Back to basics

No beer and not much asana for me while I’m on antibiotics and trying to get rid of the plague. Lying here on this futon has given me time to reflect upon many things, such as, this futon is not comfortable; this college football game is boring; and hey, a lizard just jumped from my bookshelf onto a chair. But I’ve also been thinking about the healing powers of yoga, and how I’m obviously out of balance, being sick like this. As I see it, the ultimate point of yoga is happiness. And by happiness I more or less mean freedom from pain, which means moving out the bad shit, internally, freeing up channels for the good shit. I think of it as a process of clearing out blockages, like Drain-o through hairballs. It means having enough mental clarity to not accidentally leave your Diva cup in for 24 hours, causing a urinary tract infection, and then not treating it until it becomes a kidney infection. Ladies, avoid this.

An aside wherein I attempt to explain my love of yoga, while feverish

I’m vastly oversimplifying, as I am no serious student of the Yoga Sutras or Classical Yoga or traditional Indian medicine or even exercise science so I can’t claim to understand why capital-Y Yoga works, but it seems to. To me it’s not so much a matter of faith as it is experiment and observation. I’m as agnostic about it as any other system. People see patterns, and develop theories around them to explain the universe or themselves or their place in the universe. If a theory proves to be a good tool, if it helps us make sense of things, to predict things, to understand things, or to be happier or more fulfilled, then we keep it in the toolkit. Many people think astrology is a false system of understanding things. Most people think Scientology is ludicrous. And it is. But each has adherents, or users. I believe yoga works, but I no more “believe in” it than I do gravity or Christianity or chakras. All are frameworks to understand observed phenomena. I know I’m headed down the slippery path of relativism here, and that’s ok. It all depends on what your aim is. Darwinism is richer than Creationism when it comes to explaining evolution. Creationism is more useful if you don’t want people thinking too much. My own experiences have persuaded me that yoga is a very useful tool for understanding and improving ourselves. (And I understand that space is curved around massive objects which makes apples fall down from trees instead of up, but that’s still just a way to understand something.)

Nasadiya Sukta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Nasadiya Sukta (after the incipit ná ásat “not the non-existent”) is the 129th hymn of the 10th Mandala of the Rigveda. It is concerned with cosmology and the origin of the universe. It is known for its skepticism. It ends with:

Who really knows? Who shall declare it here?

Whence was it born? Whence issued this creation?

Even the Gods came after its emergence.

Then who can tell from whence it came to be?

None knows when creation has arisen;

Whether He made it or did not make it,

He who surveys it in the highest heaven,

Only He knows, or maybe even He knows not

Back to yoga

So yoga. Through yoga practice we restore our bodies to health, we calm our minds, and we make space in ourselves as we chip away at our anxieties, and neuroses and insecurities and un-useful habits. I have seen this and experienced it. We are made up of complex systems and we live in this world of infinite complex systems. When we have problems—body problems, heart problems, head problems—everything is thrown out of wack. And that imbalance reverberates through every system messed-up little you comes into contact with. And you spread your problems by losing control of your emotions, and your Jeep. That’s why when you practice you’re doing a favor for everyone.

So here I am sick, because I was not self-aware enough. Because I was lazy. And probably because it’s hard for me to stay hydrated and electrolyted, which compromises my kidneys. I live in a hot (awesome) climate and I teach hot yoga, so I sweat a lot, and I drink coffee and obviously beer. I think those combined stressors are taxing my systems. One of those systems being my brain, which should be smart enough to remove a menstrual cup. Well, live and learn.

In closing, Waffles is always doing yoga. She’s perfectly balanced.

Bonus action shot exhibiting mad hops and precision tail control.

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