Where does the stress in my life come from? Oy, don’t get me started. Sadly even my dreams are full of stress.
Here’s a recent one: I had to go to the grocery store, so of course I TOOK MY CAT. Not Nina, who might have at least let me cradle her in one arm as I did my shopping. I took Sylvie, the cat who detests being picked up. Sylvie has always liked to ride on my shoulders, which was fine when she was little. But she’s a hefty 10 pounds now, and she won’t let me trim her claws anymore.
Once in the grocery store, I grabbed one of those two-tiered half-carts. Sylvie rode on my shoulders, gripping my skin with her sharp claws. I shopped as quickly as I could, avoiding the seafood department. I felt like I was toting around a bottle rocket that could explode at any second. When we reached the checkout area, the lines were crazy long. Sylvie was restless, so I let her climb onto my head. Yes, I was essentially wearing a 10 pound, meowing cat hat. Somehow we got through the line, and I ran headlong for my car in the parking lot. Sylvie was going to jump! Finally, I got the car door open and tried to shed her. She jumped in the car, but as I closed the door, the car kept folding in a way that would let her get out. This went on for what seemed like hours, and I eventually woke myself out of sheer frustration.
You know what I’ve found that helps with stress? Yoga.
I’m a true dilettante when it comes to yoga. I’ll commit to doing it for a few weeks, then move on to a more traditional fitness routine that might include weekly yoga (I use the word routine loosely). Running isn’t my thing at all, but I do like to walk outside and I don’t mind the treadmill. A while back I strongly considered rejoining a gym. But I never really enjoyed group exercise because I feel too self-conscious. We have free weights, which I use occasionally. (I did lots of dedicated free weight training in my twenties.) And then there’s the fitness program for the Xbox Kinect, which is a lot of fun. (Bollywood dancing, anyone?)
I always feel better after doing yoga than I do after any other kind of intentional exercise. It does breathe space into the body, and releases the stress I build up just living life. Breathing is a good thing. I’ve been meditating for a couple of years now, and have found a lot of peace in it. Now I want to bring that peace to the rest of my body.
Because I like playlists and programs–discrete projects that keep my ADHD mind from getting bored–I’m doing 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene. Adriene is Adriene Mishler. She’s a wonderful teacher, and delightful human being. The link goes to her website, and you can also find her on YouTube. Let me know if you want to join me in the 30 day practice. I can’t promise that it will be exactly 30 consecutive days, because I don’t want to make an idol of a rigid structure–when I do that, my focus ends up in the wrong place. And that would create–you guessed it–more stress.
June 22nd Words
Journal: 320 words
Long fiction: 835 words
Short fiction: 0 words
Non-fiction: 0 words
Blogging: 598 words
Exercise: 30 minutes yoga