As it gets colder and the days get shorter, I find that I often must double down on my resolve and stay focused on my practice. Sometimes a cold day in Oakland makes snuggling in bed and binge watching Netflix a very desirable way to spend a morning or afternoon. It’s important to cultivate that sense of coziness and relaxation during the times when we are craving heat or companionship – or just rest.
Recently I have been reflecting on the many catch phrases of the fitness world.
“I killed it at the gym”, “I brought the pain”, “I hurt it.”; And though I know that some of that verbiage is due to the transcendent sensation one garners while pushing past a physical barrier to elevate to a new high and precipice of being, I worry about the language and attitude we use for our bodies and awesome vehicles on this planet.
There are many reasons I teach and many reasons I practice. Both are as life enhancing as the other. As a practitioner I get to feel, move, breathe and experience my body as craft, an art form or patient project I am forever entwined with- spirit following form, following spirit. I am reduced to nothing but the present moment to which I can take the passenger seat on and witness while at the same time driving the vehicle. It’s a blessing to be able to find a passion and cultivate it to the best of my ability and willingness.
When you do any physical practice- whether it’s Yoga, running or even sitting at a computer all day- You are molding your body like clay, positioning the bones into this or that alignment for better or worse. Where you position your bones is just as important as the exercise. Let’s take a look shall we?
The multi billion dollar industry that is the fitness world has turned out so much in such a short time. Remember when step aerobics was new? How about when Yoga was still obscure? There are Burlesque classes and Cross Fit, Power Yoga and Feldenkrais, Pilates and Alexander Technique, Belly dance and Aerial classes popping up in Urban areas and small towns alike. It would appear that we are more interested in moving creatively, with joy or at least presence. This is not how I recall my first introduction to it. When I was 15 or so I looked up at my apartment ceiling, where some Almighty surely resided, and made this simple plea as I laced up my sneakers for an unenthusiastic run- “Please let me one day enjoy working out”.