Monday, March 11, 2013

being existential.

I've tried several times to take up yoga. I've checked books and DVDs out of the library and done my darndest to twist and pretzel myself into various poses while trying to simultaneously pause the video or prop open the page in an effort to get it right and find my zen. All to no avail.

But several of my doctors have 'prescribed' it as a means of improving my sleep and posture, lowering stress and increasing my overall well-being so I decided I needed to give it another go.  This time I sucked it up and paid money for a class. An early class before work no less. So, now I get to pretend to balance and bend and breathe (BREATHE!) at an unearthly hour in the company of well-practiced strangers.  But you know what? I kind of love it.

I've never been particularly strong or graceful. I had to drop out of gymnastics at the age of 5 because I wasn't flexible enough to do the moves. No lie. And I'm not the most coordinated soul around. So, all of this slow moving inhaling, exhaling, rotating to find equilibrium is a challenge, especially in my no-longer-five-year-old body. But if it's done only one thing it's made me more aware of where I am and what I'm doing at a given moment.

I notice when I'm holding my breath and make myself breathe more deeply. I notice when I've tensed my muscles and make myself relax. And sometimes I just notice when I'm in desperate need of a pedicure and make myself re-focus! But most of all I notice when I'm not noticing (which happens a lot) and I'm learning to slow down, relax and just be.

Have you ever done yoga? Anyone ever given the hot yoga a try? What are other methods of centering and relaxation I should add to my regimen?

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