January 16, 2011

For the Zen-impaired

Gumballs to count the number of sun salutations I do in a row
Mellow out. Form a mudra with your fingers. Empty the mind. Drop your brain. Be in the present. Concentrate on your breathing.

That was the theme to the first two weeks of the new year for me, but unfortunately I couldn't tap into that. Thoughts stayed trapped in my head, and I couldn't perform even breathing. No, there was no Zen for me.

For a week I took three free yoga classes at one of the local studios to help with the sun salutations, lotus poses, and meditation goals I have. But the focus wasn't there. I couldn't get into poses without quietly venting or being confused. I was surrounded by people whose cars cost as much as my yearly salary and could put their foot behind their head.

I purchased gumballs to help me keep up with the sun salutations as I made my rounds. So far, I've been able to do only five of them. I hated myself for that.

But through these roadblocks claim clarity. My bucket list was invading my yoga practice. Even before this, I didn't -- and still don't -- believe in the healing power of yoga. Yet, I was giving it too much control over me. Make me flexible. Make me thinner. Make me learn to live simply and humbly. Give me inner peace. Yet, of those who know me, they say that yoga has a good effect on me.

For now, I'm taking it one step at a time. I plan to start a three-week meditation series to achieve the one-hour week goal, not thinking about downward-facing dog or hip openers.

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