Is Yoga Worth it? I Practiced for One Hundred Days to Find Out!

They say that people who “convert” to things as adults are more passionate about their chosen thing than people who were born into it.* Well I guess yoga is going to be my thing, because its definitely made a positive improvement in my life, and now I can’t shut up about it.
I hit a pretty rough patch towards the end of last year. I was anxious, lonely, unmotivated, and just generally feeling depressed.** I knew that I needed something to help me: a daily tool that I could use to keep myself focused. I initially thought I would do different 30-day challenges from various workout styles: pilates, zumba, kickboxing, etc. I only picked yoga first because I assumed it was easy***. But I got very lucky early on by stumbling into the Yoga With Adriene videos, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
A few people have asked me if I have lost weight or inches or seen any other physical gains from doing yoga. To which I have to answer…I think so? When I decided to start getting healthier, I refused to measure or weigh myself going in. I knew that if I began looking at numbers, I wouldn’t be able to focus on anything else, because that’s just how my squirrel-brain operates. I would get discouraged that I wasn’t hitting my “targets” as quickly as I liked, and I would give up. It’s happened several times in the past. Instead, I had to force myself to focus on my overall health rather than a numbers-driven goal.****
So the question then becomes, do I feel healthier? To which I can answer, ABSOLUTELY.
Four months later, I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my posture. The simple change of practicing how to sit and stand without hunching has done wonders. There’s less stress on my neck and shoulders, as well as on my lower back, which used to be in constant pain. I feel stronger, and more confident in how to use my body. But more than anything, I’ve noticed that I’m just generally more positive, and better able to deal with the stressful situations. I’m learning how calm down, to breathe and take stock of the the world around me when I feel overwhelmed. Now, it hasn’t been a magic cure-all for anxiety. I still have lots of days where I feel lost or forgotten or sad. But yoga has been an unexpectedly helpful tool in dealing with that, especially given the current state of things.
I’m also really glad that I decided to share this online, and grateful to anyone who participated, even if it was only for a ltitle while! it’s helped me to feel more connected with the people in my life. So thanks to everyone who has been following along!

*For further examples, see born-again religious converts, vegans, and people who keep telling you that you haven’t seen real TV until you’ve watched The Wire.
**And that was before COVID blew every plan I had for the future out of the water.
***I was immediately proven wrong.
****I do not want to suggest that this was easy. It is a daily battle with my obsessive side that wants to keep a log of inches and pounds.


Book Review: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher (2008)


Review 2.25


In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. “But it isn’t all sweetness and light sabers.” Alas, aside from a demanding career and her role as a single mother (not to mention the hyperspace hairdo), Carrie also spends her free time battling addiction, weathering the wild ride of manic depression and lounging around various mental institutions. It’s an incredible tale – from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to marrying (and divorcing) Paul Simon, from having the father of her daughter leave her for a man, to ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed. [Source]


When I hit “play” on the audiobook edition of Wishful Drinking, hearing Carrie’s Fishers voice come out of my earbuds almost floored me. I knew that the audiobook was narrated by the author, but somehow I hadn’t connected that with the fact that Carrie Fisher was going to be telling me the story of her life.

Just hearing that sarcastic raspy voice was enough to transport me completely. Carrie Fisher was one of my heroes when I was growing up, and not for the reasons you might think. Of course I’ve been a life-long fan of Star Wars to the point where I’m currently sipping tea out of a Death Star mug, but it wasn’t Fisher’s portrayal of Princess Leia that made me love her. It was maybe twenty years later, when I was watching an interview with Fisher on Leno or Letterman or one of those late-night talk shows. I was probably only ten years old, but I remembered even then just how few fucks Carrie Fisher gave about anyone else’s opinion of her.

Her memoir, Wishful Drinking, is an extension of that attitude. Considering that the cover features Fisher dressed up as Princess Leia, I imagined that this book would be filled with fun behind-the-scenes tales from her time on the set of Star Wars. Fisher knows her audience, and does deliver some amusing anecdotes about working with George Lucas. But ultimately, Fisher did not write her memoir to talk about her career as an actress.

She wants to talk about mental health.

Carrie Fisher was a loud and lifelong advocate for mental health. She is open and honest about her own battles with bipolar disorder and the substance abuse problems that so often accompany the illness. She describes how electro-shock therapy has left her with holes in her memory  but a renewed zest for life. This matter-of-fact portrayal of mental illness was refreshing, and Fisher herself seemed to take great comfort that so many “crazy people” managed to achieve so much despite their mental health problems. It doesn’t help that it was all read in Fisher’s brash tones.

I cannot recommend enough you listen to this book as opposed to reading it in print. As I listened to Wishful Drinking I could picture Carrie Fisher so perfectly. She is chain-smoking one cigarette after another and laughing over-loudly at some inappropriate comment. It was like having her back for a few short hours

My rating: 4/5

You can find Wishful Drinking here on Amazon or here on Book Depository. The Audible edition is read (wonderfully) by the author and can be found here.

Happy reading everyone!