As my life falls apart and reforms itself, I am breathing. I know – it sounds so….
Innocuous. Ineffective. Inactive. Stupid. New-Age-y. Hippy Dippy – like who in the hell is that going to help?
Well – I think it will help me.
Remember started this whole blogging gig because I needed to change my life. Now my life is changing, and it’s really scary. And – really boring. Nothing is happening! Plus – everything is going too quickly. All at the same time.
So first, let’s talk about boredom. I must have a pathological fear of boredom. I hate the idea of just sitting, say waiting for my daughter to get out of school, just….sitting Sitting! Waiting…. for minutes at a time! Not getting some task accomplished! Ugh! I can hardly stand it. This paranoia of having nothing to do is what causes me to bring 3 times more work with me than I would ever think to get to. It also causes me to always be late, as I squeeze one more thing in. Yes, I CAN do a full weeks grocery shopping in 15 minutes – as long as things go perfectly well!
So back to breathing: I am taking this yoga teacher training. It is a wonderful system my long time teacher has been following for decades. As part of the training I got videos for home practice.
About 15 minutes into first video, the earth flow, still in a seated position, I wondered just how long this video was. Geez! I was still on the floor!
Twenty five minutes into it, I was thoroughly bored. I had Things To Do! Now I’d been seated, or on my back in a fetal position for almost a half hours. I rolled my eyes, and tried to breathe. The roommate in my mind, you know the one you can’t get rid of, and who never shuts up – the inner critic Yes! That one said, “How can you breathe, when you are so BORED!!!” “I am trying to be quite, and do my yoga!” I said to my inner critic. “This isn’t how MY teacher does it!” said the room-mate. “This is the same flow she teaches, and the same training she took,” I said back. “But it’s too sssslloooowww!” she said and stomped her foot. “OMG. I am going to die!” Then an all out fight exploded between myself my talkative whiny ass roomate.
Finally, we came to terms. I was the winner, not the room-mate in my mind. We looked over at the clock – twenty seven minutes down……33 minutes left to go! OMG!
I breathed and followed the video. What would it be like, I wondered, if I just DID this? What if I just let this be what I do, for an hour, or however long this video is. What if this is exactly what I need to do: breathe and stretch. I made a commitment to myself – I was going to do the whole video, they whole time. Yes, I might die – but I was damn sure I’d die doing this F ’ing slow yoga video!
I am not sure how I made it through. It was more like 60 of molasses than 60 minutes of yoga.
It was just what I needed. When I got to the end, relaxing in yoga nidra….I didn’t want to stop.
Don’t think this was the end of the battle, however.
Then next time I put on the next video, we were doing a ‘water’ flow. Instead of spending an hour on my back, I spent an hour on my belly. I wanting to walk away, again. I counseled myself to stay. It was so SLOW! It was so boring! Yes, but I would just breathed my way through it. I felt crazy. I felt like crying. Yes, but I reminded myself, of a story of a woman who started meditating. She cried through her first 90 days of meditating.
That is exactly what I felt like. Okay, I might have cried a little, which is when my inner room-mate made fun of me, stuck out her tongue, then left to do something ‘interesting.’ Which obviously wasn’t me!
The third yoga flow – Air. We did endless rounds of a sun salute. 60 minutes of the same 10 moves. SIXTY MINUTES!!! I thought I might die. Instead, I kept doing them, until my talkative room-mate had been pounded senseless with the monotony, lay on the couch of my mind gasping, then blessedly silent. Even my body gave up fighting just being there.
I got out the fourth and final video of the series – Fire. Yes! Action Adventure! This was going to be great! Always save the best for last! We had a real yoga practice here.
It was ssslloooowww. Yes, boring — whatever, but wasn’t it interesting how my body felt? I felt composed of two parts; an outer part shell that moved and felt like armor, over the inner part, which felt like…..soul. It was like wearing a suit of a giant armadillo, look how it moves, so hinged and stiff, all around the soft inner part that it me. A ‘me’ that is almost like ….light. It is so…weird.
I felt like I was meditating. I felt like I was standing up, doing Tai Chi. I felt like I was some hermit monk, of ages past, doing rituals alone, in a deep honorable meditative space.
My inner critic apparently vacated. Curiosity had replaced her. Curiosity said “I know this is slow. Slowing down is what I am here for. I know this is boring….until it is not boring. Until it is fascinating.”
Slow is hard to do however. For one moment, I am doing it. I need that; the rediscovery of being fascinated by what is, not worried about what was or will be.
I know this is not going to make my world go back to rightness.
But maybe it is.
Maybe – it IS making it go back to rightness.
So next, I just repeat the series again.
by Tama Cathers, DVM, MS, BA Biology and Sociology, 2nd Degree in ToShinDo, Elemental Self Defense Instructor, Meditation Instructor, Threshold Choir Director, TriYoga Teacher Training Student, Sex Coach Trainee, Mixed Media Artist – Ceramics, Fused Glass, & Wire Wrapping, 2000 miler Appalachian Trail hiker, Gardener, and Herbalist.