I’ve decided to stay “Dry” for all of 2018, and more importantly to share this journey with you all!
It may not seem like a stretch to do a whole year without alcohol but for me it’s represents more than just staying sober.
It represents being comfortable in my own skin.
Alcohol has never been a super strong pull or vice, well okay, maybe in college when I’d be sober and diligently working towards a dance degree all week and when the weekends came we’d start things off with 5 shots of straight Absolut Vodka. Reality check! At 36, my relationship to alcohol is far from that youthful folly. A craft cocktail after a long week (or day) of work feels luxurious.
I teach yoga full time, living in stretch pants and rolling around on floors all day, and luxury is a welcome shift out of work mode. It's a ritual in shedding of my bohemian vocation and an embracing of the finer things in life, to which I have always gravitated. It feels indulgent to sit at a fancy bar in Tribeca in my high waisted jeans and vintage pumps, on a date night with bae and have a few glasses of Sancerre.
What doesn’t feel good is the next morning feeling of dehydration, the greasy food cravings, and the tightness I can feel in my body….hello, inflammation, nice to see you!
I haven’t drunk to excess in years, but my body is sensitive in ways I used to be oblivious to, and it’s not fun. My yoga practice is growing and shifting. Poses I used to not be able to access are opening up in my body, but when I drink even one, I feel the stiffness the next day. I feel my body, not starting where I was but having to fight through the toxic environment that I created.
Alcohol is also a community builder in New York City. “Let’s meet for drinks!” is an often used phrase even in the yoga and wellness community. The social butterfly is a very present part of my personality and resisting a social event is not an easy task. So it’s time to experiment.
What can life be like without alcohol? Where do I find my luxury, my indulgence? And how do I show up in social situations while declining the occasional adult beverage?
The first month, January, has been pretty easy. A lot of my friends and colleagues have been doing Dry January as a post-holiday cleanse, making socializing easier around things other than microbreweries. I also just managed a weekend trip to Puerto Rico with friends sans margaritas.
So staying clean, sober and more me, seems to be working well so far. My body feels great, I’m sleeping better and I wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
Side note: I am eating more chocolate than before. Coincidence? Not sure yet.
I’ll keep you posted in February’s edition of Dry 2018.
By Anna Farkas
Anna is a Brooklyn based yoga teacher and writer. She loves looking at all the sides of the health and wellness industry and shedding some playful light on tough issues. Her favorite hobby is buying plane tickets and she leads retreats internationally. She is AcroVinyasa certified and pursuing her 500 hr certification with Dharma Mitra. She will eat all the avocados in the sunshine.
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