Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A few months ago I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and it really changed the way I looked at some things in my life. I was impressed by the way practicing yoga helped her to find balance in all areas of her life. Balance is something I feel like I’m missing. I am pretty good at coming up with “reasons” why I don’t have time to exercise or how I am not able to… well, pretty much whatever. If there is something I would like to be doing but am not, I can come up with reasons why it just isn’t possible for me right now. BAH! I’m tired of excuses being my super power.

“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction….I can decide how to spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I eat, read, and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life--whether I will see them as curses or opportunities……..I can chose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

It’s up to me. I tell my kids all the time that they are in control of their thoughts and actions, it’s something I’m pretty sure I believe, but I’m not living it. How embarrassing. After a little “pep talk” with my son about having to work harder at the things you don’t enjoy or are not as good at (how do I come up with this crap?) I decided I probably ought to put my theory to the test and get serious about connecting with my truest self.

First I wanted to make a plan to improve my physical self. I don’t feel healthy and I would really like to. I thought long and hard about the best way to bring my body to its “optimum” condition and I kept coming back to yoga as the answer.

Some people enjoy exercise. My brothers do it for fun. I’ve heard that you can even become addicted. I’m not sure I believe that one, but whatever. I don’t like to exercise, not at all, I’m not even going to pretend. I have exercised; when I was in the Army I did it on a regular basis. I ran even. Sometimes pretty fast (not Olympic sprinter fast, but fast enough. You will just have to take my word for it). I’ll admit I have been known to enjoy the endorphin rush that follows exercise, but there’s more than one way to stimulate your endorphins, if you know what I mean.

I decided to check out a couple of yoga books from the library and I ordered a DVD from Amazon. The idea of a relaxing hour of deep breathing meditation seemed like the perfect workout for me. The DVD arrived Friday and I was all set to wake up early Saturday and start my weekend in harmony. Let’s just say, I might have been a teensy bit optimistic about my ability to contort while maintaining any kind of regular breathing pattern.
I really have to go take care of some silly “real world” things right now, but tomorrow I will tell you all about my tranquil brush with the “Breath of Fire”. Don’t worry, no traction was involved, but that is only because I kept my head.


Becky said...

I love yoga! It might be because I have the easiest yoga tape made by man (or Denise Austin, if you want to get technical), or maybe it's because I'm so in tune with my inner self.

No, probably the first reason.

Ward and June said...

I feel the same way about exercise and in the last two to three years I have really become a pretty useless human being (not to mention the last few weeks) but I know that it is good for us and that much more good can come from doing it, with that said I congratulate you on your efforts and am headed back to the sofa.

Just kidding. I had high hopes (and resolutions) for this year's fitness, I haven't completely let them go but they are in the works of being restructured.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh I love this post. I love love love EAT,PRAY,LOVE! Wasn't it awesome. I also love Yoga and have been doing it regularly for 10 years, (even though I pretend to drink Code Red and inhale whipped cream). hee hee

I love your blog address. It's so true!

You're alway so wise and thoughtful.

wesley's mom said...

I am not giving up on the yoga. I am however going to be taking a slower path to enlightenment than I had originally planned.

Becky-It's probably BECAUSE you are so in tune with your inner self that you did not go over board and select a DVD beyond your wisdom or flexibility.

June-I believe that being the pregnant mother of 1 year old twins makes you one of the least useless human beings I have ever known. This is your chance, you will never have another excuse like this one. Don't waste it. Eat ice cream.

Crash-you are kind to say that I am wise, but you should hold off on the judgements until after you have read tomorrow's post, a wise woman might have considered easing into yoga.

Brian said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these yoga books?


Cheryle said...

I've only put my toes into the water with yoga, but Jim and I have begun a class on tai chi. I'm hoping it will be helpful for both of us. I think having a partner in exercise helps keep you motivated, because I - like you - just really don't like exercise!

Good luck.