CHAOS was the start of my Friday night. I had planned to leave work early, go to the gym, and be home at a decent hour for dinner with my husband. Instead, I hung around the office much later than anticipated, getting sucked into the world of blogs, Facebook, and all things technological. By the time I finally disconnected, it was too late for the gym and I was very bent out of shape about my time management and ability to balance computer and off-screen time, which, by the time I came home, spiraled into a complete meltdown about how I suck at life and don’t have time to even read a book or fold and put away the laundry sitting in the basket upstairs, whereas VeganAsana somehow manages to be a college dean, professor, mother of several children, yoga teacher in training, and regular blogger, Twitterer, and social media contributor. (Oh Lorin, how I envy your life management!) After much of the tell-tale signs of CHAOS (crying, sobbing, waving fist in the air), my husband finally talked me down into LYRICAL, encouraging me to go for a walk outside with him. A side-by-side walk with Bryan is always therapeutic (especially when he cracks me up by describing a certain flower’s odor as “a cross between urine and fish”), and by the time we reached the creek at the far end of our neighborhood, I was finally approaching STILLNESS.
(Side note: As a result of the meltdown, I took Erin’s advice and signed up for the Chopra Center’s 21-Day Spring Meditation Challenge to try and soothe my nerves. In addition, I’m also seriously considering enrolling in one of those Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs. As much as I totally GET mindfulness and its importance, sometimes I just really stink at implementing it!)
FLOWING was my Saturday afternoon, spent on the rowing (flowing?) machine at the gym, followed by strength training. As long as my hip isn’t bothering me, the erg is one of my favorite pieces of gym equipment; actually, one of the only machines I feel comfortable using (elliptical, StairMaster, and recumbent bikes are out; treadmill is iffy; stationary bike is OK). It’s easy to get into a “flowing” kind of groove on the rowing machine, and it seriously works nearly every muscle! Also, I find strength training to be very mind-centering, especially if I’m listening to inspiring music. Sometimes I leave the weight floor as focused as I am after a yoga class!
Saturday evening was very much CHAOS, starting with an overnight train fire that completely threw off our plans to get into Philly for karaoke that night. (Just to clarify: We weren’t on that train; the fire occurred the night before.) Timetables were helter skelter, our friends’ station was completely shut down, and then once we finally got into the city, the escalator underground halted to a standstill and freaked everyone out. To make matters even more chaotic, it was POURING BUCKETS, like, some of worst rain our area has gotten in years. We had umbrellas, but after walking the 8 blocks to our destination through flooded intersections, we were soaked! CHAOS!
However, once we were settled in our little private karaoke room for six, the evening was more STACCATO than anything. Exchange of good food (except for the gizzards and hearts) and drinks, having fun with friends, and holding up the microphone with confidence. My hits of the night were Ludacris (“My Chick Bad”), Tiffany (“I Think We’re Alone Now”), half of Sir Mix-a-Lot (“Baby Got Back”), some of Lady Gaga (“Alejandro”), and Black Eyed Peas (“Boom Boom Pow”).
After two hours of STACCATO, it was back to the CHAOS outside again, this time with lightning! Back at our house, we settled into a nice LYRICAL atmosphere, with pizza, dry clothes, and cartoons.
Sunday afternoon was my actual 5Rhythms class: 2 hours of Flowing, Staccato, Chaos, Lyrical, and Stillness! My kinda new, found-through-social-networking friend Susan is warming up to the 5Rhythms, so she joined me for the 45-minute drive to class, which was a nice FLOWING experience. We have a lot in common, so we talked non-stop to and from. Sunday afternoon classes are somewhat difficult for me (I always feel sleepy?), but one of my favorite moments was during CHAOS, when I started doing really wild, jarring movements on the dance studio barre, tendus and degages that were out of control, as if saying, “Take that, ballet!” I also had a great STACCATO “duet” with one of the other students, Phil, whose moves are as wacky and out-there as mine; we look like pantomime actors engaged in some kind of dance dialogue.
After class I reluctantly headed over to the supermarket, usually a practice in CHAOS. However, this time I brought my iPod and listened to some trancey drumming music the whole time, and it totally helped keep me in a state of FLOWING. My surroundings were still CHAOS (especially that dreaded deli section!), but by focusing on the music and my own specific actions, the experience became almost a practice in meditation.