Today, for the first time in a long time, I went to yoga. Now, most of you probably know that I have been doing Crossfit since April, and since I picked that up, the time I spend swimming and doing yoga has dwindled and finally disappeared.
But a recurring shoulder injury has forced me to slow down, to reassess what I do and why, and yes, how. I've been thinking about range of motion and flexibility. I'm stronger than I have ever been in my life. And leaner. But I'm less flexible. And now my shoulder doesn't work the way it should.
So I sought solace in yoga. I first started doing yoga in college, actually. It was a PE credit and it was fun, but it didn't change my life. I don't remember much about it except thinking that the thin, hippy-ish teacher was hitting on a friend of mine from women's studies. Then I started going again in Bellingham and got pretty into it. I went to a school there that was in Fairhaven. Then I did yoga with a friend in my studio apartment.
I've done yoga off and on here, searching for the right teacher, the right class. A few years ago, I went fairly often to a yoga class that is close to my house. I started going less when I started running and swimming, but still went once a week or so. Usually less. Then I started going to another studio because I like the guy who owns it. Then I started Crossfit.
When I started Crossfit, all my time and money went to that.
So I went today looking for some help with my injury. And there was less stretching in the class than I needed, but, as usual with yoga (for me at least) I heard what I needed to hear, namely the idea of Disconnecting. I've already held forth on this in the comments over at Counterintuitive's blog, but let me just hold forth here.
The idea of Disconnecting is that we are all over committed. We have schedules and we try to fill them. The idea of disconnecting is trying to lessen that, trying to unplug, leaving holes in our schedules. Free time. Remember that?
The other thing the teacher did was read a poem by Wendell Berry. The line she focused on was something about the grace of the world. What I took from her was the idea that the world is amazing, and we are always trying to fill our lives with activities, some of which distract us from the amazing-ness of the world. Why not try to just be idle for a while? A few minutes? An hour? And just be in the grace of the world.
It reminded me that I constantly struggle with myself, tell myself that I'm not doing enough, not being enough, not lifting enough, not writing enough, not spending enough time with Son, not reading enough, not doing enough for my students, not running enough.
Today I received the perfect reminder that it's okay to do nothing. It's okay to take time off from being amazing and just listen and look and breathe.
I think yoga may be the balance I need right now. Where Crossfit is intense, yoga is reflective. You can't rush through it. You have to be in it.