i am so getting one of these.
Archive for » July 22nd, 2004«
I used to think that yoga was foo-foo new age stuff. All that meditating, finding your center, yadda yadda, was not for me. A couple of years ago, a friend convinced me to go to a yoga class. The first one I tried was ashtanga yoga – a very active type of yoga – and it kicked my puny butt. I didn’t know that yoga could make you break out in a sweat! The next class was hatha yoga and it was much more my speed. In fact, I really enjoyed it. But, the class times and locations weren’t really convenient, so I eventually stopped going.
I finally started doing my yoga at home again. When I get up each morning, I do a few stretches and poses – it takes about 10 minutes. It wakes me up, gets the blood flowing, and makes me feel limbered up and ready to face the day.
I added a few poses at night, to help me relax before I hit the pillow. I try not to do anything strenuous that would increase my heart rate and keep me awake. I stick to calming poses that stretch my muscles and help me wind down.
My mind goes a million miles a minute. I have a hard time sleeping because of it. A few nights ago, I decided to meditate. I’ve never really explored meditation before – it seemed a bit “out-there” and weird. I didn’t understand anything about it. At first, images and words swirled through my mind, caught in a whirlwind of to-do lists and unfinished business. I tried to picture a white wall and clear my mind. I tried slowing my breathing, taking very deep breaths and exhaling as slowly as I could. As I metered my breath, my mind started clearing. While I never completely cleared my thoughts, I did manage to settle down into a state of relaxation. I eventually trudged over to the bed. I laid flat on my back, hands at my side, and continued the breathing exercises. I don’t know when I drifted off, but it wasn’t long.
I woke up the next morning around 5:20. Out of habit, I lay in bed for a minute trying to savor sleep. And then I realized I wasn’t as tired as normal. I didn’t need to grasp at every last vestige of sleep. I got up, went through my yoga routine, and felt ready to tackle the day. I think I even got more done during the day. Because I had slept well, I could concentrate better throughout the day.
I’ll resist the urge to kick myself for just now figuring this out. But I’m going to keep with it and see what happens. It’s an interesting exploration.