By now, most of you who know me * know that I have a conflicted relationship with the practice of yoga. As I’ve said in the past, yoga makes me tense. All that breathing that needs to be coordinated with movement and all the while you have to think mindfully and deeply and yet let your worries go; this strikes me as multitasking. There’s just too much going on.

On the other hand, I know it’s good for me, and I often feel quite exhilarated when I’m done, although, yeah, that might be for more obvious reasons rather than transcendental ones.

 So I got my good friend Vanita to drag me to yoga for the past two weekends and it has been fun. Hard, but fun. And lately the stress has been mounting, some self-imposed and some situational — K is graduating from high school this year and there’s been a round of must-dos plus college prep that still has to be done. My second child, A, has his activities as well. Plus, you know, the day job, the glorious day job that keeps us in groceries and health care and retirement funds. And then there’s the big one — Book 2.

Although book 2 doesn’t have to be delivered til September, I am close enough to finishing that I can finish it this month, giving me enough time to rewrite this summer. It’s been a wild ride so far, and I am so close to the end that I can taste it. There’s something especially crazy about finishing a book, a combination of relief, exhaustion, sadness, and wild happiness. But all of this has conspired to turn me into a walking stress bomb lately, so yoga it is.

At the end the yogini asked as to come out of our practice that morning with a mindful intention for the day. As we were rolling up our mats and chatting we discussed our intentions.

Mine was “To just calm the f— down!”

It didn’t really work (sorry about yelling at you, A) but I came out with almost 2,000 words on the new book, so whether that was the day’s asanas or luck I don’t know. I don’t want to argue with success though, so I’ll go back next week with trepidation in my heart and hope for the best.


* Shamelessly stolen from the opening line of my favorite “Alice” essay by Calvin Trillin. Steal from the best, I say.

Categories: Gordath Wood


daver · May 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Ha…! I could see yoga making a person tense. Especially seeing all these people doing contortionist headstands while you (ok, actually, *I*) am struggling not to kick my neighbor in the head.

daver · May 23, 2008 at 10:27 pm

p.s. if anyone is giving up on yoga, let me know; I need a yoga mat.

Patrice Sarath · May 24, 2008 at 1:35 pm

I’m so glad to know it’s not just me. By the way, Target has cheap mats. (Another yoga rant for another time is the way you can spend a lot of money on trendy yoga gear.)

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