Splintless

8 Fri, 2011 § 2 Comments

I have been cringing at the weather warnings all week, so I did not want to bike to work yesterday.  I desperately needed a mid-day break though & wanted to try a yoga class that had come highly recommended.

Fortunately I brought my new (trail) running shoes & decided to run the 2.5-mile jaunt to FACW to the most intense Ashtanga flow class I have ever taken.  I liked it though!  So much so, I went again today for a mid-morning break with a co-worker.

I felt worked & got in a great sweat yesterday afternoon…but still had to run back to the studio.  Even though I still felt ok, I knew it wasn’t the smartest thing to run that many miles without building up to it first, so I did force myself to walk part of the way back.  I love these shoes by the way.  Should I tell you more about them?  Maybe I’ll work on a review over the weekend.

I gently stretched my calves repeatedly & even iced them for a few minutes after climbing last night for good measure.

Today: no shin splints. 🙂

Phew.

Did you catch we also bouldered last night?  I was so drained after my run & yoga, I thought I would just spot Dave.  My lunch bowl of quinoa, basil & toasted pine nuts was delicious but didn’t fill me at all.  After chomping down a Fruition bar, I had just enough of an energy burst to pull on a few of my projects.  What can I say?  I guess Spring has me revved up to be ACTIVE!

However, face-pelting hail & a cruel headwind during the bike ride in this morning de-revved me a bit.  Looks like this weekend will be all about gym workouts & Spring Cleaning!

~

Is the weather as fickle where you are as it is here?  What are your weekend plans?

Letting the Wind Go

30 Fri, 2010 § 6 Comments

“Love flowers best in openness & freedom.”

~Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

There is something austere & beautiful about the sparseness & simplicity of the desert.  A stillness exists here unmatched by any place I have yet visited; the life that triumphs the desert’s harshness stands out bold & defiant.  I always learn something about myself among this resilience.  Sometimes – often – it is something I do not like admitting & deeply wish to change.

~

We have just begun preparing dinner.  There is a welcome, even if only subtle, breeze.  The slight relief it has offered from the scorching heat of the day abruptly ceases.  Suddenly, a huge opposing gust rages through camp.  The one-up digs in for a losing battle as I rush to grab a pole begging to be torn from the dirt.  It lifts like a kite…& I watch twenty-two pages of collected yoga practices scatter in every direction.  Dave rushes to my aid, & we quickly disassemble the one-up & take chase.

The wind is continuously shifting; just as I have a page in sight & determine its path, it immediately vanishes.  I run after them like a child chasing butterflies.  Uh, lie.  I chase these gems of wisdom & self-discovery…these corridors to fleeting nirvana…with tears lining my eyes & a pitiful whine,  “but they make me happy”, being carried off by the wind along with my pages…all the while cursing the wind.  What purpose does it even serve anyway?  Honestly, amidst my frustration, I could not credit the wind one redeeming act — I had completely forgotten the relief it offered only minutes earlier.

Why the tears?  Why over these pages?

Yoga has become a place where I can escape – I can curl into its warmth, stretch into its expansion – my inadequacy does not exist here.  Not because I “excel”, but because it is something I have learned – am still learning – to embrace playfully without judgment.  But playfully without attachment?  Without ownership?  Apparently not.  Why did I feel I needed these pages to embrace my practice?  Was it my own insecurities?  Was I letting my sense of inadequacy creep in?  A need for identity?  While knowledgeable guidance is fundamentally valuable, do I need someone else to define my practice?  Do I need to define my practice?

We managed to gather a handful.  Of course my favorites were without their mate or still missing completely.

Broken.  Defeated.  I accepted my losses…bitterly…still clinging to a twinge of naive hope we would see Play Leads the Way [which includes a favorite pose, Lord of the Dance, I hope to master someday] waving frantically from a net of sage the next morning.

Dave & I collected other items the wind had thrown: plates, books, chairs, sunglasses, hats, etc.  Eisley insisted on helping scour for chips – we could not keep her away – she was even looking the next day. 😀  Dave finally had to crush them.  We took down what didn’t stand a chance against the furry & tethered the rest.  We looked at each other through furious, indecisive gusts of wind, smirked & asked “now what?”

We gave in.  We could not stop the wind.  It had claimed what it would have.  So we walked.  I teased about my absurd attachment to these papers, we toyed again with the idea of packing up, but instead, we simply walked.

Dave took photos at the overlook as I flowed through a favorite playful practice.  We embraced what the moment still offered, enhanced by the charm of the sun setting.  The wind was still a rye, but we were enjoying ourselves; & I had let go.

During the walk back to camp, we recovered four more pages, completing all but two sequences [most of which were found by Dave].  His final find that evening?  He smiled at me as he read “Play Leads the Way”.

“When we are established in non-attachment, the nature & purpose of existence are understood.”

~The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

By letting go, the entire tone & mood of our evening changed.  It is useless to cling — there are very few things we have ultimate control over — yet we have a choice regarding the attitude we embrace.  “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me & 90% how I react to it” [Charles R. Swindoll].

Life in the desert is met by some of the harshest obstacles acting against it, yet the cactus does not whine, make excuses, cling to illusions of becoming a fern nor grow bitter.  It accepts the moment, uses whatever resources it is given, embraces the freedom of its sparse surroundings & blossoms into what it is meant to be.

Mind your mind; let everything else follow.

~

As we made our final departure the next morning, Dave asked me to please adjust the side mirror.  As I reached out the window for the corner of the mirror, a sheet of white waved from the brush just beyond.

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My Lats Say Hello

12 Mon, 2010 § 4 Comments

9 a.m., I’m moving through Sun Salutations in one of my yoga classes.  I’m focusing my breath, my mind…I lengthen my arms to the sky & suddenly glance in the mirror as I begin to fold forward.

“Hey!” my Latissimus Dorsi shouts back.  For those of you wondering, this is the muscle that wings out on each side just under the arm.  It’s usually prominent on body builders, not women in yoga class.  This is confirmed as I quickly scan the room using the mirror.  No other Lats to be seen—only beautiful curves of the female form (no men today).  As we raise our arms, I check mine again.  Yep, the outline of my curve = Lats, not breasts.

I gently nudged the thought from my mind & returned focus to my breath.  Obviously, that thought never completely left.  It’s been lingering in my subconscious (& not-so-subconscious)…toying with my self worth.

My body is strong.  It is becoming stronger every day, which in turn, has made me start to truly love my body for the first time.  So what happened in yoga the other day?

My Ego.

It emerges by first planting seeds of doubt & insecurity; then, it judges others to build itself back up.  “Yeah, but I bet they can’t do a pull up.”  Whether this is the case or not, it has no relevance to me & my body.

When self worth is pursued by the ego, it breaks only to be pieced together again through comparison to others.  Seemingly whole, but ultimately fragile with cracks of external, superficial assurances.

How do we overcome the ego?

Let go.

Let go of comparisons & judgments.  Let go of personalizing.  Let go of external identifications.  Let go of reactions.  Let go of attachments.  Let go of excuses.

Be Here Now.

Don’t complicate things; stick with the facts.

My name is Allie.  I can do a pull up.  My “curves” are my Lats.

What insecurities have you learned to love about yourself?  Are learning to love?  Are going to start loving? 😉

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