Centering

open

“According to yoga scriptures, the heart scenter can be opened indirectly by cultivating compassion and kindness, calmness and dispassion, or directly through the focused practice of pranayama, or both.” 

-Beryl Bender Birch, opening quote, Meditations From the Mat:  Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, Rolf Gates

Day 277 – Today I hooked up with a class with Rolf on Yogavibe.  I’m still opting for restorative and slow, Level 1 flows, but today I notice I’m itching for a little more movement, which is good.  Unfortunately, I caved in last night and had two beers, so much pain I was in.   I did clean up my diet, and increased the healthy fats with lots of greens, while decreasing the starchy carbs (although at dinner, I did have some white rice).  Inflammation is no joke.  Rolf explains in today’s yoga session that physical tension, as well as mental and emotional tension, is stored in the tissue, and decreases our vibrancy (yes!) and mobility (yes!).  Right now, I can’t afford to do anything that increases my tension, like workout, and there is a double-edge sword when it comes to pain.  I usually opt for not doing anything and trying to breathe my way through it, knowing that anything I take to alleviate the pain is going to catch up with me evidentually.  I did, however, get about 4 hours of sleep between 8 p.m. and midnight, and then anoter 4 hours of sleep between 1 and 5, and then another 2 hours of sleep between 6 and 8.  This will improve as I go back to better habits in my eating, moving, and meditating.

I am grateful for so many things (in no particular order) today:  the return of Shadow and Churchill (who was watching over his younger “sibling” outside during Irma), electricity (the smallest of comforts!), time to decompress (with school being out), the return of my centered brain (thanks to pranayama and some focused practice before and after asana), safe family and friends, one pre-calculus lesson done for Module 3 with just one more to go, and a healthy cache of ideas for lessons which will be of less stress to present upon return on Monday in my 5 subjects with adolescents who probably found Irma more stressful than myself.  I am grateful that I am in less pain, too.

Today, I approach the future (and the now), as Rolf suggests, “steady and relaxed.”  I cannot control how my fellow teachers will view the shortened and discombobulated school year (and I know that some of their stress will manifest itself in increased lesson planning and implementation).  Steady and relaxed centering is needed.  I can only do what I can do.  I will offer yoga to those who are in need in the morning prior to duty time–light movement and breath work to center, guided meditation, etc.  I hope my principal will allow me to do this service.

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