The Bermuda Triangle and other things I ponder

One of the gazillion things I love about Yoga is the images of nature in the poses.  Tree pose (Vrksasana). Downward facing dog (Ado Muka Svanasana).  Camel (ustrasana).  Lotus (padmasana).  I am partial to Sanskrit because it’s ancient and beautiful (which I hope they say about me at my funeral).    The language makes me feel connected and like everything matters, even the smallest things.  The following Japanese proverb says it so well:  

It takes particles of dusk to form a mountain.  

(Ignore the cat on my butt pillow.)

I ponder that.  The extra mile. The extra breath in revolved triangle or chaturunga or Urdva Mukha Svanasana will make a mountain.   A little bit of Yoga or kindness or effort or prayer or quiet or exercise is a lot.   So is a little bit of lattitude, wiggle room and forgiveness.  Even when it’s hard. 

Speaking of, I took a Yoga class yesterday after a run to decompress from a weekend of hiking and happy hour(s).  The teacher is not my favorite but I never let that stop me.  All yoga is good yoga.  No judgement on the teacher (yet) but I connect better with others.  She had us come to ‘reverse  triangle’ with very little warm up or alignment instruction.  So I became a little (a lot) judgemental.  I had never heard of ‘reverse triangle’.  The pose we limped into was revolved triangle (Parivrtta Trikoasana)   as I know it.  It looks like t his:

I started thinking all kinds of negative/judgmental thoughts.  Like:

She made that up.  There’s no such thing.  Unprepared.  The pose does not match the level of the class.  Someone is going to get hurt.  She doesn’t even use Sanskrit because she’s scared. 

 I didn’t stop there.  When I got home I even criticized her to my husband.  I. Am. So. Not. Yogic.  What a mountain of a mess I had made of  my practice for the day.   When I looked around the class, everyone else looked perfectly happy.  This was clearly my problem.

So, I went home and looked up ‘reverse triangle’.  Sho ‘nuf.  It exists.  Who knows about ‘Bermuda triangle’. 

A positive thought would’ve gone even farther and made a much prettier stronger mountain.  Other things I pondered today.

I need to meditate more.

I need a new mattress.

I need to get my vacuum fixed.

Just another day.  Like all the others, perfect – full of promise, not the past and not the future.  Just.  Here.  Now.  It is as sweet – as a long lap of water taken from a downward facing dog.  It even sounds nice without the Sanskrit.  Lesson for the day:  it’s all good.

Strap one on

Last night I was in hysteria from deadline hell.  I was working on a proposal at home that is due today.  Biggest one yet in my technical writing career.  My son needed me to take him to baseball practice.  My youngest daughter  needed me to help her with her economics fair (make items to sell, also due today), I had a class to teach and all I really wanted was a glass of white.   I was about to lose it.  Then decided I needed to strap one on.  Grow a set.  Take a breath.  Keep perspective.  Practice what I teach.  Yoga breathing.  So I dressed for class and proceeded out the door with my handy, dandy strap – mystified at how deep I was going to need to dig to offer anything to my students.

I had a plan.  we were going to break down Sun Salutation A and B – emphasize the breath and vinyasa in additional standing poses and tear up chaturunga – a despised pose to many.  Not me.  I love plank, chaturunga and anything core-related.  A lot of people hang up in their shoulders and elbows for this nugget of love.  Once you realize it’s a ‘whole body contraction’ (get your mind out of the gutter) you grow to love it.  Here’s how a strap can help.

Make a loop shoulder-width length and place it right above your elbows.

Next, come to plank:

Then lower.

Chaturunga, baby!

Fierce.  Predatory.  You.  I wonder what else the strap can do? 

Any pose (situation, person, job challenge, life question) that gives you a fit and makes you roll your eyes – is the one you need the most.  Now, go do some push-ups  Yogic or not!

I took. I taught. Probably didn’t crosstrain.

Today is a ‘cross-training‘ day.  My husband and I are preparing for the Marine Corps half marathon in Fredericksburg, VA 0n May 20.  It’s my 6th, half  and his second.  His first-ever half time is 1:49.  My best ever is 2:06.  Who’s counting?  What I am counting is the pounds running takes off of me.  When I was in full marathon training mode I was 17 pounds lighter than I am now.  I am begging running to take me back there or at least close.  With a life-long body image problem (that my boyfriend, Yoga, is helping me with) and a nasty 10 that hangs around my business, running has become my go-to buddy in times of puffiness.

So, today I ‘cross-trained’.  I took a Yoga class at 8:15 this morning.  We worked on shoulder openers which I find amazingly helpful with taking the bind  (TWSS).   Please ignore the puff in the midriff area.

Then I taught a class to my corporate sharks at Carmax headquarters during their lunchtime.  I decided not to reinvent the wheel and taught a shoulder-opening sequence.  I said clever things like:

“Chase your shoulder with your chin.”  And.  “Stretch your eyes as if you were peering into your inner ear.” Yes, they looked confused.  I wonder how Indira Gandi was received with this little ditty:

“You need to find stillnes amidst much activity.  And in repose know you are vibrantly alive.”

And so I tried to be still and alive in this balancing pose:

 Jane thought it was way too easy.  So she tried it:

 And laughed the whole time.  Now, that’s my kind of girl.

So I had a ball with my daughter and my Yoga but I probably didn’t crosstrain.  Now I know why I can’t get rid of that 10.  At least my shoulders are dang open.

And I can see my inner ear.  Can you?

The Proposal

What a better day, than Valentine’s Day to announce my official engagement?  With my new blog, marrymeyoga, I am sharing my betrothed.  Go ahead, take a turn.  I like watching you and my new husband fall in love.  There’s enough to go around and I’m not even jealous.  It’s so cool.  It’s not easy.  In the end it’s oh so sweet and amazing and you’ll never be sorry you did it.

    

You may already have milked this cow and are currently also in love with yoga.  Good stuff.  To sustain a good thing, we need to notice the good with the difficult.  Find laughter and depth and precious awakenings.  In faith you’ll know you’ve made the right decision to be on the journey.  Won’t you join me?  Please follow marrymeyoga – we’ll have such fun together.  

Please

Have you ever been asked what your lifelong dream of the month was?  I have.  Talk to my husband whose nickname should be Job (patience).  He’s watched me try to be a social worker, a novelist, a stay-at-home mom, a business owner, a PR shark, a therapist, a writer and countless other Big Ideas.  I have become a piece of each of these and also a marathoner and yogi.  I tend to jump right off the ledge into new things that feel good at the time but I forget to pack the contingencies for the days the motivation wanes and I end up swimming in circles.  Don’t do it.  Ever since I decided to marry yoga – I have experienced a sense of magic in the presence in the ‘what is’.  We are all that we desire to be right now – we just need to see it.  Then things really get interesting.  We see new possibility, experience blooming openness, and cultivate a copious capacity for compassion.   And darn it, doesn’t our downward facing dog get easier?  Ask him.  He’s happy. 

That’s my wish for us all.  Happy love day.   I leave you with my favorite scene from The Proposal.