donut shop

The Perils of Living Behind the Donut Shop

So I have finally returned to this blog, after an eventful summer.  Since last I wrote, I have taught to hundreds at an anime convention, I have held multiple aerial yoga classes and workshops, and I have completed my teacher training in vinyasa yoga.
Oh.  And I moved away from New Orleans to a small town in Southeast Kansas called Independence.

I have spent the last few months getting to know my new town, which is lovely, and here is what I can tell you so far:

  1. Independence has a colorful and fascinating history.  From serial killers to famous actors to world-renowned musicians, this town has it all.
  2. There is always something to do here.  To quote my landlady, “If you’re bored in Independence, it’s your own fault.”
  3. Neewollah is the biggest deal here, which just ended.  It’s a Kansas version of Mardi Gras, except with the joy of the Midwest street carnival.  In other words, it’s my new favorite week.
  4. The nearest Starbucks is 45 minutes away.  The nearest Target is 90 minutes away.  BUT, the nearest IKEA is only 2 hours away.
  5. There is one donut shop.  I live right behind it.

In yoga, the two main principles taught are practice and non-reaction.  You use the two together to make a change in your life and to stop the cycles of behavior that no longer serve you.  (so much more than stretching…)  So you might imagine how much I try to practice non-reaction to the lure of fresh donuts every morning.

And since yoga is a practice, it is not perfection.

Which means I have given in to the lure of fresh donuts. Not every morning, but many mornings.
And, as I am eating these donuts, I begin to chastise myself for eating them.  I make deals like, “Well, since I ate 2 donuts, that means I have to eat better for the rest of the week.” OR “I can eat these 3 donuts after I do an hour of yoga because that balances out.”
And then I feel like crap.  Not only do I feel guilty for eating the donuts, but I also physically feel gross and sluggish because I have fueled it with donuts instead of actual nutrients. And because I feel gross, I don’t do any yoga. (more on that in another post) And I feel even grosser and more guilty because now I have not only eaten poorly but I have not honored my body as I know I should.  Finally, I “give up.” I eat whatever sounds good, and drink whatever I think will make me feel better.  But it never does.  Eventually, I start over.  I recommit to eating better and saying no to donuts.
Have you ever had that spiral go on about food?  I think that has been a running commentary in the back of my mind since I was about 12.
However, in the past few months, I have become more aware of this cycle.  I buy the donuts, and as I sit in front of them, I say to myself, “This is going to bog down my body. How can I help minimize this effect?” And I actually carry through with what I decide.  I drink more water, I cut out the alcohol, I get up and walk around or play with my kitten, Ahsoka. (more on her too.)  I set alarms to do yoga.  I eat simply for the rest of the day.  And I monitor how I feel.
This is what practice and non-reaction really are.  I know that I have pre-learned patterns of behavior that revolve around this thing: Donuts.  And when I don’t react, I have the opportunity to change how the cycle plays out.  I can create a new pattern.  Eventually, I will be able to fully let go of donuts altogether.  I will not react to them.  I will practice “not reacting” to donuts.
God, I want a donut right now. Do you want a donut?

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