Vacation: Day One

I’m tired.  Whoa.

I’ve done five health and fitness classes today: an introduction to yoga, a more advanced yoga class (which wrecked me), a weight training circuit course, a bizarre class where we stood on nubbly little plastic balls to “energize our feet” for half an hour,  and a class with TRX® bands (which scared me). I also had a consultation with a doctor about weight loss, and an additional one-on-one session with a trainer discussing weight loss.  Phew.  And Peee-yew! I smell. Unless sweat is a sign of the approach of the Holy Guardian Angel in your book, in which case, I have knowledge and conversation (that’s a joke… sweating won’t bring you that, although sweating is a part of it).

I’ve also been signed up for a massage this evening.  Oh, gods, I need one.  It’s nice to know that my dad decided we both needed a high-end consultation and training, though (and paid for it — there are not many other middle school teachers here, and I doubt there could be) — I walk into a weight room and I have no idea what to do, and most of the equipment here leaves me baffled.  How do I use this to improve my strength, my agility and my fitness? No idea.

Now, I sort of have an idea.

A phenomenal amount of the day boiled down to a few things — teaching me to work on reducing the circumference of my waist-to-hip ratio below 0.90; teaching me how to recognize when my heart rate was at 120, 130, and 140; and teaching me how to recognize when I’d reached the exhaustion point of my muscles; teaching me to recognize that the magical and spiritual training I’ve already had can be applied to food and exercise as much as to all of the other areas I’ve applied it to — learning structural and mechanical and electrical tinkering, for examples, or graphic design.  The curious thing is, these are all common-sensical things.  OK, yes, there was some discussion of diets, too: more fruits and veggies (at least, not only fruits and veggies, at least so far), less grains and processed starches, less sugar.

In the yoga classes, both the foundational one and the more advanced class, I felt like I got more instruction as a beginner than I’ve ever received, in all my times dropping in to one-time sessions.  No one gave me any idea of whether my muscles were supposed to be hard or soft — and the answer is surprising: neither.  They’re supposed to be twisted, torsioned, for the most part.

Gordon pointed out that Yoga and Chakras feels like a technology that we imitated from watching something else, like a 747 landing. It’s been long enough since I read that article, and the one I linked to here, isn’t the one I’m looking for: Hmm.  I have to say, the little “foundational” aspects of what I was taught today feel… ancient. They’re techniques and tools acquired by slow accumulation and sudden insight over thousands of years, and passed down to future generations by word of mouth and through formal instruction — the remnant of a civilization with comprehensive spiritual tech. It’s like a set of keys for opening, and climbing into, the etheric hazmat suit, and then closing it back up again.  Today was mostly about the physical yoga, and I have to admit — there were a lot of postures in that advanced class which were quite utterly beyond me.  Crescent Moon?  How about Reverse Triangle Pose?

I’m tired today. I want to eat my dinner, go to sleep on the massage table, and be asleep in bed before 9:30 pm.  Who knows what tomorrow’s tai chi practice will look like. But the tiredness is a physical tiredness — at the same time I feel like shields are up in a way they weren’t before. The meditation yesterday afternoon, and gain today, helped as well — different techniques, different setting, different ways of working.  There’s definitely elements of what I think Esalen is here, but maybe not.  It’s hard to know if you haven’t been there; hard to be sure without repeat visits.

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