I had an extremely satisfying yoga session this morning. I woke up at about 2:30 which was okay since I went to bed around 8:30 last night. Saturday night on a long holiday weekend and I was asleep by 9:00. Such is the life of a retired lady.
The air conditioning is on in the house but the upstairs stays pretty warm. I just close all of the upstairs doors and the downstairs is comfy cool. The yoga room was probably a good 75 degrees or more and by the time I got to the Sun Salutation I had a pretty good sweat going. I found my hair clip and got my bangs out of my way (Note to self: it is time for a haircut.)
I was really into my plank and downward dog and held them for longer than usual. I count to twenty and then just take long breaths as long as I can hold it. I concentrate on a bit of thread on the carpet to keep my attention fixed. I also sew in this room and that is why there is a loose thread to keep my attention focused.
I don’t do a lot of one foot balancing poses because I have this horrific bunion on my left foot, and the right foot that had bunion surgery has a neuroma that I have had removed twice and I think it is growing again. I have had the thought of shooting my foot with a shotgun and getting over this bad foot thing but with karma as it is, I think I am better off just getting past the discomfort of my stupid right foot.
During my shoulder stand I realized that it is hard to breathe correctly. I got into my plough and since I haven’t been practicing very much lately, due to a lazy streak the size of Texas, I reached back to see if I could still grab my toes. Sure enough I could but I really couldn’t breathe in that position. I slowly let my legs drop to the floor and grabbed a couple of liter sized gulps of oxygen.
Then I was off to legs up the wall but in my case it is legs up the closet door since I don’t have a spare wall in the yoga room. I reiterated my positive thoughts and my mind drifted off.
I recently met an artist who draws cows. I gave her a copy of my children’s book The Cow Who ate a Hippopotamus. She likes the story and is going to draw one drawing to show as an example of what we could do with the story. I now have to find an agent who is interested in publishing my book.
Back to yoga and I was feeling pretty mellow. I grabbed my sit-upon and my beads and sat down to Zazen. I read this book about meditation recently and decided I liked the idea of prayer beads. I sit and contemplate about 40 breaths and then I pick up the beads. I say words like, serenity, peace, peace on Earth, power, self-confidence, positive, and contentment. I then think of my friends and family and wish them health and serenity. I repeat my words over and over again and then drop the beads and go back to counting my breath.
(Oh and by the way, my prayer beads are those cheap “show us your tits” kind of beads.) If I get into this perhaps I will buy myself a real strand of prayer beads. They say there is one kind made out of cedar and you can smell the cedar as you meditate. (I just typed medicate and had to correct the word.) Freudian slip typo?
I was up and into my Qi Gong. If you don’t know Qi Gong is all about breathing. You do certain movements with the breathing but it is mainly about the breath. I do a Lotus which is raising your arms to the heavens while inhaling and then exhaling as you fold the lotus into the night.
The next movement I call lifting globes into the great unknown. This is my favorite position and the one I truly use all of my breath as it should be used. You lift your globes in front of you and open them to the sky while inhaling, then you bring the globes back to yourself and to the horizon. It is quite the lovely dance and I really should make a video of it to share. I get right into the zone of the thing.
My next movement on the other hand is not my favorite. I call it Arc of the Diver because in the second half of the thing you have to make a leap into the floor, chest first. Actually, you are just bending at the waist. I don’t get the breathing of this exercise and only do a few of these.
The next exercise is another of my favorites. I call it pendulum and you hold your hands above your head as you exhale and lean to the right. Then begin moving back to over your head and breath in. Back and forth and back and forth and this really gives not only your lungs a workout but also your waist. I find I do this exercise during the day when my back is feeling tight.
Next exercise I call the dragon. You center yourself and cradle a globe. Breathe in and then you exhale and push the globe to the right and away from and across your body. Breathing back in you pull the globe back to your center and reverse this and go to the left side. I love this movement but it does not love me. I tend to keep leaning too far into myself and need to keep reminding myself to straighten up. At this point I lose count of where I am in this exercise and just do one more. You are supposed to do nine of each exercise but I invariable lose track of what number I am on.
The last exercise I call the Archer. You inhale and lift your arms and sweep them very slowly across the sky. Then you exhale while pulling back your bow arm and loosen your arrow. I cannot say how lovely this movement makes me feel. I feel like Katniss Everdean in Hunger Games. I lose myself terribly in this exercise also but I am at peace and don’t really care if I have done it forty-six times or not.
My body feels pretty good this morning. My lungs feel pretty clear and I have just finished my breakfast of a grapefruit, (I covered my keyboard this time) smoked turkey, cheddar cheese, Mrs. Fisher’s potato chips and some mustard.
Life is good!