Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Delightful quiet

I miss my kids. But I love my quiet, quiet house. And I love the fact that I no longer follow Ze Rules, whereby I spent my seven weeks of quiet last summer waking at dawn and railroading it into the city where I had my arms yanked halfway out of their sockets and my triceps stretched to the point of feeling that same burning, ripping feeling that I felt when I was giving birth to my first child, unmedicated.

Nay!

This summer, I awaken at Whatever The Fuck Time I Awaken. It's a lovely time to wake up, let me tell you. And I exercise in Whatever The Fuck Way I Wish To, which means running as many as six miles at a time without worrying about the tightness it might bring to my hammies and quads, or taking to the trails at the nearby nature preserve, or taking a Bikram class, or doing whatever portion of the Ashtanga series' that I am able with a broken hand. And at the end of the day, I experience this wonderful thing called "Not Being Ridiculously Tired at a Ridiculously Early Hour", which means that I can do wonderful things like...see friends (for lunch in Bedford, for dinner in the meat packing district)! go to the theater (Hair)! watch a stupidly long movie (Benjamin Button)! stay out til 2 a.m. (after dinner in the meat packing district)! sleep in my friend's townhouse in Manhattan (after staying out til 2 a.m.)! sleep late and meander over to a diner for some scrambled eggs, toast and coffee and the walk five or six miles around the city without worrying about the tightness of my hips or whether the food will make my twists nauseating!

I do admit that abandoning Ze Rules leaves me feeling, at times, a bit adrift. But it's a good kind of adrift. I see friends I hadn't seen in years. I do things I never would have dared to do.

And yet: the world has not cratered.

My jeans still fit, are maybe even a bit looser, perhaps due to more intense cardio and less anaerobic yoga. My heartrate is still in the low 50's. My skin is soft and smooth and clear. My demeanor is calm. I do not feel this intense desire to spend my days strategizing how I will get my toes in Kapotasana and talking about it incessantly.

Sure, I feel a bit like a leper in the Ashtanga world. My former Ashtanga friends no longer call or write. And sometimes I am haunted by then notion of having given so much power to my teachers over my body and my happiness...and by the realization that those who I perceived to have had all of the answers, whose minds I would have paid beaucoup bucks to unlock and understand, were as clueless as I was and as arbitrary and at times capricious as anyone.

But this is what happens when you extricate yourself from a cult.

And it seems worth it to me to be my own master right now.

YC

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

'My former ashtanga friends don't call or write'

I found that incredibly sad and crazy ! Mind you I don't have ashtanga friends because there is never time to chat with morning mysore then rushing to work, but I would like to think my friends are friends with me because of who I am, not because I do a certain yoga practice.

Then again your story reminded of one time when I was very young, got roped into a pentacostal-type church service and somehow got 'converted'. All these people started wanting to be my friend. A few days thinking later when I decided I didn't want to be a Christian afterall, these same people stopped talking to me ! It was quite funny in retrospect.

Floss

Anonymous said...

Anaerobic exercise is exercise intense enough to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. Muscles trained using anaerobic exercise develop differently, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities, which last from mere seconds up to a maximum anaerobic metabolic contribution at about 2 minutes.[1] Anaerobic metabolism also known as anaerobic energy expenditure is a natural part of whole-body metabolic energy expenditure.[2] In fact, fast twitch skeletal muscle (as compared to slow twitch muscle) is inherently composed of anaerobic metabolic characteristics, so that any recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibers will lead to increased anaerobic energy expenditure. Intense exercise lasting upwards of 4 minutes or more (e.g., a mile race) can have a considerable anaerobic energy expenditure component.

Aerobic exercise, on the other hand, includes lower intensity activities performed for longer periods of time. Such activities like walking, running, swimming, and cycling require a great deal of oxygen to generate the energy needed for prolonged exercise (i.e., aerobic energy expenditure).

Yoga Chickie said...

Yes...correct clarification. I meant that the more CONSISTENT - no five breaths pause for an asana - movement of running and power walking seems to be causing an increased energy burn for me, causing me to lose a bit of weight without eating less than I usually do. I do notice that after years of NOT running and JUST doing Ashtanga, I am SLIGHTLY less aerobically fit...my heart rate zooms up at the beginning of a run, and I cannot conceive of running an entire marathon.

Anonymous said...

"I do not feel this intense desire to spend my days strategizing how I will get my toes in Kapotasana and talking about it incessantly. "

Ha! That's funny, because so close to the bone.

"...sometimes I am haunted by then notion of having given so much power to my teachers over my body and my happiness...and by the realization that those who I perceived to have had all of the answers, whose minds I would have paid beaucoup bucks to unlock and understand, were as clueless as I was and as arbitrary and at times capricious as anyone."

Everybody's human, yeah? And power corrupts, even power that is willy nilly thrust upon you by a bright eyed bushy tailed seeker of knowledge and yogic serenity (and low BMI). Forgive yourself for doing it, forgive them for reacting in a human manner.

Glad to hear you're enjoying life.

Zaf

Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.

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