My body has brought it to my attention that it is feeling a tad undervalued. In the mind-body-spirit enterprise known as Emily, body has asked for a raise.
Yes, the organization that is Emily may have a committed meditation practice (raja yoga), which my entire being relishes, but my good ole fashioned physical body is requesting a promotion. In the form of purposeful exercise. Not boot camp. Not weight lifting. Not high-intensity training. Not swimming (my old sport). Not jogging. My body has put in a specific request for hatha yoga.
Ok, body wants yoga. Do yoga. Easy enough, right? Nope. It’s something of a logistical nightmare.
There are excellent yoga classes at my gym, which would be perfect if I could get there. It’s a likely story, but it’s just really hard for me to make it to classes. Here’s why:
a.) It’s been a horrendous flu season in Chicago and at least one of the three of us (Charlie, Kip, me) has been sick for months. (snotty kids = totally uncool to drop them off in gym nursery = mama misses vinyasa)
b.) I’ve got one son, possibly two sons, whose inner peace depends on simplicity of schedule (to oversimplify it), so getting in and out of the car and various buildings several times a day really pushes his limits.
c.) No, seriously. I’m not making this up. It gets patently crazy in my world when I don’t keep a steady family rhythm and, if it seems like rushing out the door too many times a particular day might drive my finely tuned fella to overstimulation-town, it’s not worth it to me to make that yoga class. (Except, of course, when it is worth it. But, thankfully, it’s rarely so dire.)
Last night after meditating, as I checked in with myself—a board meeting of sorts—I noticed I’m neglecting a part of me that’s alive and ravenous: My body wants to move, and move with intention.
ASIDE: It’s not that I’m not physically active. I probably spend a cumulative 30 minutes a day racing in a circle around the first floor of our home, I bounce around the tumbling mats in our basement like a kangaroo for another 10 minutes and sprint-chase kids down our sidewalk for five more. I easily do a hundred squats a day, blowing noses, giving kisses, wiping spills, nuzzling dogs, putting on shoes, picking up toys, etc., and I get in a few reps of bicep curls lifting those 30- and 40-pounders off the ground all day long. Then there are the vigorous dance parties that crop up a few times a week…
However, despite my general activity level, what I’m missing is a dedicated time for strengthening, stretching and communing with my physical body. So, I’m out to uncover new ways to fit in yoga for myself while keeping things slow and steady for the boys.
I can’t imagine staving off kids and dogs for more than 15 minutes in the morning, so I need a framework in which to tune in with my body, get the oxygen flowing and move some energy around in that time frame. I want to raise my pulse, enhance my body awareness (the healthy kind) and give my body the chance to experience a fuller expression of itself. Can I accomplish this in 15 minutes a day? At least to start? With what series of asanas? Devising an action plan to make my body feel like a valued member of Team Emily, this is my new project.