austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

'Cause you're getting to be a little too much like Bugs Bunny

I've been taking yoga classes with a not particularly remarkable for me fidelity for about two years now. I suppose it isn't hard to get me to do something reliably, if you present it first as something I want to do and then present some way that I can do it to a schedule, and then trust my obsessive-compulsive nature to handle the rest. Since starting I've only missed a couple classes, two for being out of the state at the time and one for being far too sick to get up from bed (when I spent the time instead laying under the cover with the middle cat sprawled out on her back between my legs). But I had without much conscious decision resisted spreading out into other yoga-type activities offered by that center, or for that matter even going to more than one class per week.

But they put up a three-week course on meditation, and my mother signed up for it, and I thought I might give it a try too. Some might question whether I really need to meditate since I spend most of my time in a fairly relaxed state except for when cars are disassembling themselves underneath me. Maybe, but it's also good for one's ability to focus and certainly I could use that. And there's the chance I could learn something I'd have wanted to know, too.

The classes turned out to be even lower-intensity than I had figured on, with the main focus being to sit still and focus on breathing the proper yoga-style way, with equally long inhalations and exhalations, while trying to pay attention to the breath. This too turns out to appeal to my mind, mostly because I can keep counting the length of my breaths until I realize I've lost track whether I should breathe in or out next, which is a state I'll call meditative for want of a more precise definition.

One minor nuisance for this is that they recommend sitting cross-legged, which doesn't really work for me because it puts my legs to sleep. Sitting on the knees is pretty good except those, too, get a bit cranky when carrying my weight for too long. I'm working on that. The teacher also recommends doing some meditation every day, ideally about the same time each day. So it's now increasingly hard at the office not to take a few minutes mid-afternoon, sitting on my knees in the other chair that doesn't really have a useful purpose, with my eyes closed and my hands on my upper legs, breathing very steadily. It's remarkably refreshing, although I think the fear of someone coming up the stairs and peeking in at me keeps me from attaining real calm.

Trivia: Vaudeville dancers Verne and Irene Castle would routinely buy any performing animals they saw being abused. When this proved financially unsustainable they boycotted any bill with an animal act. Actor Sarah Bernhardt similarly refused to appear on bills with animal acts. Source: No Applause - Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, Trav S D (D Travis Stewart)

Currently Reading: Fantasy and Science Fiction, April/May 2009, Editor Gordon van Gelder.

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