I’ve been saying that I’m going to start incorporating the principles of Buddhism into my life as soon as I can finish the “How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life” by the Dalai Lama. But, excuses get in the way. Work gets in the way. Everything gets in the way except me making the time.
So, I decided to ease into it. You know, start with going to yoga and ending with me finishing the book during my sojourn to Bali. That was such an awesome idea in theory. In practice? Well, we’ll see. I’ve got the book pulled up on my Kindle waiting for my attention. Somehow, it got shuffled behind some trashy romance novels that
some unknown person I downloaded.
Anyway, I started off with yoga. Lord help me. It looks so easy in the magazines. I bought cute yoga attire from Athleta then signed up for a 75 minute Hot Yoga class. Easy peasy. I intended to walk out so zen & relaxed.
The class started and I was like, “this is cool!” I’m stretching and the positions aren’t that difficult although I’m about as limber as an iron rail. But no matter. ZEN! That’s what I’m here to achieve. Then, I notice how quiet it is. In spin class, I can’t think of anything else except trying not to die on the bike because they have me doing some sort of dance routine complete with jazz hands to 2 Chainz. But here, it is so tranquil that my mind starts to wander and now I’m thinking about everything but yoga. That’s when irritation sets in because you can’t zone out when the positions get harder.
Yoga Instructor (YI): (in a sing-song breathy voice) Slowly move into downward facing dog.
Me: (moves into position) This ain’t bad. *tinkling music and YI painting us a scene with words* [then I start thinking about the stank email I got from John at work and my blood pressure starts to rise.]
YI: Now move into a plank for 27 minutes
Me: WTF? 27 minutes? Ugh! [mentally drafting a response to John’s email that will go something like, “Sir, I suggest you use the backspace key next time you think of sending some crazy email to me because I ain’t the one. Don’t try me, try Jesus.” Hmmm, maybe I need to re-word that a little as it might come across hostile?? THESE PLANKS HURT!!! JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL!]
YI: Doesn’t that feel wonderful? Like puppies resting on your tummy? Breathe in deeply. Think of yourself as the breaths, not the breather. You are one with the universe. A flower opening up to the welcome the sun.
Me: Ma’am? I can’t do that. This is too much imagery. My core fell out of my body 10 minutes ago. I’m about to do the crying baby position, k?
YI: Now…transition out of the plank and cartwheel into the Terrible Twos Tantrum position (or whatever it is…honestly, I had stopped listening after my muscles locked up and were like, “please know your limitations.”).
Me: OMG, is this a tumbling class? WTH? *falls out*
Me: Call 911
See? This is why I can’t have nice things and be thin and calm. WHY IS YOGA SO HARD??? This was supposed to be my introduction into Keeping it Calm — Buddha-Style. At this rate, I ain’t going to make it.
So now…I’m back to reading the book and trying yoga again. Maybe it will be easier on the beach in Bali? Maybe this time, I can use imagery for good thoughts instead of mentally written curse-out emails? I don’t even know. What I do know is that I really want to learn to let foolishness roll off me like waves of cool water. I read inspirational quotes by the Dalai Lama and think, “He is so wise. I need a better coping mechanism besides chocolate and alcohol.”
Do any of you follow Buddhist principles? Any suggestions for a newbie?