Monday, February 10, 2014

Just Show Up

It's been almost 4 weeks since I last worked out, and this week I am hoping to show up to my yoga mat a time or two. I don't think I'm ready for a class yet, so I'm going to try to find a postpartum video online… I wonder if they talk about placenta in those? I hope not. I don't feel more ready to listen to that now that I've seen real placenta. Seriously though, placenta aside- I need yoga right now. My back and my body hate me right now from hunching over a baby all day and so. much. sitting. on. the. couch. I don't have any high expectations for what will happen on the mat, just that I will show up.

(PS. My doctor cleared me to do yoga before my 6 week appointment, FYI)

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You know those days when it just seems like the universe is telling you not to work out? That was me at my last yoga workout, the Sunday before I had Max. Here were my super awesome reasons to skip yoga: 

1. I was fighting a cold. 

2. I was up half the night itching. 

3. My car wouldn't start because the battery died (car seat installation gone wrong). 

4. I took Eric's car but then forgot my yoga mat. 

5. I walked into yoga without my wallet or my keys which have my card for yoga on them. 

6. I was now really late, and I hate being late. 

Yes, I had some reasons to skip yoga on that Sunday morning. But I also had a lot of reasons why I just HAD to go to yoga.  See 1-6 above. I was also meeting a friend there, and I was worried we would NEVER be able to do prenatal yoga together if I didn't go (insert dramatic voice here). Plus, I was about to have a baby and if that wasn't scary enough, I was in a constant state of panic that my liver was attacking him. Plus, I just love the Sunday yoga teacher. I couldn't skip it. 

So I didn't. 

If you've ever done yoga before, you probably know there are certain themes that are constantly emerging in yoga no matter which studio you practice at. I was first drawn to the idea of breathing in a difficult moment. When you are in a super hard pose and your muscles want to give out, that is exactly when you need to breathe more. In life, when you are in a difficult moment, that is exactly when you need to breathe more. I may never master the art of shutting my mind off and focusing on my breath, but I do carry the idea of breathing in a difficult moment into my life. 

But the yoga-ism that I need right now is the idea of just showing up. This is applicable to everything. Had a rough night and don't want to deal with work in the morning? Just show up. Your friend is going through a really hard time and you have no idea how to help her? Just show up. It's 5am and Max is crying hysterically and you have no idea what the heck is wrong? Just show up. Oh wait, that's just me, ha ha.

I was talking to my friend the other night and she was telling me that she has been trying to work out more and it's hard because she works a full time job and she has a 1 year old and those are great reasons not to do anything when you finally get home (she didn't say this, I did!). But, like my reasons above, they are also reasons why working out is essential. She told me that Eric advised her to just tell herself, I'll go downstairs and bike for 10 minutes. Just show up. 

When was the last time you had to just show up, either in a workout or in life? 


  1. YES! Totally! I am so of the belief of working out for 10 or 20 minutes to start -- that just "showing up" in the morning for a lot of my workouts usually leads to a much longer workout.

    I bet you can find some prenatal classes on yoga download or yogaglo? Worst comes to worst lay out your mat and spend 10 minutes doing poses that feel good to your body. You've done enough yoga that you know enough poses you could totally just wing it.

  2. Forgive my melodrama but I'll say that the last few weeks have been a case of just show up. I started working out again week before last and the first few times I was just going through the motions but now I'm back to 100% loving it again (and craving it. and needing it.)

  3. Eric is so wise (as are you). I feel like "just show up" is a common thing in yoga and I love it. I definitely needed this today. I don't have anywhere near the excuses that you and Katie do.. and yet I think I've been to the gym once since Max was born.

  4. I totally agree with this. I think it applies to so many facets of life lately. I don't know what my deal is, but I have just been really stressed about work stuff lately and I almost dread going to work which is weird but I usually liked going to work for the most part. So I have definitely been having to tell myself 'ok, just get there, it won't be so bad once you get there' and that is usually the case.

    Also tonight I did not want to work out at all because I had a long day at work and then had to get groceries since I was gone all weekend and got in late last night. It's going to snow here this week so the groceries stores were packed and it was raining so traffic was awful. I got home and the last thing I honestly wanted to do was go down to the gym. But I did and I am so glad I did because the endorphins work wonders for me.

    I hope you can find some prenatal videos to do!

  5. What a perfectly timed post! I went to our apartment gym today and pedaled on the stationary bike for almost 30 minutes. It was terrifying because it was the first time I'd done real exercise since I started having problems in my pregnancy and definitely the first exercise since the miscarriage. But I did it, burned basically no calories, but it was such a small (and huge!) victory for me. Just show up indeed!

    My favorite phrase from a yoga class was "breathe through your areas of resistance." That can apply to so much!

    So glad you got cleared for yoga - maybe start with some cat/cow poses? Those always help my back and neck loosen up and feel good!

  6. Love this post and I admire that you're trying to get back to your workouts, even though you're tired and could be doing a million other things. I wasn't so quick to show up ... and while I don't the time I spent with my family, I do wish I could've taken better care of myself, too.

    Right now, I'm pretty much teaching Gavin all about showing up. When he started going to the preschool room, it devastated him. So, there were a few weeks where he had serious sob sessions over going to school. every. single. morning. Now, he'll half heartedly tell me that he doesn't want to go to school (but he can't ever say why). I find myself telling him that getting up early and forcing the morning routine motions is hard, but once he gets to school and starts playing with his friends, he'll forget that he didn't want to go in the first place. He just needs to SHOW UP. Love that you've put a term to this big life lesson I've been teaching him the past few months!