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Posts Tagged ‘balance’

I started yoga about 5 1/2 months ago. I say “started yoga” instead of “started doing yoga” for a reason — I think once you start yoga it seeps in to all your daily activities, at least that might be the end result… one I haven’t quite achieved yet. Yoga becomes more about how you react and perceive and create — it is more than just the routine or a workout, it is constant… it is with you always. In yoga, one of the most important things to remember to do is breathe — calm, steady, active breaths that help you relax and achieve not only the inner balance but also the physical stamina — and, honestly, I forget to breathe.

I find myself in the middle of yoga holding my breath or breathing too fast — my breath is hard to maintain. I realized a couple of months ago during one of those moments when I was letting yoga seep in to my daily activities, that I forget about maintaining my breathing during most things in my life — while I’m sitting calm or thinking or treadmilling or talking to someone — I forget to breathe. I think my “relax gene” has some issues that need to be sorted out.

This morning, I began my yoga practice and was determined to focus on my breathing above all else — I was determined to remain focused and balanced. So… I began. Within the first five minutes, my phone began buzzing with text messages. (I always keep my phone on the floor near me during yoga — I don’t know why, but this morning I realized it has to change.) Then the laptop began beeping with email notifications. I started to focus on the sounds of my dog and if he needed to go out, I heard my daughter in the refrigerator searching for a morning snack, I peeked at the text messages during downward dog and glanced to see who the emails were from during chair pose. I lost my focus. I began formulating my responses to the texts and the emails and forgot to breathe. That’s about the time, I was doing this, and fell.

I am, apparently, a self-sabotager. I start out with the best intentions — to make a friend smile, to show I care, to share a laugh, to help a child… and I forget to focus and balance and breathe. I lose track of the present and my mind becomes consumed with the what-ifs of the future. The present is my downfall — the present is where my breathing becomes fast or short or ceases… never rhythmic.

Yesterday, I joined a little over 200 people in a project called 21.5.800 created by Bindu Wiles. It’s a way to combine yoga and writing and community. The concept is intriguing and I hope to keep up my end of the writing — at least that was my original intention… to keep up with the writing. But, this morning, on day 2 of the challenge, I think I’m changing my focus. I think my new focus in this challenge is to breathe — steady, calm, rhythmic… and place the cell phone just out of my reach.

So if you see me out, breathing, steady and calm, just know… I’m working on my “relax gene”. I’m working on letting yoga seep in to my daily activities. I’m working on my inner balance and my outward stamina. I’m working on my creativity. I’m working on the present and trying to let the present guide the future. And honestly, sometimes, when I’m doing all that stuff, I forget to breathe.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve used this picture in my posts — it’s one of my favorites from Zebra Sounds. Go visit — you’ll thank me.

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I think the mind (my mind) works in the same manner as a web search works. You know when you go to Google something (you know you Google) and it directs you to your page but then once you get to your page there’s an interesting link that relates to your page and so you click on the interesting link on your page and it takes you to another interesting link on another interesting page and pretty soon you’re 10 links away from your original link and you can’t quite remember why you needed the original link in the first place because where you ended up seems to have put you in another completely different Google mindset? Do you know that feeling? This is often my brain at work, my thought process.

Here’s my most recent example. And, by recent, I mean when I started to write this post because it’s happened several times since beginning, but fortunately I was able to come back here and regroup… wait, what were we talking about? Oh yes, my often scattered thought process.

I read a post, by the lovely and talented Judy Clement Wall, about being vulnerable, really. At least that was my take away from it — vulnerability in life, in blogs, in friendships… everywhere. And how, sometimes, we just have to give in to the vulnerability because if we don’t, we stand to lose out on some interesting experiences, life-long friendships, and personal growth.

It amazes me how lonely we can feel in a world so crowded. I think that’s why little acts of kindness never feel little, why we are biologically altered by each others touch, why love makes us feel so alive and endings sometimes feel like little deaths… Judy Clement Wall

So there we are, in the middle of balancing feelings of being alive when our lungs are filled to capacity and little deaths that hurt… and take our breath away. Vulnerability.

Another lovely and talented lady, Terre Pruitt, spun her own web of wonder from this post. Terre is an instructor in Nia. I don’t really understand Nia but am growing more and more interested in the practice.

…in Nia being barefoot is about exercising the feet, but it also is about being aware, being present, being open, and being free and some people need to work up to that. — Terre Pruitt

When I read Terre’s post, I began thinking about my own bare foot naked wiggly toed self — and vulnerability — and balance. And here’s where my scattered thoughts brought me… to the beach.

I love the beach, although, in Tennessee, the nearest beach is around a 7 hour drive (that’s alone, without stopping and without kids — you get the idea), so when I arrive there, I smell it and I feel it and I let it take me away. I love standing right at the edge of the ocean where the water continually comes up to cover your feet and your toes and as it does, it takes the sand from underneath you, just enough so that your footing becomes unsteady. And in that unsteadiness, when you can either remain rooted in your spot and continue to sink down further until you lose your balance and fall or you can adjust your feet and allow the sand to fill in the spaces under your toes so that you balance and climb and stay above it all — so that you’re not stuck, in that space… you can choose balance. I always choose to move my feet. I risk the shakiness of being balanced on one foot long enough to allow the ground to recover and the sand to drain between my toes — there, I am balanced. In the sand that is constantly being shifted and churned and taken away and replaced — balance is achieved effortlessly.

Balance can be a chain reaction. It can be achieved by reading a post by a friend and then reading another post by a another friend or it can be achieved by the people you choose to allow in your life or it can be achieved by shifting your stance just enough to allow the sand to fall between your toes. Perhaps it’s all of these, and more I suspect. Perhaps it’s a chain reaction — like many things in life.

Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Robert Fulgham

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