  I had meetings and to-do list items to check off, a presentation in Spanish class, a networking event to attend, and also a shift at work.

Lately I’ve been telling myself that all of this exhaustion and hard work will be worthwhile when I’m abroad and feeling privileged to do so much travel because I’ll know that I earned it.  I’ve been working graveyard shifts all semester (they pay more) and I am tired every single day before the day even begins.  My fellow college students go to bed sometime between 12-3 am (I’m guessing) but I go to bed at 8 am most nights of the week.  Can you say nocturnal?

Anyway.  Despite all of this stress, lack of sleep, and endless work shifts I’m feeling wonderful.

Namaste, friends.

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