Since November, through sickness and health, solitude and celebration my yoga practice has been unwavering. But this week may be the one to break my resolve.
See yoga connects me. My body, my feelings, my view of the word all become one. Yoga in fact mean “union.”
My breath and movement can explore a tightness that is physical and spiritual. It can consider and loosen without force. The opening is more than a stretch. It’s an opening to new perspectives, new ideas and new opportunities.
There’s yoga for every state of being. When ill, it can be soothing stretches and coordinated breath. Meditation in movement. On other days, it can activate my body. Bathe my cells with renewed vitality.
So, why am I finding many little ways to try and undermine my practice?
Because yoga isn’t selective. It connects to our joy; it connects us to our sorrow.
Right now, I don’t want to be connected. I want the numbness of distracted living. Winter is rough on someone dear to me. I wear myself out caring and caregiving. And there is a heartfelt sorrow as I see his struggles and hope for continued healing.
So I’m working around the edges of lapsing. Moving my practice to the last moments of the day just before sleep takes over. Reducing the chance I will connect deeply.
The opportunity to feel even this deeply is before me.
Clutter hides our abundance.
Too much makes us feel like we do not have enough.
All these things not quite right, or worse,
hiding the treasures we already possess.
Inspired by the desire to jump off the consumer bandwagon and today’s daily post.
The old men peddle shame.
How can you blame them?
Their mamas lied to them.
Their wives lied to them.
The elders let their boyhood selves stand on soapboxes while their sisters clapped.
“Sit with the men. The girls will handle dinner.” The mamas said.
The papas grinned. “You are a chip off the old block.”
It’s anatomy and all that!
It’s the natural order!
Who could blame the old men now?
Inspired by gender bias in politics and the daily post, bewildered
The days of feminine subtlety have passed.
The new strategy must be to let your power shine.
Let your strong opinions grow in the sunshine of unsheltered, unfiltered light.
Yes, it’s more risky than you know.
People will define you as brash. Your voice will be called shrill.
They will define your strong options anger.
They will think you are on your period, menopausal or a lonely unloved she-devil.
You may hear that you are a FEMNAZI.
The old strategy has lost its usefulness. Cajoling and influencing is the strategy of the lesser.
But you are equal.
Not a lesser planet circling a male sun.
Shine as the star that you are.
The universe will be twice as bright.
Propaganda is pervasive and we are more easily influenced than we would like to admit. Information is flowing so quickly we are drawn to shortcuts to make sense of the world around us. Simplification of complex ideas to a single emotional meme works like a virus. Right, left or center, no one is immune.
Some signs that infectious content has hijacked your brain:
- You believe you completely understand the issue with little research.
- You are emotionally attached to purity of your perspective. Other perspectives are seen as a threat.
- You find you are unable to sustain a meaningful exploration of an idea without resorting to prepackaged words and slogans.
- You reject nuanced discussion.
What we can do:
- Really talk to people we disagree with.
- Fact check.
- Use of own voice and our words to describe our perspective. Avoid the slogans that come easily.
- When things get nasty, exit with strength and dignity.
- Learn to recognize propaganda
- Find out more about propaganda theory.
Here’s a few articles about propaganda that I enjoyed.
On our drive to be influenced.
On our need to simplify in an age of information overload.
photo credit: “Nixon is the One” from examples of propaganda by Caitlyn Jordan. An artful collection of propaganda posters.
Inspired by the daily post. <a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/theory/”>Theory</a>
Michelle Obama’s elegant outfit harkens back to Kate Hepburn.
Some say there is no such thing as white privilege.
But google images tell me otherwise.
Screenshot of top images for a google search for “elegant women.”
Inspired by Daily Word
photo credit, Michelle Obama: TYLER GOLDEN/NBC/NBCU PHOTO BANK/GETTY IMAGES
In my second week, yoga moved beyond the constraints of my brief morning practices. I find myself noticing the breath flowing in and out with the rhythm of ocean waves. Deep breaths that are visible by the movement of my chest and belly. Belly breathing! Once I struggled to relearn and now it comes naturally.
Throughout the day, my awareness moves to tight muscles while sitting in meetings and I consciously soften.
I spontaneously do mountain pose and side stretch when I am cooking or in the bathroom.
Yet I struggle in my practice. Memories of deep poses push me past my body’s edges. Every couple of days aches and pains remind me that my body is in a different state. My heels remain inches off the floor in downward facing dog. I cannot touch the floor in triangle pose.
Oh how intolerable this feels sometimes.
I recognize now that my past yoga practice has a touch of serene boastfulness. I would rise and rotate and settle in deeply to the poses. My minds eye would see grace, symmetry and balance in settings where the sun rose pink and golden over deep blue seas.
In nostalgic moments I press pass my stiff ligaments and popping joints. Twinges pull me back to my edge.
My yoga sessions are different this time around. I know the poses and the adaptations to make my practice safe.
I must practice acceptance and gentleness.
I must float not force.
We shall see what week three brings.