Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Running to get back on the horse

Last week was entrenched in a process that almost everyone has to go through at some point - Moving.  While the result is (usually) a blessing, the process usually feels like a curse.

For some reason, however, this time coincided with a burning desire between my boyfriend and I to finally really start getting up earlier to work out and be productive.  We've been talking about it forever and for the longest time it's just existed in the land of things that you want to do "someday," when things are calm and settled and you have the time and energy.  We really took the cake in proving that you can turn your motivation into action no matter what's going on with your life.  And you will mostly make it out not only alive but changed for the better.

I touched on this very issue in my last entry when I talked about really wanting to rekindle my relationship with writing and how I've had a hard time figuring out how to sync my motivation with the required time.

Oh, and to top it all off - I developed a burning desire last week to get back into running after being inspired by the blog of a yogi who decided to run a marathon.

Isn't it bizarre when you get bursts of motivation in the midst of one of the most stressful events of your year?

Bizarre though it may be, I'm proud of Marc and I.  Last week, every day, we got up early and either ran, did yoga, meditated, or just talked out stuff for moving over a breakfast which we ate sitting down for a change instead of our usual style of scarfing it down as we speedwalk to the subway.

I think we've both been pining for so long for our own place that a part of ourselves just completely lost patience for waiting until we're settled to have our new grown-up routines that we've been talking about and fantasizing about.  In retrospect, was it smart to alter our sleeping patterns so much during a week-plus process that added a new helping of stress to our already busy lives?  I think, despite the exhaustion, the answer is yes.  As any early-riser will tell you - particularly one who used to be a late riser - it gets easier with time.  And even in the course of a few days, we felt it get a little easier.  We're on a dedicated mission to killing the snooze button.  And in the midst of turning our fantasy of getting up early and starting the day off right instead of in a rushed stressed state, we still spun our fantasies of how it'll be even better in the new place.

This whole thing has made me think about when all of my yoga teachers (and when I tell my students) talk about listening to your body.  If something hurts, don't do it.  If it feels good or for some reason you just feel like you need to take a twist before savasana, or come down to child's pose when you're really not even that out of listen and you obey.  (Going back to running has really been making me think about this in terms of injury prevention, but that's another post)

It felt like what we were listening to was something a deeper than just the physical body.  To be sure, it was not our heavy eyes and dead-tired limbs that were getting us out of bed at 6am.  It wasn't even as simple as desire, either, because people desire things all the time that they don't do, either because those things are bad for them or because, like getting up early, they're ultimately good in the long term but not so fun in the short term.

What it felt like more than anything is that Voice of Reason we all have inside ourselves.  A teacher of mine also calls this the Witness.  Something that isn't purely mind or spirit or body, but something inside you that's all three.  Your own source of connectivity with the divine in you and the divine in the universe.  Also known as the For Your Own Good voice.

As I post this, we're preparing for our departure from New York to beautiful Virginia, my home.  We've spent the last few days in my small bedroom in my apartment (a wrinkle in the moving process) but when we come back next week we'll finally be in the new place, and that impatient, insistent presence that propelled us off our lazy sleeping bodies will still be right there with us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One month later...

...another entry!

I think I've figured out why, although this blog is important to me and I want to write consistently and well, I tend to go so long between entries.

I have a bit of a perfectionist side to me.  Not in a debilitating or obnoxious way (most of the time), but enough so that it sometimes hinders me.

My inspiration to start this blog was, as I'm sure I've mentioned, the blogs of several friends and strangers that I found myself reading and following.  I was often bowled over by the cleverness, thoroughness, and just plain interesting-ness of these entries that these bright, funny fitness/yoga aficionados were posting.

And, as so often happens to me, my ambition got too big for its britches and I decided I was just going to start any old yoga blog, but I was going to start a GREAT one filled with knowledge and the de-bunking of myths and the de-mystifying of concepts and one that would serve myself just as much, if not more, as those who read it as it would be an outlet for me to sort through the tons and tons of knowledge I've gained during this wonderful year of my life.

And continued to go on and be busy, and instead of being a joyful outlet, the idea of writing my blog started to sound like something that would require the time and energy I simply didn't have to give.  On any given day, I get up to work until 4, take a class or offer a Thai Yoga Massage, and some nights do a karmi shift at one of the lovely yoga studios I frequent.  Not all of my days are sunrise - to - sunset packed with activities - and a lot of those days are often also packed with fun boyfriend/social activities as well - but a lot of them are.  Enough so that when I find a couple of hours at the end of the evening, I feel like doing a whole lot of nothing - which in itself is rather yogic, isn't it?  We do need rest, after all.

The obvious conclusion to this ramble is - I haven't been updating because I knew I wouldn't be able to give my time and energy to write The Best Blog EVER.  And instead of doing a little bit of what I could do, I got caught up and thus stressed out in what I simply couldn't do.  I'd look ahead and think, "When I move into the new place and have a study..." or "When things calm down a bit..." (whatever that last one means) or when any old thing would happen, my inspiration and discipline would magically come flying back.

Something that's easy to spout in theory and hard to put into practice is that yoga isn't just for when you're alone in a quiet, peaceful room with lots of easy time ahead of you to meditate or do whatever it is you do to practice.  The true benefit of yoga comes in the midst of a hectic, stressful day when maybe you deepen your breath to keep your blood pressure and stress levels from spiking too high.  It's a tool to help you live your life, it's not something that stops your life so you can bask in it.  As nice as that sometimes sounds.

So to put in writing, where others can (and hopefully occasionally do) read writing will become whatever it will become.  When I do have the chance and motivation to write an entry that's supported by research or self study, that'll be great.  However, it's simply important to me that I write.  Writing has always been a personal form of meditation for me before I even really began to think about or be interested in meditation.  It's where some of my most peaceful and cathartic moments have occurred, and when I make a dedication to do it regularly, I'm always better for it.  An entry a week, whatever it's about and however personal or professional it is, will be my goal for this blog.  We'll see how it all goes...

Resurrection of a blog (and a hip)

One year ago today - on a much cloudier, much colder, and quite frankly very hungover morning - I went out to run.  My goal was either 4 mil...