Space Station Yoga

by Kim on February 18, 2013

Whew. I really needed that weekend.

(Aka: husband letting me sleep in.)

Last week was what I’m calling the Anti-Sleep Week. Mason was either teething, going through a growth spurt, experiencing some separation anxiety, or, maybe, a combo of all three. Who knows.

Who ever knows.

masecrib2Let’s just say there was a LOT of this going on.

He’s never been a great night sleeper, but suddenly, his once a night wake-ups turned into three or four a night wake-ups. I tried to let him cry himself back to sleep, but found that the longer I delayed going in there, the longer it took him to settle down (sometimes leading to multiple-hour awake times…remember this night?).

I’m used to bad night stuff, but when he suddenly forgot how to sleep during the day, too—that’s when I started panicking a little. He’s typically an awesome napper. Was this just a phase (please God) or was it The New Normal (please no)?

By Thursday, I was exhausted and frustrated. I started thinking about getting a job again. My reasons for wanting to be a stay-at-home mom were getting fuzzier and fuzzier. The thought of having more kids gave me palpitations.

Enter: yoga.


I was really craving a class by Thursday night. But when I got to the gym, I discovered that my favorite instructor was out of town, and her replacement was this super high-strung, 90-pound woman who looked like she’d much rather be screaming over loud music in an intense spinning class than doing a downward dog by candlelight. I just couldn’t picture her teaching yoga—her presence alone caused me anxiety.

She started having iPod problems right away. Or, as she called them, “zen challenges.” Every time the wrong song came on, she’d spaz out and run to the stereo, I’d get lost in the routine, and my stress levels would start to creep up again.

This continued for the whole class. Her complaints about the situation did, too. Plus, I was having so much trouble following her that I barely got a workout at all. When she said, “Almost done—bet you guys can’t wait to get out of here and pretend this class never happened!”—she was right. (But at least she was able to joke about it.)

However, when we got to the meditation part of the class at the end, she chose to forgo the usual “focus on your ring finger…now your pinkie…” spiel to tell us a story.

At first, I found it distracting (please—just no more talking!), but then, I ended up liking it so much that I decided to share it here. So here goes.

As you know, it’s lent right now.

I’m not Catholic, and neither was this instructor, but we both appreciated this message anyway.

Apparently, she had gone to mass (to please her mom), and at the back of the church, she’d picked up a pamphlet about lent. In it was a message that went something like this (super paraphrased from my 4-day-old memory):

Imagine you’re on a space station.

Space Station (source)

You have limited physical space to move around in, limited daily activities, and limited food choices. Your day-to-day life is pretty simple. You have plenty of time.

You can’t run to the mall. You can’t meet friends for happy hour. You can’t swing by the bookstore on your way home.

And when you look out the window, you see the world from a completely different perspective.

You see the whole Earth in front of you, which makes you feel separate from it.

You become more reflective. You think mostly about the things most important to you back on Earth—the things that really matter.

You do the things that seem too indulgent back on Earth, because there are always more pressing things to do there.

You read. You think. You pray.

Lent isn’t just about giving things up. It’s also about stepping back from the world and finding time to reflect. To reset.

The goal is to spend some time on your own metaphorical space station this lent season.

What would you do? What would you think about?


So, even though the yoga class itself was a little rocky, I at least got that interesting takeaway from it.

What do you think of the space station concept?

Are you observing lent, and if so, how are you approaching it?


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