Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shaking it loose

A facebook friend shared a link to this cartoon the other day.  As a science-geek type as well as a yoga practitioner, it gave me a good chuckle.

Yoga practitioner-- that sounds impressive, and perhaps overstates my abilities. What I really mean is that I have taken a few dozen yoga classes and know my up-dogs from my cobras, and while stretched in pigeon pose, I long for child's pose.

I am certainly no expert at yoga, more of a rank amateur.  Each semester, yoga classes are offered to the university community  and I sign up and  attend as often as I can.  I join a lot of my friends who are also yoga enthusiasts, albeit at different levels of accomplishment.

Some of my friends like the stress reduction.  I don't know how they do it, but they manage to clear their minds and navigate to a blank page.  That is not my experience.  While I have been known to doze off during shavasana (photo below)  at the end of class, I don't often find yoga mentally relaxing.

I like yoga  mostly because it improves my balance, my strength and flexibility.   I can see a real difference in  core strength and  I can feel those poses stretching both muscle and joint to improve my range of motion.  Yoga builds strength and physical control while simultaneously loosening me up.   And, being in a class lends enough accountability that I stick with it and don't get lazy.

Now that I think about it, my motivations for yoga and blogging are exactly the same.  Like yoga, blogging improves my balance, my strength and my flexibility. Writing this blog stretches me to write everyday using a style and a vocabulary different from the writing I do as either a scientist or as an administrator.  It improves my range of linguistic motion and verbal control while simultaneously loosening all those words and ideas that otherwise get tangled into knots in my brain.  And, putting the words out in the world where others can see them lends enough accountability that I stick with it and don't get lazy.

And, in yoga and blogging, you only have to stretch as far as you feel like stretching.  And today, I guess that is not very far.

And now it's time for some shavasana.


Today I am grateful for opportunities to get together with good friends and their families.  Multi-generational, multi-contintental joy!

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