Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Return to Yoga*MK1G5iNzO6r0B8Rd4RW8M76dezpkkNvwR*DemxT7oyGK82hJ6zJ-ebQErIb1ueZrWaNPg3jBUhLiIxU/yogacats3.jpg

This summer I am into weight lifting and moderate aerobics as well as changing my diet, many thanks to my trainer, Stacie.  I know that's all good for my body as I can feel myself get stronger and slightly leaner.  And it is good for my mood and stress levels.  When I push 20 pounds up over my head I can feel the blood rush into my shoulders as I grunt and groan, straining with that one last rep.  I seem to keep a lot of feelings and thoughts in my upper body.  When I lift weights and my arms tremble with exertion, the tension melts away.  Even though it's hard, every time, to drag my reluctant body into the gym to ride the bike for 30 minutes, step up on the bench 36 times, squat with 10 pounds in each hand, and lunge across the gym floor, I am always so happy when I walk out the door, exercise done for the day. 

But, I forget, frequently, that I am a certified yoga teacher at the 500 hour level.  I have been through 5 years of yoga and meditation training.  I know how to settle (vs. grunt and groan) my body with mindful movement and thoughtful breathing.  I have missed the grounding, early in the morning, that yoga gives me.  The silence meditation offers me sets me up for whatever might occur in my day, even during summer.   For example, today I am off to a new dentist.  I HATE all things medical including the dentist.  But, I will try to remember to breathe and loosen my shoulders as I pull into the parking lot for my cleaning.  Things go crazy, I seem to be able to come back to my quiet place if I have practiced yoga and meditation in the morning.  

And, so this morning I began with my morning routine again.  I stretched in different yoga poses, enjoying the pull on my muscles, particularly in the back of my legs.  I always imagine I am a cat in yoga poses, just letting the stretch play out.   I feel so much awareness of my body in a gentle way as I hold Warrior I and then move into Star Gazer.  With weight lifting my heart beats fast as I scrunch up my face and lift that one last time, hoping the weights aren't going to drop loudly to the floor.  In yoga I move easily, steadily, flowing here and there, gazing out at the river that I am lucky to view out my back door.  

For me, I see now that I need both of these activities.  I vow from today forward to get back into my yoga and meditation routine each early morning as the sun rises; work out with weights in the gym in the late afternoon and take a speedy daily walk with my perfectly behaved dog-in-training :P    In that way I feel I can really take care of my body and so, deal with that persistent muffin top, slight case of osteoporosis and arrhythmia...the joys of aging!   And I can take care of my mind....all the time becoming strong and flexible, relaxed and lean (well, that's the goal!).   

I think, sometimes, I would fit well into Kurt Vonnegut's Utopian future world (in Unready to Wear), stepping out of my body most of the time so I could just live out my mental and emotional life.  Yes, I could live the "amphibious" life most of the time!  It seems so much more natural to me.   And, yet I wonder how I would saw, hammer, and dangle in my ears the enameled earrings I love to create and wear; pet my soft and crazy yellow lab; feel the warmth of a kiss with my wonderful husband....without a body!

I love your ideas, Kurt Vonnegut, but don't see us upping and leaving our bodies behind in the closet on a daily basis as any option for me in the near future.  My mind matters.  My emotional life can determine my happiness to a great extent, but my body matters, I am learning, as much.

I feel my growing arm strength when I pull back on Olivia's leash as she bolts across the street to chase a cat daringly staring her down.  My denim Capri's seem just a tad looser on my legs and thighs.  Thank you weight lifting and medium-level aerobics and 6 meals a day.  And this morning I feel peaceful and centered thanks to yoga and meditation.  Well, I feel that peace right now...that may wane as I pull into the parking lot of Dr. Amadon's dental office today at 2:00! 

Namaste I say to myself, namaste! 

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