A few years back the Recreation Department in my town offered a 6 week class in yoga. This sounded like a wonderful way to calm my brain while learning some great stretching exercises that my older version of my body could handle. As a recap, I am not the most physical person you know, but I have quite a long list of past accomplishments that might surprise you…I know they amaze the sedentary person I have become. In my twenty’s I went through Navy Boot Camp (even graduating as Honor Recruit – which included passing the physical training top of my company). I sort of took my thirty’s off as a follow up breather to 11 years active duty. A reboot, if you will. In my forty’s I mistakenly got a wild hair and trained and completed several half marathons & one full marathon. I would love to be able to brag about my finishing times, but thats not going to happen. Suffice it to say that I finished each of these races within the time allowed and earned the medals and t-shirts. The full marathon had an official running time of 6 hours and I was one of the last 3 runners with 6 minutes to spare!!! The ambulance following the last person was not as encouraging as the helpful medics probably thought they were.
So, now, in the dark side of my fifties, came this total misconception that somehow yoga was about calm and stretching. Knowing that I might be about as coordinated as I was in the days of Jazzercise, I took my place in the back row and tried not to make eye contact with anyone. I just have one thing to say about yoga. Owwwwwwwwww. These people who are devotees to the practice earn my undying appreciation. Yoga is unbelievably difficult and I never got over the pain long enough to clear my brain. I also only made it back to 1 last class after taking 3 weeks off to heal all the muscles in my core, some that I didn’t even know I had.
Long story short – I have decided to take up meditation. I have found my place in an exercise that is not merely as simple as sitting for 20 minutes with your eyes closed, but exercising the muscle that seems to be the busiest one I have. My brain. In all honestly, this is a practice that takes time to perfect. I find my thought drifting to daily tweets from our new President, but try to relax and move to a deeper level of thoughts, or non-thought if you will.
I think this is finally something that I may be able to incorporate into my life forever. At least I won’t have to have all the cartilage dust in my knees scoped out.