Monday, March 21, 2011

Alone on a Yoga Mat

Yoga Mat

Yoga Update: 3/18-3/20/11

Lately, I’ve been spending more time with my mat than my Matt.  It’s nice, really, this chance to be alone for a while.  I need to be alone in order to feel like myself.  I spend a lot of time listening to others, and it’s only when I’m alone that I feel like I can listen to myself.  It’s like a self check-up, except that instead of a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff, I use a yoga mat and a pair of shorts.  But in both cases, I take deep breaths and try to hold still during my check-up.

I kicked off my 40 Days of Yoga on Friday night with a favorite yoga session: Morning Flow #1.  I love all those back bends, and this time, I held wheel pose for longer than I ever have before.  It was kind of amazing.  Wheel pose always feels like a slightly out-of-body experience to me.  There’s something about the extreme quality of the back bend and the way your head goes upside down that makes it feel almost…ethereal?  Maybe it’s a little like floating.  My body doesn’t feel quite like my own during wheel pose, and yet there I am, arms shaking, back flexing, trying to breathe and not fall over.  It’s an amazing set of feelings.

On Saturday, I was less ambitious and chose to do a DIY yoga session.  I did a lot of downward dogging and various warrior poses.  It wasn’t very exciting, but sometimes you want the comfort of the familiar.

On Sunday, I did what I call “Pajama Yoga.”  Right before bed, after washing up and putting on my pajamas, I did some easy yoga—more downward dogs and a lot of forward bends.  Since I ran that day, I wasn’t feeling up for something too involved, but I did want to get in a few minutes of yoga.  Afterward, I sat for a while with my eyes closed.  I don’t know how long I sat there; I just sat until I felt ready to go to bed.  This is how I did my meditation on Saturday night too.  On Friday, I set an Egg Timer for 10 minutes, so that was a timed meditation.  I find that timing my meditation can be nice too because it puts a limit on how long you have to sit still and try to quiet your mind.  I think I like alternating between timed and untimed meditation—I like the variety.

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