When the Student is Ready the Teacher Appears - Tao Te Ching (maybe)
ORGIONAL PUBLISH DATE: February 14, 2016
I went into this yoga thing thinking that for a while it would be a "Do it Yourself" project. That maybe a few months in I would spring for a class just to see what it was all about. But the opportunity has presented itself much sooner. January 22nd was the day I officially gave in and had to find a treadmill to run on. So that day, I went and signed us up for the Riviera Swim Club. We belonged when we last lived here and it was something we were going to do anyway... so I took the plunge to have access to indoor running. Well, one of the new benefits of the club is FREE fitness classes. And it just so happens there are a handful of yoga classes in the listing. How fortuitous, 'cause me and FREE go way back.
So after a week of deliberation, I mustered up the courage to wake up at 4:30 to get my coffee intake in for the 5:30 class.
Clinging in my Heights wrestling security blanket
As I sat in my car waiting to go in... there were more than 10 split seconds that I almost kicked the car back into D and headed back to my beloved Ipad Netflix documentary habit. Alas, I put on my big boy pants and headed up to the room. There's a quick dualistic thought, as I see a familiar face. Lori Bisser is teaching the class. Lori goes to our church, and Maggie and her daughter were in the same kindergarten class. There is the quick thought of "Oh, No... I know someone"... so being the "anonymous, silent, big guy slinking into the room" ploy is dissolved. But there is also the great relief... that I am not about to be instructed by a complete stranger, helps me quickly relax!
It was a great hour! To be in person, not squinting watching a tablet, hearing someone's voice directed at you with subtle reminders of how an asana/pose should be, began to demystify what I have been doing. Almost a confidence builder, to know you might be getting it! AND along with the meditative, relaxation benefits, Lori put us through a great workout. I had to wipe the sweat off of my company issued mat!
Its not blurry, its just 5:30!
I've now been to another class, where we did inversions! Some headstands,(Sirsha-asana) which I like to think I did with a modicum of success. (My feet were in the air) All in all, the progress I have made just in taking that one big step, swallowing the fear of utter humiliation...was big. I am on the path of Yogi -er.
Physical: The hip feels great. I don't wake up with it as tight as it usually is... and I think my core is getting stronger. I always say, I don't like working my core cause it makes my fat stick out... but hopefully we can start burning some of it off... Still need to loose 11 lbs.
Mental: I feel more relaxed most of the day... sometimes too relaxed. But we'll find the middle way. I like to think when I yell at the kids... I'm doing it softer... but that's probably just in my mind.
Spiritual: At times I can be a pretty devout rosary prayer. If you don't know, it's basically a string of beads with a cross on it, that is used as a tool to say a sequence of prayers. Typically, its something that people usually think of being in the realm of little old ladies... like my grandmother, but what those of us who give it a try find out... is that those little old ladies are utilizing one of the best forms of "spiritual technology" ever devised. If you look at other traditions, Buddhism, Hinduism, they all have a form of beads to recite prayers with. The wisdom in this, that we don't realize, is in using the tactile instrument, we occupy and quiet the left side of the brain. Its impossible to analyze when you have given your processing brain a task to complete. It really is ancient brilliance. I believe a hatha yoga practice, (the physical activity) act like a physical rosary. I've noticed the same feeling of "calm abiding" that you get after extended prayer, achieved after yoga. its pretty cool!
Until next time.... here's a little kirtan, (a call-and-response chanting performed in India's bhakti devotional traditions) produced by my favorite Beatle (Geroge Harrison) at Abbey... I kinda dig it, and its been played at Manchester United futbol matches... so that adds a layer of societal vindication! Until next time....