I’m writing this post for the second time. The first time, my computer just spontaneously shut down on me, probably because it couldn’t tolerate the drivel I was laying down. That’s the tough thing about this year, really. It’s not the doing so much as it is the writing of our experiences in a manner that keeps people reading. That keeps YOU reading. I mean, how many meaningful experiences can you have in a week?
But then, I went to Yoga where we were put through our paces by Plank-man. I alluded to this fellow quite some time ago. He’s like a Spartan sergeant-major. Not only does he stick you in a plank (i.e. an extended push-up) without any suggestion of how long he’s going to leave your there, but he does it without music. At least with music you could try to focus on something other than the pained grunts emanating from the room, mine the loudest of them all. If the guy was a cult leader and wanted to take us all out in a ritual suicide, he has the poison with which to do it. At one point, I had this vision of the next class coming in only to find us all dead on our mats, bathed in puddles of sweat.
But it wasn’t the plank-filled 30 minutes of the 1 hour class that really presented a message to me today. It was the remainder in which we were working on the other poses, most of which required some degree of balance. I was actually getting much better with these over time and with practice. But my significant travel and other work pressures over the last few weeks have really limited my opportunity to take in classes. As a result, I was like a whirling dervish today, spinning all over the place. Talk about Yoga-challenged.
I started to think then about this. Balance. It is true that the physical practice of Yoga strengthens your core (especially with Plank-man’s help), and your balance improves from there. But it is also control over the mind – a “centeredness “– that Yoga provides that leads to this. Taken a step further, one’s struggle to maintain balance in these poses is perhaps an indicator of imbalance, not only of mind, but of life. And this is exactly how I’ve felt over the past weeks. My mind cluttered and way too focused on work, and not nearly enough on living and experiencing life. My flopping around like a madman was probably as much due to this as lacking properly developed abs.
I use this experience today as a subtle nudge to get myself back on an even keel. From an environmental perspective, it drives home the importance of becoming centered and connected in order to be able to really tune in to what’s happening around us. Maybe that’s why the environment gets such short shrift. Most of us living crazy, self-focused existences; the fact that we are but a part of a greater whole simply lost on us.
So, as I look back upon my day searching for a nugget or two, this is what I’ve mined. Take it, fellow humans, for what it’s worth!