Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. It’s good to know, despite my new-found Zen, I can still be counted on for a little immaturity. Yep, that’s right I am peaceful now and represent all things calm, cool and collected…well, except for those handful of days last week where I was a raving lunatic, but I blame hormones for that. Back to my Zen-ness….wait, what’s that you say? You want to know when this sudden transformation happened.
Alright, let me back it up.
It’s been a looooong time since I actually talked fitness on the blog, which is a damn shame. Crap, do Zen folk say damn? Or even shame for that matter? “‘Eh,” shrugs shoulders. I made no secret July was a difficult month for me. I’m definitely not exempt from the “sometimes life can get a little sucky” club, although I sure wish I had a free pass. If possible, I’d bottle and sell that stuff faster than Kombucha and make a million bucks in the process.
In any event, tough times happen to you, to me, to all of us, and one of the ways I like to combat them is through exercise. I rely on my workouts to clear my head and release tension. When I don’t get the opportunity to get my exercise on, my stress mounts, and I feel like my little head will explode, without all the dramatics of cheesy B movie or my impressive screaming prowess.
This vanilla gorilla… side note: For all you new comers, yes I’m referring to myself as a vanilla gorilla and in the third person, although I’m not sure which is more obnoxious. I call myself vanilla gorilla because despite only being 5’2, or 5’3, depending on that day’s posture, I feel like I can do anything… anyway, I like a good old-fashioned, head-banging, kick my ass, adrenaline rush, and leave me for dead in a pool of my own sweat type workout. It’s a pretty picture, I’m sure.
Then I discovered yoga. The place where people freely pass gas, except me… I would never do that (cough, cough) and sit, bend, or move silently for a consecutive sixty minutes. For someone who has trouble shutting off her overloaded brain and pushing away all of life’s distractions, I love the silence of yoga. I appreciate it more than I can possible express, which has of course never stopped me from trying. The lack of interruptions, coupled with the blissful quiet and calmness of it all, is sheer joy and damned if it’s not exhilarating.
Lately, as in this summer, I’ve been doing yoga in the park, where I can get my Zen on among the birds, the bees and any other woodland creature who are drawn to a bunch of people hanging out in downward dog. Not only is the view incredible, practicing yoga helps keep my crazy at bay, which is of paramount importance. I also feel like the Queen of the World (Quick, somebody get me a crown!) after each session and suddenly my daily To Do List seems like it can be accomplished with ease. This is all the more impressive if you’ve seen how long one my To Do lists can run.
Two weekends ago, I was fortunate enough to participate in Puma Yoga’s Six Year Anniversary celebration, where they had free outdoor classes all morning long, great eats, door prizes, and a drumming circle. It was a celebration of not only yoga, but the community which makes it up. At it’s very heart, the event was about people, which is why I chose to jump into the mix and talk to some folks about what yoga means to them.
The responses I got were varied: to have some “me” time, to focus one hour of each day on myself, to physically feel better, to emotionally feel calm, although my favorite answer was from a fellow yogi named Jimmy, who said when he’s in the moment he can picture happy little cartoon birds circling his head, and doing yoga first thing in the morning makes him good to go all day long (wink, wink). Alright, he didn’t mean the last statement like that and now I’ve sullied his response with sexual innuendos. My bad.
Jimmy also said Yoga has made him more relaxed than he’s been in five years, which I find immensely appealing. I’d be crazy not to, and since I’ve already got enough of that in my life, I’ve embraced yoga whole-heartedly, flatulence and all.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love a good old-fashioned, crazy, balls to the wall kind of workout, but I am also digging on some yoga. It’s made me a peaceful vanilla gorilla and I get the same benefits of exercise without all that jumping around and beating my body into submission, although I still usually end my yoga sessions in a pool of my own sweat. You can’t win ’em all, right?
Do you practice yoga? If yes, why? What do you get from it? If not, would you ever try it?