Give me a head with hair

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Yesterday I was compared to a variety of people, including Cleopatra, Angelina Jolie in the movie Hackers,and 1920 silent film star Louise Brooks

Comparisons of this nature are acceptable, though I patiently waiting for someone to notice my resemblance to Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction.

Hairdresser Jeff, he is a genius. I’ll consider posting a photo soon, though I’ve noticed a glitch with my digital camera. It substitutes a similar but noticeably uglier model in my place. Must be defective. I’d ask for my money back but it was a gift.

Yesterday was notable not only for the sheer number of celebrity comparisons but because it marked my one year yoga anniversary. I’m naturally flexible, but with yoga practice, I am well on my way to becoming a human pretzel. Especially now that I am practicing yoga on my lunch breaks (no more reading at lunch, remember; no more reading till the manuscript is done), I am turning into a rubber band.

Yoga is about far more than contorting oneself into impossible positions, of course. It is also about meditation and relaxation and spiritual wellness. Unfortunately I haven’t got the hang of any of that yet. I don’t know that I ever will. I am not a laid-back person.

If you know me personally, you realize that is a stunning example of understatement in action. As a lifelong member of the Anxiety Disorder club, I am by nature fretful and high-strung. I do not know how to relax without either A) falling into a deep sleep or B) partaking of certain vegetables which are unfortunately illegal and therefore unavailable to me.

I can’t get the hang of meditation. Whenever Yoga Instructor Jennifer asks us to clear our thoughts I find my brain working overtime. I’ll be mentally composing a short story or doing the math to see if I can possibly pay off my student loans in this lifetime.

So yeah, I’m missing out on a big part of yoga, the breath control and the meditation and the relaxing. Typical Westerner, I am, ignoring the traditions of a 5000-year-old practice and focusing only on the physical exercises.

But that’s nothing to scoff at. It took me a quarter of a century to find an exercise I enjoy.

Well—I do enjoy other exercise, but only if I can dupe myself into thinking it’s not exercise proper. I love to go hiking, but there is a noticeable lack of mountains around here—a crying shame, and I wish somebody would do something about it. What do I pay taxes for, I ask you?

I love to go swimming, but I haven’t been in years. The problem with swimming is that it involves swimsuits. Swimsuits, for those of you who may not realize, are hideous garments made of skin-tight lycra that accentuate every embarrassing bulge on your body, while doing absolutely nothing to conceal the stretch marks that you may have acquired and enhanced through a year of yoga practice. Wearing them is a nightmare, while purchasing them is a mortifying, soul-searing exercise in making you despise your body, any resemblance to Uma Thurman notwithstanding.

What I really need is an estate on a private lake, preferably in the mountains because that’s prettier, where I could go swimming all by myself. (My birthday is in April. Hint, hint.)

No mountains around here, and no secluded water-front property in my name. Without yoga, I’d be completely stationary. Fortunately I can trick myself into forgetting that it is, in fact, exercise.

Off to work now, where I can look forward to a day of solving information needs, suggesting pleasure reading, and not-exercising-whatsoever-no-not-me during my yoga practice over dinner.

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2 responses »

  1. Woo! first comment.ANYWAY, the problem with trying to meditate with a hyperactive mind is simply… ooh, look- a kitty!Don’t try to clear you mind. Won’t happen, not even when you’re dead. Fill it with something inconsequential. Examples:Stare at a candle (let your eyes unfocus) in a darkened room, and try to feel the flame when it flickers. This is very Vedic and starts an out-of-body (supposedly). Best to do it in the bath. Repeat a word over and over until it loses its meaning and becomes pure sound. I like to do this with the word blue. It’s almost like a recreational pharmaceutical-induced state. Helps to lie flat on a balcony or field.Get into one of your most stretchy poses and try to feel the blood/chi flowing through the stretched muscles. Don’t try to stop thinking, just try to reach inside and feel what your body is doing. I actually had to stop doing this one with my tai-chi forms – they are at heart a martial form and I was getting weird stuff… like pushing my shoes apart as I rooted, or having my heart beat harder with strikes. The gist is to not try to contain the monkey (your mind), but to ignore it in the background like most uncouth people do their children. Let your foreground super-focus on 1 thing and the background will eventually dim. I used to be good at this, I swear.

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  2. eleemosenary archivist

    Nice to see new words… oh Siddartha path seeker.. be consoled (thing within which a tv is hidden or auto dashboard?)..we Wessis have transcended certain aspects of the eternal search for truth & justice even as we respond to agitated auras of felow patrons who blunder into realms of personal space unaware of Herman Hesse much less yr column’s soothing effect on some of us here rude,crude n boorish ones..Why does everybody show such little respect for Monkies? out-4-now best regards EA/tgb

    Reply

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