Tuesday, July 3, 2007

just relax

Peleg joined the gym upstairs from his cooking school. His classes ended on Monday and now he's starting 6 weeks of internship. He decided to replace the time he had been spending at cooking school with a more intentional exercise program, and as he has to check in at the school once a week for his internship supervision, it made sense to join the gym upstairs.

I was also curious to check out the gym. Although I already have a gym, the one I go to doesn't have a pool, and although I can use the County pool during the summer it closes after Labor Day. Peleg was going to take a Yoga class this morning and I went with him and then swam a few laps afterward in a very nice pool. (And indoors so no sunburn!)

It's been awhile since I've done yoga, but I remembered most of the basic postures we did this morning. I'm strong so I can do the strength poses fairly easily, but I'm not flexible and my balance isn't great so other poses are harder for me. The instructor reminded us that the core benefit of yoga is the ability to stay mentally calm in stressful situations. That's a good spiritual skill for much of life. The postures are hard. The tendency is to strain, to panic, to tighten up and breathe shallowly. Yoga teaches us that the mind is more powerful than the body. Using mental focus and force of will the mind can instruct the body to relax, to breathe deeply, and to replace destructive mental messages with affirmations of power, confidence, and capability.

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