Monday, July 13, 2009

Meditations

To my mind, restless legs is not a syndrome, it’s a lifestyle.

Impatience rules my life, and always has. I have a friend who finds this highly amusing – calls me the Now Girl – and he’ll always try to slow things down a bit just to watch me jump out of my skin. Anything, everything can lose its luster if a delay is involved.

As a kid, I lived with a polar opposite. My mother was slow and very deliberate and precise in her thoughts, speech, and actions, and it positively made me scream. “What’s so hard about finding your key and opening the car door? Why does it take you five minutes to snap the purse shut? Are you really going to chew that apple for three hours? ”

What? What? Oh, I see, now I sound weird and obnoxious. Well, this too will pass -- quickly. Guess who enrolled in yoga?

The first yoga class was this Saturday. I showed up with a beach towel (who needs a mat?) and my $15. The plan: a little chanting, a little lotus, a little breathing, a little competitive contemplation.

Guess again; it wasn’t that kind of yoga.

You ever see pictures of the contortionists in India or in a circus, and it’s just fucking gross to witness a human body turned and twisted thataway? It was that kind of yoga. And I had sat my little ass right down in the middle of the front row, for all the class to see.

I won’t go into the total humiliation I felt after the first half hour of the two hour class. The inability of my foot to wrap around the back of my neck, my head to wrap around the back of my knee, to hold a pose, any pose for more than five seconds. To drink my vitimin water without drooling.

By the second hour, I just ended up doing a lot of backbends, regardless of the actual class exercise, because that’s my only decent point of flexibility. When I told the instructor I’d be back next week, she was genuinely surprised.

Sunday, everything hurt. Monday everything still hurts. I don’t know how you’re supposed to meditate, contemplate, think all these great thoughts when everything hurts. But I’ll find out. I intend to turn this yoga disaster around -- center my being and find my quiet place -- so fast it’ll make your head spin.

38 comments:

  1. That last line is really great.

    I did a lot of yoga several years ago when yoga was "hot." The thing I miss most about it is the profound sleep I had afterwards. But geez louise, it could be painful.

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  2. I now believe in God, K. You weren't in the second row.

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  3. Ok. I need details. What kind of yoga was this? Was this a beginner's class? Etc, etc...

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  4. I feel for ya. I've done yoga for years but have shied away from classes. Once an instructor literally pushed my knees apart when I was in a viparita lotus position way past what I could handle (bitch) and I sprang (sprung)(spring-ed) an inner thigh tendon. Not nice! Take it easy. You said your muscles were shaking afterward..and I didn't understand why. Now I do. Beware of the competitive streak--it works against a person sometimes.

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  5. "Competitive contemplation", eh? I am off to try tai-chi ...

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  6. lol. love the descriptors.

    a friend took a yoga class last week---the kind you were wanting, but did not achieve. Stretch a little, talk a little gossip a little, stretch and shower. But she spent so much time trying to focus on the poses, she couldn't talk. This girl who makes you look like your mother in terms of molasses...got thru the yoga class.

    And so can you---just find one more your speed.

    Wait, TWO fucking hours of yoga? you're kidding! I have trouble being on the treadmill for 45+ minutes because, even with my iPod with 17k songs (that's songs, not size of the file) and the TV in front of me, I lose focus, even with my legs and back screaming at me.

    and...you would have loved to have my wv word in your class:
    nonsee...AH would have liked to have her class nonsee her not getting her ankle wrapped around her head!

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  7. Beginning yoga, Margaret? When I thought I was advanced? No, these people were circus performers. It was a private class, and evenutally the instructor started saying, "Some of you may find this difficult to execute." She meant me. I, I was the some of you.

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  8. With yoga, I was in it for the minutes of rest and meditation at the end, long before I remotely enjoyed anything about the stuff you do before that blissful time. Nonetheless, being much stronger than I am flexible, I avoid anything resembling your class and am content to paddle around in the gentle yoga pool.

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  9. Two hours does seem long. Yeah, maybe this is an advanced class, do ya think? But I understand the feeling of being competitive in yoga, even though it's supposed to be all about "your own practice." If you've got that spirit, and I do, it's hard to keep your mind on what you're doing. But good to try. Whatever you're working on, yoga can help you work on it. Unless you have an evil instructor like mg's.

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  10. I can't help you here . . . I'm incredibly impatient (but I think that's one of my better qualities - I can get loads of stuff done). My main form of physical activity is running. I tried yoga a couple of times unsuccessfully and I agree with Trish - two hours???

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  11. PS - join my gym. They have a "class" called "Power Nap" in the yoga room at lunchtime. No kidding, it's a time to all nap together like in preschool.

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  12. As soon as I read you brought a beach towel instead of a mat I started giggling. The mat - and how you carry it - is all so im-por-tante. The yogi is also integral, but how YOU feel is most important. Two hours? Talk about focus! Geez KB, you're made of iron.
    Get some Biofreeze and gel packs for the pain, soak in epsom salts and drink lotsa water. I know about pain and how to address it without RX scrips. Aspirin is OK, liquid turmeric in pineapple juice is good, and tasty too. Yoga away!

    And mg, I'm pretty sure that wasn't yoga.

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  13. Bun Yoga is good:

    http://homesteadinginacondo.blogspot.com/

    http://furrybutts.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/bunyoga/

    http://theqipapers.blogspot.com/2009/04/thump-day_29.html

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  14. Was this the yoga class at the ZG? I was planning to try it, but I am no contortionist. Although I hear they ordinarily have a great pot luck after the session. Contort for a torte?

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  15. I think many yoga teachers are relatively inexperienced for teaching.

    There are too many good things I'd rather do with 2hrs, like... Well, KB, keep on reporting back to us on these "believe it or not" experiences.

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  16. Trust me Ken, no you don't

    WV: I am so appalled by this WV that I have to exorcise it: Ovibut.

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  17. Karin,

    Just breathe. Try 10 minutes each morning.

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  18. San Diego FarmgirlJuly 13, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    I like Bec's extended 'nap pose' class. My favorite pose will always be the dead man.

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  19. Geez!!! I thought I'd never get to the end of these comments.

    I just zipped past the last half dozen.

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  20. I tried to be patient once...but I got tired of waiting.

    ;)

    That does not sound like the right kind of yoga. That sounds like evil exercise. Well done to you for returning (I have faith that you will).

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  21. wait...power nap? and one pays for this??!?!

    if you want meditation, find a mindfulness meditation class...in mine, some had competitive snoring!

    Target has a simple mat for like $20...if you're gonna go...at least contort semi-comfortably!

    Ovibut? ROTFLMAO...er, But...off!

    obviously, wv has seen me try yoga or run: pronites...my knees and feet pronites while I move
    OR...the power nap class---pro-nites...zzzzzzzzzz

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  22. Bec, what gym do you go to? Over at Gold's all they've got is weights and machines and stuff. I keep sweating and working and I never get any sleep.

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  23. Yes Susie. And the people in the class are lovely, bendable, flexible people. I will stake my claim in the back row.

    I'll get the mat, Trish & pj.

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  24. Great one today KB. I had in mind a little yoga myself. I'm just a titch impulsive as well so I see it going down just like your class. The only thing I can do for 2 hours is eat! I'd better shop around. Oh and I wouldn't mind it so much if you and K were in my class!!whoo hooo

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  25. Just imagining you doing all those backbends has me giggling. This is a great story.

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  26. This reminds me of my first experience of Buddhist mediation; forcing my legs into a cross legged position and and sitting in a circle gazing at a candle. It hurt, but that wasn't the embarrassing bit. Er...well, in true Mel Brooks style I'd eaten eggs and beans before rushing to the meditation meeting place. I spent the entire 45 minutes, silently "adding" to the atmosphere, trying not to cry and worry whether the candles would detonate like small bombs. There wasn't that much incense being used, but no one seemed too upset. Perhaps for them (and me) the episode became an appropriate meditation on the frailties of the physical body.

    I later encountered actual yoga, but not the physical kind; karma yoga and mantra yoga which seem more natural for me. I think it would take many many many lifetimes for this physical thing to bend and stretch itself to nirvana.

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  27. Come join me. In my class we're working on touching our toes. I'm better then half the class.

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  28. I think you just joined a cult, and the god you found might need an Exorcist before you start spinning and puking up green stuff.

    WV fleam; no, you need a flame.

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  29. You're pretty zen all right. don't get into competitive napping -- the thought scares me.

    gg

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  30. Michael, suddenly I don't feel so bad about my performance.

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  31. Your humor at its very best! Many thanks, AH. As you know, a being's inner speed, our psychic RPMs, or whatever -- is a favorite topic of mine.

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  32. "Yoga" Originated from India was my grand father is an expert Yoga teacher..This is one of the best way to keep self healthy both mentally and physically.It means the way to join one's soul with God.I do it sometimes..Great..Unseen Rajasthan

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  33. That Michael sure likes to toot his own horn. Competitive Buddhism score:

    mg: 10

    ah: 00

    Ten points goes to the saver of a stray centipede in the bathtub. It may have looked like two walking eyelashes but folks!, I sure as I am writing here this thing was a BUG. A real 10 pointer, and quite possibly a former relative. No past names were recovered upon release back into the wilds of the mint garden (now made sparse by the Mojito Touring Company)

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  34. altadenahiker: I'm glad that the anecdote was helpful.

    Unseen Rajasthan: Agree, yoga is vital for spiritual/mental well being.

    Swan Lake Albatross: I wasn't feeling horny at the time of writing it.

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  35. Petrea: Equinox at the Paseo. It has magazines and live plants and cold eucalyptus towels and, yes, napping classes.

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  36. I would just like to report that K did in fact return to yoga class today. And K, I assure you, when Alicia says "you might not be able to do this," she is definitely talking to me, too. Susan C--you should come!!!

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  37. Don't worry, we'll get Susan out on the dance floor.

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