Monthly Archives: January 2011

Mission Statement

With pregnancy seems to come insomnia for me.  There is this witching hour around 4 a.m. where my body just gets too uncomfortable to sleep.  Today it happened at about 3:30 a.m. – so much fun!  So I made some honey walnut bread for breakfast (and I also cleaned up the kitchen instead of leaving it disasterfied for my dear husband to clean up), watered the plants in the greenhouse and iced the brownies for my yoga teacher training potluck today.  Which got me thinking, this is my last weekend of yoga teacher training. I feel some sort of need to think back on the past nine months and ponder what I have learned, the wonderfulness of the program and where exactly I want to go with it from here.  Yesterday, our teacher Joyce suggested that we write mission statements to read to today at our closing ceremonies.  These statements were to be short and sweet and apply to the next year or two.

This got me thinking, mission statements always sound like a good idea in principle.  They are supposed to keep you on track and provide guidance when you are making decisions about what to do in life.  They represent your ideals and hopes for the future. This is about the point where a little voice in my head says,

“but Eva, these are just wishy washy touchy feely things that don’t actually provide direction, but instead just make people feel better about not doing the right things.  They had good intentions, life just happened along the way.”

I think my problem is that far too often people, actually mainly organizations and corporations, have these flowery mission statements about all the wonderful things they believe in and then they go right ahead and completely disregard these ideals to do whatever is particularly expedient in the circumstances.  I saw this time and time again in political circles.  People had an idea of doing good, perhaps even really believed in it, put pen to paper and then it got shoved into a drawer or buried in a website never to be referred to again.

Yoga, and the philosophy surrounding it, has such high ideals.  It really speaks to me, I believe in it in a way that I haven’t believed in anything since I was a young, idealistic politico.  The problem is, politics hurt me really badly.  It stabbed me in the back time and time again when I just wanted to make the world a better place.  Like an abusive relationship, I keep trying long after I should have thrown in the hat and left.  Logically, the answer is that I just shouldn’t believe in something that much.  I shouldn’t expect people to be good all of the time and when they do bad things, I should remember not to take it personally.  But there is still that bright eyed and bushy tailed 18 year old in me that really wants to believe that this time I have found something that is real and that I can believe in again.  She isn’t sure she can take the destruction of her ideals again.  However, I would like to think that I have more wisdom now than I did at 18, and am more capable to protecting myself and standing up for myself.  I guess only time will tell whether I will be able to protect myself while still being able to keep myself open enough to find that idealistic hope if it exists.

OM: Different seeds sounds

This weekend is my last weekend of yoga teacher training and it involves a test, which I should be studying for and am not.  Well, at least at this moment I have found a way to procrastinate, but make myself believe it is possibly related to studying.  Anyway, here it goes!

The word “om” is considered a vital part of yoga philosophy.  One little word seems to encompass so many things.  It often begins or ends a yoga class either by itself or repeated three times.  It is called the seed sound of the universe and has four distinct parts to it: A, U, M and the silence which follows these sounds in which one is supposed to reflect on the vibration of the sound in her body.  Each of these sounds is formed distinctly with the mouth and then linked to the next sound.  A is the first letter of the sanskrit alphabet, M is the last and U stands for continuity and connection.  So it is thought that to go through om constitutes everything.  Such grandeur for two little letters.

I have always enjoyed chanting om.  I enjoy feeling the vibration of the sound throughout my body and the silence that follows it.  When I was first beginning yoga, it was my favorite because I had no idea of how to pronounce or chant any of the other sanskrit, but om always seemed approachable and easy.  I have since learned to pronounce and chat a bit more sanskrit, but still om is an interesting part.  My current interest in it is to listen to how people chant it.  Each person’s om seems to be unique and it seems to be relative to the type of class I am taking.  In my fast moving mysore class, each letter is drawn out and everyone seems to want to prove how much breath capacity they have.  I can rarely keep up with this as I am out of breath from doing my sun salutations and trying to draw out my breath at that point is just too much!  In my pre-natal class, the om is much quieter and I often find myself still chanting the M when everyone else is done. Men tend to have deeper om’s (whether this is due to an actual deeper voice or just the need to sound manly is quite unclear!) and women have softer, but more vibrant om’s.  They all combine together in a class to create a deep and rich sound which always soothes my soul and also somehow makes me feel connected to the other people in the room.

Showering: the world’s most difficult task

So I am pregnant, 29 weeks, which is the major reason for my non-blogging as of late.  Pregnancy is way harder than I would have imagined.  I thought that I would just basically go about my normal life for the first part, feel a bit big and bulky at the end and then once I had the baby, that was when the real hard work would start.  Boy was I ever wrong.  I spent the first half very nauseous and exhausted.  I was always a healthy eater with a significant sweet tooth.  Now the foods I could keep down mainly consisted of burgers, fries and animal crackers.  The very sight of a salad made me want to hurl.  I made Alex sit far away from me when he ate any kinda of vegetables because I could smell them and it wasn’t pretty.  I couldn’t walk through the garage where the onions and garlic from our garden were curing.  The worst part of all these food issues was that while this was happening our garden was at the height of production.  We had worked so hard all year to make lots of tasty vegetables and now Alex ate as much as he could and the rest was given away to a wonderful neighbor across the street.

I have also been a high energy person, but now I couldn’t make it through a yoga class or a run anymore and the bike ride to said yoga class or run was completely out of the question.  In fact, until week 16 or 17, I didn’t exercise much at all.  In fact, I spent most of my time on the couch napping or reading and my daily accomplishments were limited to a load of laundry.  By week 21 or 22, I was finally feeling a bit better and was able to go back to my normal (well modified for my growing belly) yoga practice and was able to start working up to a decent run again.  The silver lining to all of this is since I basically had to start over again in the amount of both yoga and running that I did, Alex started running with me and now is much faster than I am!  He also started learning the primary series for his own mysore practice which makes me deliriously happy.  It so wonderful to be able to go for a “pack” run (Alex, Sophie and me) and to have my partner share my yoga practice with me.

However, all this exercise requires a lot of showering, as in I am supposed to probably do it after each time that I get all sweaty.  Before I was pregnant, I loved my morning shower after yoga or running.  It felt so nice to feel the warm water washing all the sticky sweat away.  It felt lovely to put on lotion and clean clothes and even a bit of make-up.  In the winter, the blow dryer felt so nice and warm as I dried my hair.  I felt ready to attack my day afterwards.  Now, showering seems like this insurmountable task.  I am exhausted after it and tend to avoid it. So each day there is a battle in my head between the voice of the showering and overwhelmed part of me that says showering is waaaay too much effort.  It generally goes something like this….

Voice of showering: “Ok, Eva, time to get up and go shower.”

Other voice: “But I don’t wanna…..(yes, this voice is capable of whining like a 5 year old and does it frequently)”

Voice of showering: “well you are kinda sweaty and stinky and could use one.”

Other voice: “but, I don’t really have to…can I not blow dry my hair?”

Voice of showering: “Only if you promise not to go outside before it dries.  It is cold out there and you could get sick!”

Other voice: “Ok, fine. Here we go….”

Then the showering commences.  I am better about it these days, I can usually convince myself to shower most days.  However, that first trimester, there were a lot of days where the voice of showering just completely lost.  Here’s to hoping that at some point I enjoy showering again, at least for the benefit of everyone around me!