Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pulling the Trigger on Yoga

I hate guns.  Just ask the males I've tried to raise peacefully--though I see now that I wasn't myself completely peaceful in my efforts, or my energy.  But I haven't found a substitute for the expression that titles this post.  I use it to refer to the act of finally bringing into reality some stored-up dream or intention.  Though maybe my trouble with guns militates a friendlier phrasing, something with less inherent ambivalence.

In the past, I have often put off or avoided altogether this kind of action.  Sometimes I have allowed my dreams to sneak up on me, without ever consciously pursuing them, as in conceiving both of the two children I gave birth to.  Other times, I have existed for long periods in a "locked and loaded" state, to extend the distasteful metaphor.  For example, I complete a children's book, but don't pursue getting it published.  I have preliminary conversations with a friend about signing up for a dance class together, but I don't make it happen.  I plan to paint my son's treehouse, but don't buy the paint.  

And today, I am watching--yet again--YouTube videos on yoga for stress and anxiety.  But--hello!--watching, and dreaming, and planning are not doing.  And to be honest, none of these internet resources promises results from viewing.  So what am I waiting for?  

Godot, perhaps?  Becket's elusive, and probably nonexistent character in Waiting for Godot?  Or some other condition that is unlikely to ever be met?  A less stressful time?  But doesn't that defeat the purpose?

I have decided to pull this trigger today.  The reason I am gravitating to these sites and being soothed by their promises is that my stress level is high and rising at present.  This may have something to do with challenging my well-worn reliance on procrastination to manage anxiety, and just the increased discomfort that comes with changing almost anything, except wet clothes.  It almost certainly stems from the number of relationships I maintain and work commitments I attempt to keep.  And with living in the 21st century in the post-Industrial, post-9/11, economically chaotic and culturally troubled U.S.  But I think it also has to do with needing to take some of what I'm learning through reading about stress, and anxiety, and depression, and put it into practice.  Aerobic exercise, as in 5K and triathlon training, are helpful to a certain extent, as is meditation.  But I am beginning to identify a need to retrain my body to deal with the stress that doesn't seem likely to dissipate anytime soon, in ways that don't involve the over-recruitment of adrenaline.

And identifying this need, without addressing it, induces an energy not unlike the extended terror I used to experience after climbing the steps to the high dive and not being able to make myself leave the platform.

So having armed myself with a growing YouTube yoga playlist and the intention to get to practicing someday, I have concluded that someday is here.  I've already got the mat, and a rusty repertoire from long-past classes.  And the echo of my teacher from another town, in another life, ending sessions with "Namaste" which she would then translate as "I salute the best in each of you."  The best in me needs to get to it.

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