RSS Feed

Category Archives: Yoga

Sometimes the Journey IS the Journey.

My bags were packed, sitting in anticipation by the door. My yoga mat was curled up so peacefully, waiting patiently by my luggage . I was ready to hit the road for an enlightening “girls weekend” road trip to the Sivananda Ashram in upstate New York.  It was just what my hectic, workaholic life needed.  It was a trip parallel to life; a drive through chaos to reach “serenity,” knowing that serenity actually lies in the mind… but that sometimes you need a little kick to realize it.

But, not surprisingly, the journey, much like life, didn’t quite work out as planned.  The directions, the plans, they all fly out the window with one mistake, one wrong turn.  The landscape changes, and before you know it you’re in Zombieland without a map, without cell service, without a connection to the outside world. It’s just you staring back at you, telling you to figure out how the hell you are getting out of this one.  And, like any problem in life, the choices look bleak and empty, it seems as if there will be no way out, every turn will lead to a “dead end” sign staring you obnoxiously in the face.

But then you glance around and realize it’s not just you that is frustrated, lost and almost hopeless. The faces of your friends stare back at you, bewildered, confused. You are alone in your head, certainly, on your own journey, but the collective conscience is there, in the present moment, sharing part of the journey with you. Your paths have paralleled for a moment, if only for the moment. And all of a sudden, you just burst out laughing at the absurdity of the situation.  A series of laughs erupts through the car; yes, your friends are there for you; for each other.  The collective conscience works together, you regroup, and before you know it, you’re back on the right road, headed in the right direction.  A sigh of relief, a moment of reflection, and then, back to life.

And that’s life. It’s always open to the moment, it’s always “who knows?” You can plot and plan and have everything you need, and then in an instant it can all fall away.  It’s what you do with the situation that really matters. All you can do is go with the flow, searching for answers, searching for reasons.  Life may be random, it may have reason, we may never know. It may be a whole lot of randomness looking for a reason… but that’s for you to decide.  

Advertisements

Writing and Yoga: Just like twins, only not as loud.

Writing, much like yoga, is intimidating at first. You feel this passion to do it, but you’re nervous, scared. You question yourself… will my poses, my words be as good as hers? What if I can’t do it? What if I go blank and all that’s looking at me is a blank page, or a class full of students? Sometimes the fear makes you want to give in and say, “Forget it, I’ll just learn to be content as a tightly wound drone,” as you put the pen and the mat down and walk away from writing and downward dog.  But sometimes, if you can muster up the strength to walk through the ghetto of your own demons, you can say “Forget it—I’m going to twist my body like no one else and I’m going to write the hell out of this essay, poem, whatever.”  And that my friend, is what I like to call enlightenment.

Sometimes yoga can be frustrating. Your body doesn’t want to cooperate, you feel inferior to the girl in front of you (and her distracting tight pants). Your mind wanders, and you find it wandering onto the contemplative thought: “How the hell do I think about nothing?”(seriously, how do you think about nothing?? isn’t the whole point of thinking to think about something??)

You have just about had it; you’re about to through in the towel (or, more appropriately, the yoga mat).  But then you remember how the deep breathing soothed you, with each inhalation the pain moved from your body. You remember how in tune your mind and body felt, your mind pushing the body without fear.  You remember how at the end of practice, you felt alive and rejuvenated, almost better than if you spent a week at the beach (the beach is only better because you can get a pretty tan there… and it’s got waves).

Writing is the same way. At times, you feel lost and frustrated. You can’t find your voice; your muse is lost and floating somewhere in the abyss.  Whenever you sit down to write, you give up and find yourself just watching entertaining videos on You Tube, or reading the urban dictionary (call it “research” all you want, you and I both know that’s soooo not true).  And just when you’re at your lowest point (meaning: you just read the definition of “Cosby Sweater”), ready to forgo writing for droning forever, you remember what it’s like to touch pen to paper; to not be able to move your hand fast enough to keep up with the surge of thoughts.  You think of how great it felt to share your words, to move someone or make them laugh until they cried.  More importantly, you remember how much you just love putting pen to paper and letting the thoughts explode.

Sometimes you’ve just got to twist deeper, whether it’s your body (yoga) or your mind (writing… or both).  You’ve got to let go and just be in the moment, from this pose to that one, from that sentence to the next.  You can’t think about the ending, or the editing, you’ve just got to go along until you get there, wherever there may be.   Whether it’s on the mat or on paper, enjoy the journey, friends.

Do yoga, then write.