Saturday, July 9, 2011

To Yoga or Not to Yoga

Yoga or Not?
Will I Still Have Stories?

Sink sprayers are tricky beasts. The sprayer in this house has some quirks, like not turning off and routing the water so it flows through the faucet. Woe to the person who forgets that proclivity and turns on the water. Instant shower—in the face, on the clothing, all over the kitchen counters, and on the floor. My saturated t-shirt is testament to my forgetfulness earlier today. It’s a warm summer morning, so wearing a damp shirt for an hour or so is not a problem. Had it been a winter New England day, I would have changed an hour ago lest my chattering teeth shake my head into a migraine.
I dried my glasses, my face, my arms, the counters, the sink, and the floor. I then reflected on last week’s klutziness—a notebook washed with the dark load, a climb through the bathroom window because I locked myself out, walking like Quasimodo because my hip is sore—and I know I’m not as mindful in my physical (or mental) actions as I would prefer. I also reflected on some past klutz actions, like walking into a glass wall at Crabtree and Evelyn’s Quincy Market store. I smacked my head so hard my friend almost dialed 911. I forget to put in my front tooth and start conversations with people, and then realize they must think I’m a yokel.
Climbing ladders and moving heavy items are only a few things I never do when alone. I know it’s time to stop what I’m doing when I imagine headlines: Woman Drops TV and Breaks Leg (while troubleshooting over the phone with Comcast Cable); Woman Falls behind Bookcase while Dusting; Bookcase Falls on Woman; Woman Electrocutes Self while Cleaning Carpet with Frayed Cord; Woman Gets into Fight at Laundry after Putting Clothes in Wrong Dryer… My “headlines” have saved me from certain broken bones and worse.
I have an almost-endless supply of stories about casualties of not paying attention. But as I reflect, I worry. I haven’t done yoga in weeks, nor have I exercised. I’m unsettled physically. I know emotional and psychological unease will soon follow if I don’t start moving and stretching and, conversely, settling down. I also worry that if I become too centered, I might have fewer klutz stories to tell. Of course, I have other stories, an endless supply, so a journey toward more mindfulness via yoga might center me enough to sit my butt down at the keyboard and write those stories.
Yoga practice also can generate stories, though. I recall one time when I put my legs one way, my arms another way, and faced forward. My yoga teacher gave me a rather puzzled look. I looked to my left and looked to my right. I don’t know what I did, but it differed from what everyone else in the class was doing. My teacher shook her head, I laughed, everyone else in the studio laughed. I put myself in simple seated position and waited for the next pose. There’s a story in that.
To yoga or not to yoga? I have answered my question. Yes… even if my middle name of Grace is not always quite appropriate, I will sit, I will focus, I will become mindful. Maybe next week I’ll use keys to enter houses, write on notebooks rather than wash them, and insert my tooth when I feel an intellectual moment coming my way. And I’ll have the necessary focus to sit and write, and share my stories, mindful or not.

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