Vinyasa Flow

I’m 40 years old — I don’t look it or act it, or feel it mentally but my body on the other hand can feel the physical decline. I keep saying that I am not going to grow old gracefully, but I’m not even sure if I know what that means.

Growing up I heard “… Just wait until you’re older.” Well I’m older now and understand that tag line better than ever. I’ll go hiking for an hour and have to soak my feet, or my whole body in hot water. In my twenties I could wake up and go. Now each morning I get a little more stiff and have to stretch my muscles first thing out of bed before I can move properly.

I have taken on yoga as my guide, my personal trainer as a segue into senior-ship. I figure I better start now so I’m not a train wreck at 50. I began practicing yoga in studio classes through the college. After graduation I bought a DVD, Tara Styles, and continued my yoga practice in the living room — I still do this 10 years later.

At first I wasn’t very regular. According to Natasha at yogajournal.com, constancy in this practice is more productive and easier on one’s body. She explains to a reader, “My experience is that the more consistent the practice, the more quickly one moves through the creaky period at the beginning. This is true mentally as well as physically. When we are in a consistent rhythm with our practice, we are more likely to understand its ebb and flow.” But no one is perfect. And in today’s economy, unless you’re an instructor, time is high in demand making it more difficult to always be rigid about a workout.

One thing I have learned over the years of exercise is that it’s OK to take some time off as long as I come back to it. Seems the more I practice this way of thinking, the less I drift from timeouts.

I mainly exercise for health and muscle tone. I do the yoga to connect my mind and body to relieve stress and stimulate oxygen flow — which helps my creative endeavors. Yoga will relax and revive my system at the same time. I am able to be present in my head, heart and soul. My emotions and psyche are at ease, and will stay at ease. Yoga helps me to take on the hardest story to write or the easiest shopping day.

But I don’t forget that yoga can be used for low and high impact workouts making this practice an all-in-one exercise regimen. Yogajournal.com is a great resource for all stages of yogi’s.

“Earth, Wind and Fire”, written by Niika Quistgard, explains State of Balance, the way through which you achieve total spiritual, mental and physical balance.

Yoga can be frustrating though, any exercise can be frustrating if it’s mechanics are mis-understood. Taking the time to receive it as it comes to me will reward my body with inner strengths. Living a healthy lifestyle starts with a conscious choice; healthy living is a balance of diet, oxygen, and exercise. Yogi living is healthy living.

And Then There’s Tomorrow

I was young, I don’t remember what age exactly but young, maybe 6 or 8 or 13. My parents would take us to church and I would hear all these things about God and Heaven, and I questioned it. I didn’t believe half the stories, I thought no way. So I asked my father one day about living and doing good, and what is the truth, or something along those lines.

I remember his face, it was gentle and scruffy and he kind of squinted, wrinkled his nose and looked up at the sky, and then at me and smiled. He said, “Well Corrie, you don’t live for the world, you just live in it and you do what you can, be honest to your heart.”

Lately this memory or saying has been going through my head, non stop, as if it’s on some kind of loop. Why??

So I thought I would write about it. However… I’m not sure what “it” is. Am I searching for something, am I not following my heart? Theses are the questions that fill up the blind space, where do I go from here.

You know that poem, “The Road Less Traveled”, Am I at that fork? What’s stalling me to walk the path I have chosen? Awe, right. The fear…..

I have been accepted into an MFA creative writing program. I’ve started my first quarter, and I am scared shitless. Do I know what I am doing? NO!! Well maybe, but I’m stalling. Slowly sliding my feet across the hot pavement. Maybe if I write about what I am afraid of, I can get over it and move forward.

Well of course, the all well-known fear, what the F*** do you want?

I have this image of me wearing amor, and I’m not standing alone. The best of the best–Faulkner, Doctorow, Chandler, Patterson, Hemingway, and more–have been right where I am now. I am not saying I’m any Doctorow or Patterson either, but I strive for it. I gotta let the fear go. Simple, Yay right. But it should be just simple. I have been reading many new and old authors lately and I can’t remember which one said it, but she/he said, “You have to write about your fears, your likes, your loses, your loves, your darkest dream.”

So this is where I begin.

I am scared to write because I’m afraid I am not at a graduate level, and I will be laughed at and fail miserably. I am scared to death to write a critical essay, It has been so long. There I said it. Now what? I guess, now I write.

The Big 40

I don’t own a car, house, I have no children and never been married. Oh yeah, I am currently without a career too. Am I supposed to have all this by the time I turn 40 years old? Seems like it, the ladies in my workout class have families, careers — they own businesses and homes. I look at them and then look at myself and wonder if I have done it all wrong.

Yesterday I picked up my life partner from work and told him, “I’m having a hard day. I hate my body, my life, the fact I don’t work right now — I don’t know what I want to do, or how to do it, I feel like a loser. An ugly loser.”

He tried to console me, but I sat and sulked anyway. I yelled at him actually to not talk, not say anything to me, to leave me in my cesspool of shit. He did, for a while — but it was dinner time.

“Are we still eating tonight?” he asked. NO matter how low I get, life still proceeds.

As I made dinner I realized that I was being a real bitch. Not so much to my Boo, but to myself. If someone else had told me I was a fat loser, my response would not have been too kind — I would have told them where to go. So why would I allow myself to break my own heart and soul. Because I really don’t hate myself. I have worked so hard to love my life and choices and be kind to my mind, body and soul. Am I really going to let myself down because I don’t compare to these outsider expectations of where I am supposed to be in my life due to age?

I shouldn’t.

I have experienced the kind of life most people only see in the movies, and I have worked hard to get there. I am a beautiful woman inside and out. I am so sorry for letting myself get caught up in the idea that I had to be doing something different associated by some kind of social design.

Today I have been going over my choices, good and not so good, and I am noticing just how cool I am. Not because I do or don’t have things/jobs/kids to show, but because I am learning who I am without the usual outline, and am still solid in my heart’s desires.

I am turning 40 tomorrow, and I have nothing that my bootcamp ladies have, but perhaps I have something they don’t have. And being 40 is just an age, a number to show how long I have been on earth, nothing more. I am as young or as old as I will choose to be, and at 40 I will still wear my converse, ballerina skirts, and crazy hair. I will continue to navigate my life in a way that makes me happy and if society can’t handle it, well, I don’t care. We live in a day where life is what you make it, and the best birthday gift I could give myself is courage and confidence to continue on my path.

I have to admit I am changing, but that’s what happens anyways. Change is the only thing constant in life, so I will embrace my changes hold onto my youth and believe growing old gracefully isn’t a part of my vocabulary — at least not by any modern definition.

Happy Birthday Corrie. I hope the next 40 years are just as exciting, fun, and explorative as the last!!

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