Okay, this is more of a "Monday, Afternoon, Musing" but that somehow just does not have the same ring to it!
I'm late because I just got back from yoga class, after which I whisked over to the little market across from the studio, getting a few things for dinner for the next three days, got home, remember to pay a bill online, somewhat on time, bed is made, laundry is been moved along and I fed Grandpa lunch ( who lives on another house on the "ranch"... and I got to say such a productive morning has a lot to do with, well my Monday morning included yoga!
I am soooooooo not the person to be extolling the spiritualness of this ancient Eastern philosophy... I will only bow down to one God and his son, but like so many things in this world I put modern yoga in with those things that are of this world, but as long as I know who my only master is and that he has given me every breath I bring into my body, yoga can be beneficial. ( a deeper explanation probably is coming in another 3M post.
But today, the reason I think yoga is a very good thing for me!
1. You have to be in the moment to do yoga. I have the "rep" of being absent minded, but in reality, it is more that there is sooooo much in my brain that on occasion something has to fall out! At the gym, my body can be spinning, or rowing and my mind is a million miles away, probably thinking up a new illustration or story for a novel. Yoga- you have to be thinking the whole time or you will fall on your head. Thinking how to do a yoga pose, "All" the voices in my head are occupied, I am by no means "centered" all the time, often have "monkey thoughts" as Anne my instructor calls them, but I am getting better at it and can only hope it will help me focus at other times that would be beneficial. As is the continuing insistence to breath!
2. You are greatly aware of your body in yoga. Now if you are a gorgeous, long and lean beauty that might not be such a bad idea, but if you are short, stumpy and on the round side, you might not want to be aware of every part of you from head to foot. I sure dont! Sadly just as I am writing this a public service commercial came on, stating that 6 out of 10 girls will drop out of physical activities like gymnastics, soccer, swimming because of body image issues. I think it is time we all step out whether we are our "ideal image" or not, and stand, or swim or run or swing or bend in yoga poses together and teach our daughters to do the same. We are more then how we "think" men see us! Cause I know a lot of great guys who would probably like to go play with us! ( Not sure how that sounded!)
3. Yoga is a great way to unfold yourself. I need to start out the day doing sun salutations, a series of moves that wakes up the body and gets the blood flowing, because the rest of the day I will be sitting in bad posture on my bed, typing away, or at the dining room table or at the drafting table or better yet, sitting on a preschool size chair at school or standing for long periods of time on the playground. When I go to yoga class, it is like I unfold myself and am not surprised that in my pre- yoga days I walked around like the "Hunch Back of Notre Dame"!
4. Yoga is a vehicle that helps me remember to mediate......on God! I am sure that there will be some who read this who think says that is heresy, but I don't. I have been a Christian for a long time in more free thinking circles. As an art therapy student I stood in a circle while everyone else focused on the "light", I prayed to God. As an artist I have been encouraged to tap into the energy of the universe, I have tapped in to the power of the creator, who created me, gave me the talents I have and instructed me to use them for the good of His kingdom. As a Christian I have been thrown out of a church because of taking figure drawing classes with nude models and been informed I can't teach children and have a problem with pornography. The result of that is we and our friends, who were also deemed "unholy" for various reasons, started another church and I kept on taking figure drawing classes, but that is another post as well. The point is, there are lot of things I have done in my life, other Christians might think are not right, but I have always judged them through if Jesus were to pop in the room while I was doing my morning yoga would I feel ashamed and the answer is no I wouldn't and beside he is already there everyday and wants me to use my talents for Him and I have to take better care of my body to do it!
Mediation in my opinion is "empty prayer" it goes no where, there is no power in it, in college, in my philosophy book I wrote " a sinner on his knees will accomplish more than a philosopher on his tiptoes." There is not a free energy source in the universe for us to tap into, but there is a God in the universe who is waiting to hear our prayers, our fears and our requests and I truly believe He urged me to find this little yoga studio ( which thank goodness, mild on the spiritualism with great teachers) and to learn some tools to help myself center, to focus, to treat my body better and to give my brain a challenge, because I have learned that in exercising if it ain't fun it will Not get done!