Transformations

19 November, 2006

All changes right now. The wedding I wrote about last time left me weary for two weeks as I slowly detoxed. It provided a reminder on the impact my diet has on my happiness, productivity, vitality and general well-being. I felt sluggish, slow and ill two weeks. I’ve since returned to my usual diet and the change in how I feel is dramatic. Why should I be so surprised?

The asanas are still good and regular. I lost Mari D after the wedding though…but I’m getting it back – binding the first side for the last week or so. It’s all 4:30 am practices right now. That is the latest I can get up and still make the office in time (8:15 am) for my call with Bangalore (or Bengaluru as it’s now called). My new train commute gives me tons of time to read for the first time in years…and to communicate with my wife. We’ve probably spoken more about non-essential stuff (you know…actually talking about things other than the kids, mortgage etc) in the past two weeks than in the preceding six months.

People ask me whether I miss working from home. I don’t. I’ve had to give up some things. But I’ve gotten some nice things in exchange. That’s an attitude more than anything. And I think it’s one that Yoga is responsible for awakening. Besides, I think I’ll still be able to manage a few days a month from home once I’m settled on the engagement.

Hey! I’ve also been to a couple of rolfing sessions since I last wrote. All I can say about the first session is that it was ‘pleasant’. I enjoyed it – is about as much I can offer. I felt the alphawaves waft over me as I drifted in and out of a semi-conscious state. Perhaps the changes being effected were too subtle for me to understand, notice and realise. It was after all the first session of what is usually ten. I had the second on Friday night – the focus of which were my feet – and the outcome of which seems a minor miracle; for as long as I can remember, I’ve had very high arches and tended to rotate my legs outwards, walking on the outer edges of my feet. I’ve sprained my feet numerous time because of the tendancy to land on the outer edge – once really badly coming down from a volleyball spike.

Since Friday though, I’ve been walking straight. I don’t rotate outwards. As I stand, I feel my weight evenly balanced on my soles. When we were done the session, the rolfer asked me to walk 10 or 12 yards up and down in front of her. I noticed the difference immediately and just looked at her shaking my head and laughing. It was when I got into the car to come home though that I really noticed the difference. My feet sat squarely on the pedals, instead of half-slipped off their edges – now that really felt different.

Needless to say, I’m going back for more. What other myofascial tendancies do I have locked up inside me that keep my bones from sitting properly and what stress, tension and emotional logjams are being created as a result? What other spaces are there waiting to be opened? What’s it going to do to my asanas?


Transformations

19 November, 2006

All changes right now. The wedding I wrote about last time left me weary for two weeks as I slowly detoxed. It provided an reminder on the impact my diet has on my happiness, productivity, vitality and general well-being. I felt sluggish, slow and ill two weeks. I’ve since returned to my usual diet and the change in how I feel is dramatic. Why should I be so surprised?

The asanas are still good and regular. I lost Mari D after the wedding though…but I’m getting it back – binding the first side for the last week or so. It’s all 4:30 am practices right now. That is the latest I can get up and still make the office in time (8:15 am) for my call with Bangalore (or Bengaluru as it’s now called). My new train commute gives me tons of time to read for the first time in years…and to communicate with my wife. We’ve probably spoken more about non-essential stuff (you know…actually talking about things other than the kids, mortgage etc) in the past two weeks than in the preceding six months.

People ask me whether I miss working from home. I don’t. I’ve had to give up some things. But I’ve gotten some nice things in exchange. That’s an attitude more than anything. And I think it’s one that Yoga is responsible for awakening. Besides, I think I’ll still be able to manage a few days a month from home once I’m settled on the engagement.

Hey! I’ve also been to a couple of rolfing sessions since I last wrote. All I can say about the first session is that it was ‘pleasant’. I enjoyed it – that’s about as much as I can offer; I felt the alphawaves waft over me as I drifted in and out of a semi-conscious state. It felt good and 90 minutes seems more like nine. Perhaps the changes being effected were too subtle for me to understand, notice and realise. It was after all the first session of what is usually ten. The second session, which I had on Friday night, was very different. The focus were my feet – and the outcome seems a minor miracle; for as long as I can remember, I’ve had high arches and tended to rotate my legs outwards, walking on the outer edges of my feet. I’ve sprained my feet numerous time because of the tendancy to land on the outer edge – once really badly coming down from a volleyball spike.

Since Friday though, I’ve been walking straight. I don’t rotate outwards. As I stand, I feel my weight evenly balanced on the soles. When we were done the session, the rolfer asked me to walk 10 or 12 yards up and down in front of her. I noticed the difference immediately and just looked at her shaking my head and laughing. It was when I got into the car to come home though that I really noticed the difference. My feet sat squarely on the pedals, instead of half-slipped off their edges – now that really felt different.

Needless to say, I’m going back for more. What other myofascial tendancies do I have locked up inside me that keep my bones from sitting properly and what stress, tension and emotional logjams are being created as a result? What other spaces are there waiting to be opened? What’s it going to do to my asanas?


In the Land of Macaca

5 November, 2006

On a stag night the Wednesday before last for my cousin in Atlantic City, I got carded as I was being herded into a dubious establishment called Bare Exposure. (I mean…really…what other kind of exposure is there other than the bare kind?) The bouncer looked at my Ontario driver’s license, laughed and shook his head. “Ha Ha…you’re from Canada? Man, you got real superstars up there. you gonna to be disappointed in here” Like I’d know. I’ve only been to a strip club once before…in London while at Western when I was still an impressionable 18, my roommate dragged me to the Forum (he knew the doorman). Our bouncer friend was right…decadent, infamous Atlantic City paled in comparison to the sleepy Southwestern Ontario University town. How strange. Regardless, my yogic sensibilities were offended by the display, tame as it was, and I protested with a sit-in. I wasn’t going to move…except for the occasional cigarette with the lads in the frigid seaside air….and those horrid, wretched J├Ąger Bombs.

In every sense it was a calamitous 5 days for my practice. This was an Indian Wedding, and while there was plenty of sanskrit and oms all over the place, the Yoga was scarce.

  • Tuesday: Drive overnight to Atlantic City from Toronto
  • Wednesday: Obligatory visit to the Outlet strip and then…see above
  • Thursday: The Vidhi. Large wedding party leaves in a convoy for Fairfax (we all started calling each other Macaca for amusement). Bride’s family registers us into the Best Western. More drinking and eating at the reception they hold for us.
  • Friday: Wake up! Two triple espressos. Wedding. More drinking and eating. Drive back to Atlantic City straight from Temple. Return to Atlantic City in the cold driving rain. The groom’s father (my uncle) has pre-ordered 40 large pizzas from Dominos…generously covered in jalapenos.
  • Saturday: Jalapenos wreak further havoc on much-abused constitution. Spend the afternoon watching Undercover Brother in our motel room. Wedding Reception. More drinking and eating.
  • Sunday: Spend the morning recovering. Many pizzas go to a church. Drive back to Toronto in the afternoon. Get stuck in Philadelphia traffic. Cross the border into Canada gratefully at 1:30 am, get home an hour later.

Recovering from the wedding as well as piles of work (and even Halloween) conspired to keep me off the mat until Thursday. Needless to say, I’ve had better practices. To be honest, I was happy and relieved just to get onto my mat. You know what’s really daft? My mat made the journey with me from Toronto to Fairfax and back.

My wife and I weren’t on very good terms during the wedding. We’ve been mending fences since we got back to Toronto. She bought me a present yesterday – Iyengar’s Light on Life. I was well-chuffed.