Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Fulfillment Project Does Downward Facing Dog

My task: remain in the present moment.

What I hope to accomplish: a smidgen of fulfillment.

I kicked Monday off with a weak spot. Yoga! I love yoga. It keeps me strong and I'm pretty sure it will protect me from injuries BUT that's just the exercise piece. There's a whole other side to yoga that makes me squirm.

The mental piece.

While my face was serene and I appeared to be concentrating on my dancer pose, here is a little transcript of what was happening in my brain during Monday's yoga class.

Stabilize my hips. Hips, flips, double dips. Hmm, I haven't heard the phrase double dip recession lately. Is there such thing as a triple dip? That sounds a lot like ice cream. I love ice cream. Maybe I should pick up some ice cream for dessert tonight. No, we still have way too much Halloween candy in the house. Is it really only 9:16?

By 9: 36 I was fully in the present moment. I was breathing, letting my thoughts go, fully focused on what I was doing, but then came the true test. Shavasana. Corpse Pose. My own private hell.

Even so, I managed to remain focused until the yoga instructor announced, "People, your parasympathetic nervous system is releasing. At some point, if you keep practicing yoga, you all could be standing in the middle of a firestorm and not react."

That was too much! A firestorm!?! Really? This is the  imagery that is supposed to help us let it all go? Do we really not want to react to a firestorm? All I could picture was a wall of fire engulfing my gym. All the other yoginis, the ones whose parasympathetic nervous systems were more fully released were being burned to a crisp. I, on the other hand, was running down the sidewalk with a big ball of fire chasing me.

I sat up with a start and the yoga teacher gave me the evil eye. "It's important to keep your eyes closed," she reminded the class while looking at me.

Eyes closed? I need them open, to see the firestorm!!

Grand total of in-the-present-momentness for yoga: About 13 minutes.

38 comments:

Beylit said...

Catastrophic events might not be the best choice of analogies during a meditative exercise. I would have opened my eyes as well.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That would ruin the moment for me! And I liked your train of thought that led to the ice cream.

Jenny S. Morris said...

LOL. I've always wanted to try yoga. I would be like you. It's really hard to let my mind think of nothing.

Johanna Garth said...

Beylit, I know! Not sure what she was thinking!

Alex, you'd be surprised how often my train of thought ends up at ice cream ;)

Jenny, nothing is a big ask!!

naida said...

lol...um, I think the normal human response to a firestorm is panic, yoga or not :P

I do enjoy yoga, but I like doing it at home with a cd I bought. I once went to yoga class at the gym, with my sister, and I almost had to leave the room because I couldn't stay serious, for some reason I got such a case of the giggles.

Living in the present moment is a great motto to follow. I learned to do that while reading Eckart Tolle's 'A New Earth'.

Guardian Writer said...

This is so me during meditation. I am Dudley the Dog from...SQUIRREL!

Pame Brennan said...

I know who I want near me in a crisis! Sorry, yoga teacher...it isn't you.

mshatch said...

I love doing yoga except for the quiet mind part. I'm not so good at that.

jenny milchman said...

You rock. And 13 minutes is excellent!!

Shelly I said...

Johanna, 13 minutes is great!

Have you tried chanting with music in your yoga practice? Chanting gives your brain something repetitive and calming to do that helps anchor you in the present. (Chanting is part of several yoga traditions, including Kundalini yoga. I was certified as a Kundalini yoga instructor several years ago.)

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