Thursday, September 10, 2009

Yoga Month: Ninja Warrior edition.

I’m stunned: I’ve managed to practice yoga every day so far! I haven’t always been thrilled about it (oh, how my bed calls to me….), but I’m pleased to report that I have carved out small nuggets of yoga time from my ridiculously fractured schedule. And I think it has made a difference. I’m not calmer or anything, but I feel better knowing that I have a few minutes—maybe 10, maybe 40—of yoga to look forward to. For the most part, I’ve only been able to find time before bed. It’s funny to find myself yawning as I move through a slow Sun Salutation or try to balance in Tree Pose.

Some nights are better than others. Over the weekend, I tried a short restorative sequence that included a supported Shoulderstand with a chair. I don’t know about you, but trying to wedge a blanket under my shoulders while perching my butt on the edge of a folding chair and trying to angle my legs over its back was not restorative. Regular Shoulderstand is better.

Does this look relaxing to you? (eHow)

Another evening, I followed a TV sequence led by Sara Ivanhoe. The model (Sara? No clue) was silhouetted against the sunset, which was nice, except I couldn’t tell what she was doing. It might as well have been an audio practice! That was when I also learned that Half-Moon Pose is tougher than it looks. I ended up in a pile on the floor, wondering what had happened.

Tougher than it looks. (Yoga Journal)

Last night, I made another discovery. I was wiped out, but wanted to practice and dedicate it to a coworker who has just passed away. I never met him, but I was sad and the solemn energy around the office affected me. I tried what might be called mattress yoga—oh, that sounds dirty! Seriously, I sat in bed and went through Bound Angle Pose, Seated Forward Bend (love that nose-to-knee action!), a half-dozen rounds of Cat-Cow, Downward Dog, Child’s Pose, and Legs-Up-the-Wall. It would have been relaxing, had I thought through the logistics of mindfully dedicating my yoga practice while Ninja Warrior raged in the background.

It was totally not the husband’s fault. I was the one who decided to get my yoga on in bed, instead of the basement, which was just so far away. And when I could focus on my breath instead of the manic shrieks from the TV, I felt very centered. But I found myself peeking up from Child’s Pose to see what crackpot competitor had just faceplanted into the Lagoon of Death or fallen off the Log of Doom or whatever the hell else they do on Ninja Warrior. This then precipitated a discussion with Red about whether Ninja Warrior is actually popular in Japan, or if they just throw it together solely for export to the U.S. because we will watch anything. It was not conducive to prayers for the dead.

So, I learned something. Maybe there are people who can tune out any and all external distractions when they have to, and maybe one day I’ll be one of them. For now, though, my internal distractions are plenty, and when I practice, I need space and quiet. Namaste.


  1. CONGRATS!!! yay for getting LOTS Of yoga in! I think it's hilarious that some silly "artistic" stuff on the yoga dvd made it difficult to actually follow said dvd.

    also- half moon has been the bane of my practice for 4 years... a block helps me.

    also thank you for introducing Andrew to Ninja Warrior.... now he's wanting to watch more episodes.... LOL

  2. hee, I love Ninja Warrior. I've wasted more than one Saturday being a couch potato and watching that.