The holiday weekend was filled with pure, unadulterated laziness. With Himself out of town, I thought that I might find the three days off rather oppressive, but I mostly found that even with three days basically to myself, there still wasn’t enough time to do half of what I wanted to. Clearly the problem is not external.
I started out the weekend with an early morning yoga class, which I followed up on Sunday with a two hour yoga inversions workshop. Basically I learned that I am not very good at being upside down. I also learned that three hours of yoga in two days when your practice has not been particularly dedicated over the last year will turn your thighs into rock. It will take an actual volcanic explosion to make them molten enough to want to move again. But I’m sure it was good for me; you’ve just gotta’ see my one-legged crow. Maybe some day I’ll take the leap of faith and get that second leg off of the ground.
Yogic inversions are suppposed to be good for the soul because they make you face your fears (and the strength limitations of your biceps). I must concur. It is scary to stand on your head with only a thin yoga mat between you and the floor. And the floor hurts. There are a couple of ways to work through this. One, you acknnowledge the fear and then let it go. Headstand. Two, you learn how to position your body in a sensible way so that you master the physics. This creates a body awareness. The hip bone is connected to the leg bone. Arms are easier to rest on if they’re positioned vertically enough that they turn into gravity supported shelves. Crow. Or, three, my method; find a wall, put your head on the mat, hop around a bit a la Gollum and pray.
You can be the judge of which method is the most spiritual. I can tell you from experience that the last will eventually yield results, though it helps if you mix the first two in as well. I find that yoga provides a lot of metaphors for dealing with life in general. Learning to acknowledge and bypass fear is only one of them.
The most valuable thing that I have learned in yoga is that success is rarely the correct object by which to measure achievement. It’s actually a rather shallow measurement, because it misses all the detail of the journey. And if I’m worried about success, even when my yoga neighbor does a perfect unassisted middle of the room headstand (again), I’m never going to get that second foot off the ground. And isn’t it the fact that I keep trying to fly despite failure really the important truth?
In an unrelated adventure, I also met Cheeks the Quaker parrot this weekend. (He does not actually wear a Quaker broadcloth suit. I was disappointed.) Cheeks is approximately one pound, with semi-clipped wings, which he still waves around a lot. And Cheeks crossed the entire living room to climb up my pants leg, using beak and claw, to sit on my knee and try to pick up the three pound ball of yarn I was knitting with. He must have tried at least a dozen times, with each attempt winning him a few more inches before he’d have to put it back down and rest. But he kept trying, which kind of makes that heart-filled creature my yoga hero.
At least untill he shows up in my yoga class and does a perfect unassisted middle of the room headstand. Then the bastard is on his own