December 16, 2014

Yoga is a gift from the East to help us do more Things!



Quote of Boulder’s Day: (walking out of yoga class alongside a sweet young lady, who’s singing a mantra while turning a corner, down stairs, while checking her phone): “Are you singing a mantra while walking down stairs while checking your phone!? Impressive.”


Not really. It’s depressive.


After every yoga class, half of everyone is talking, connecting, getting their boots and coats on. It’s community! I love it. But half of everyone else is doubled over, already on the phone, zoned out, catching up. I get it, we’re busy.


But yoga is here to remind us to breathe, to re-lax and re-unite into Nature, and with the present moment–it’s not fucking crossfit or aerobics. It’s not meant to be another tetris piece in our daily busy-ness.

It’s meant to be moving meditation. It’s meant to “still the waves of the mind,” or at least tame the energy of the mind and body, leaving us relaxed in a 5 minute heap. But now yoga classes are an hour long max, generally. There’s Enya Dubstep and heat (the least eco-responsible thing yoga could do, unless, say, all our mats were made out of toxic PVC for the last 30 years). There’s no meditation. There’s plenty of cult of personality (sorry) spiritual-lite speeches by yoga teachers who haven’t even done a dathun or non-secular month of meditation.

Solution? Easy. Go to yoga. Try carpooling or bussing or biking. You’ll find the commute itself relaxing, instead of causing further stress. And it’s eco-responsible, which yoga as a way of life should be.

Or do your practice at home. Unroll that mat and bow in and stretch out.

But community is great, too. Meditate before, if we’re early. Simply sit, reconnect with one’s natural breath, in and out, and bring one’s attention back to the breath if (when) our mind wanders into self-concerned thought or daydreams. Make sure to find a yoga teacher who cares about breath and alignment (and who mindfully adjusts if students—and not just attractive ones—are off) and has a sense of humor. After, take time for savanasa. Don’t pop up and leave. And when we’re done, take a moment to dedicate the merit of one’s practice (in my case, very little) to all sentient beings. When we leave, wait a full—gasp—two minutes before checking our phones. In that time, talk with a human being. Maybe they’re having a rough time. Maybe they’re a sweet person.

I remember when I used to practice at Richard Freeman’s Yoga Workshop. I would leave and get an organic buffet at the local Co-op. Afterward, no matter how stressed and un-together I’d been, I felt renewed. I felt ready to be of service, with a smile.

Relephant reads:

Best article on elephant, ever.

Lululemon: Cell phones in Yoga Class?

Multitasking makes you…what was I talking about?

 new yorker cover cell phones multi tasking halloween
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