23 September 2014

Burn The Leaves

Autumn comes again,
the land begins to cool.
The summer's heat dissipates --
dreams and passions never do.

Winter has yet to show
its cold and furrowed brow.
Spring is many months away.
The time to clean is now!

The trees have just begun to turn
from green to red and gold.
But this is not a time to grieve --
Rise up! Stand tall!!
Be bold!!

Gather up the leaves!
Pile them high in the setting sun
And along with those dying leaves pile up
the broken dreams
the silent regrets
the hopes that have been undone.

You see, in nature nothing is lost;
Matter merely changes form
As a phoenix must dissolve into ash
In order to be reborn.

So set that pile of leaves alight.
Watch them smolder and burn.
Warm yourself in the soft firelight
and let renewed hopes and dreams return.

  Copyright 2014 by Do The Posture

21 September 2014

10 Things I Love... About Myself

Let's get one thing straight: I don't mind taking someone up on a dare once in a while. Hell, it was basically a dare that got me into Bikram Yoga in the first place. That being said, I have accepted a dare from one of my Twitter friends to write this post.

You see, when asked how I would describe myself, it is usually in a disparaging manner. Something like this:

 Sarcastic. Hates to leave comfort zone. Fears change. Small talent for writing. Yes, hopeless romantic. Afraid to chase dreams.

Upon reading this, one of my Twitter friends dared me to write ten things that I love about myself. I've never been terribly adept at focusing on my better qualities, and for a good while I stared at a notebook page with nothing more than a title, a dedication, and a bit of text that had been scratched out and scrawled over. However, after a time I got one, then another, and then another. I have, as much as possible, resisted the urge to edit or redact anything -- the first time through is the most honest and meaningful. Aside from checking grammar and usage, here is how it went down from my screw loose brain to the paper:

For SR.

Ten Things I Love About Myself

1) My sense of humor: It is very dry and sarcastic at times, but I can generally make you smile, at least.

2) Handshakes/Hugs: High/Low Five, fist bump, handshake, full-on hug. You need one? Come here. I have been told I give good hugs.

3) Cooking: I won't earn a Michelin star anytime soon, but I can feed you pretty well. Celiac or gluten free? I can work my way around that. Like grilled meats? I'm the guy.

4) Baldness: Fought the good fight for a long time but once I took it down to the wood I felt free. I believe I look better without hair. Aside from a small dent or two, it looks good!

5) Step-parent: Although we never married, I have been able to participate in raising two children from the time they were 8-9 years old to the successful people they are today. Proud of that. Even more proud of them.

6) Need something?: My last dollar? My last smoke (back in the day)? Need a secret kept? Someone to talk to? I will do my best to help, at least until I find your motives are insincere. Then, being a Scorpio, the stinger must be put to use...

7) Giving is better: In any facet of life, I've always felt happier when giving than receiving. Getting something is always nice, but giving always feels more meaningful.

8) Singing: I don't have a great voice, but you can often hear me humming or quietly singing a tune. Beatles to The Bravery, Miles Davis to The Arctic Monkeys, I like a lot of different music.

9) I love to write: Used to write a lot from a young age. I remember writing a story in my 5th grade English class about getting a new bicycle and I recall using the phrase "on it's maiden voyage". When asked to read it aloud to the class, I edited myself and said "the first time I rode it". I wanted to avoid getting called a nerd for using such "fancy words". I have been editing myself ever since... 

10) I practice yoga: I don't get there often enough. For now. I'm not as proficient as I would like to be. For now. That said, I love it. It helps me deal with life. It tries to teach me to be a better person. Being a stubborn man, the lessons don't always stick, but I keep going back. One day, the lessons will stick. When that happens, look out!!!

Well, there you are, my friend. Thank you for reading, and thank you for the challenge!!


14 September 2014

The Century Mark

Two hundred and nineteen nights ago, I sat in this worn, uncomfortable seat and wrote a post about how nervous I was about returning to a regular Bikram Yoga practice, thanks to a renewal of the work-study program. Tomorrow night, I will complete my 100th class since returning.

So, how am I doing?


I started off wonderfully, full of joy, ready to work, ready to get back to where I was before. For a time, I was on the fast track back -- four, five, six classes a week. Eleven classes in a ten day stretch. A posture clinic. Seeing old friends and making new ones. I was enjoying the hell out of it.

Then came the summer. Issues at work. Issues at home. Making class became more difficult. Then, when I did get to class, I would struggle. Badly. The postures I could do reasonably well became more difficult, and the postures I struggled with became well nigh impossible.

Yesterday's class was a perfect example. In Half Moon there is a huge grab in my side when I try to bend to the left. In Hands-to-Feet, I can't get my hands under my feet -- not even close. Awkward Pose is intolerable. In Eagle, getting my foot behind my calf was becoming easier, but no more. From there it just gets worse -- so much worse that the floor series has become a 15-30 minute Savasana. I can barely look at myself in the mirror these days. Once, I even started to well up with tears but I held them back. No use crying when you are the one to blame for this, and make no mistake, it is my own doing. I'm not smoking, but my diet is still a wreck. No self control. No discipline. Lately, I've begun to wonder why the hell I'm even practicing... if I keep trying to hurt myself with a poor diet, if I can only make two or three classes a week, then why bother? If going to class was just a way of avoiding other issues at home or work, then why bother? If all I'm doing is basically taking a 90 minute steam bath, then why bother?

I'll tell you why.

I have to. For no one other than myself. I have to re-learn discipline. Patience. Love of self. Appreciation. Gratitude. And much more.

I will go back in there tomorrow night. I will simply look at myself in the eyes and try to remember how incredibly fortunate I am to be able to practice this yoga.

I'm tired of staring a hole in the floor while the rest of the class refuses to give up. I'm tired of the instructor saying, "Join back in when you can.", knowing full well that remark is directed at me.

I am strong.

I am a yogi.

Toes on the line...