Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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“I’m Just Here for the Shavasana”


“I’m just here for the Shavasana” is a tee-shirt meme that I find quite amusing and altogether accurate.

I have been doing yoga off-and-on since childhood, along with tai chi and chi-gong, bellydancing (yes, you heard me), and labyrinth walking.   I find any sort of moving meditation beneficial, but yoga is the one that has stuck with me the most all these decades. Once I got over yoga as merely another form of exercise and began to see it as a means to relaxation, meditation and prayer, I have been able to develop it as a routine practice that I do most days.

Shavasana (or savasana) is traditionally the last pose in most yoga routines. It is simply reclining and relaxing all the muscles. “A complete yoga practice will furnish the nervous system with a host of new neuromuscular information. Shavasana gives the nervous system a chance to integrate that into a brief pause before it is forced to deal with the usual stresses of daily life once again.” (Wikepedia).

I don’t know about the science of it; I just know that I enter a state of physical and mental bliss after my yoga practice. I feel a complete release of body and mind.

 

ljg (c) 2017
Images courtesy of Morguefile.

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Stretched Every Which Way…

This week I feel like I have been pulled in every conceivable direction: by the day job, by family concerns, by some home maintenance issues, and all the usual routine activities.

But whenever I start feeling like a stretched out piece of elastic, I go with it: I physically start stretching every which way on my yoga mat.

I usually end up in Child’s Pose, where I draw in my stretched out spirit and release myself to God.

Then everything just snaps back in the place and all is well.

Elastic


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Downward Dogs, Jellyfish and Getting Lost in the Zone

Moon Jellies

Moon Jellies Adrift

I have a lot of interests. Here is a list of just a few of them.

writing, drumming, photography, cooking, reading, yoga, labyrinth walking, qi gong, archetypal literary criticism, archaeology, historical research, art as therapy, music as therapy, comparative religion, natural history, astronomy, church history, hymnody and worship, herbalism, and classic Rock-and-Roll

Some of these interests seem not to have a whole lot in common. Or do they? If you believe, as I do, that the human experience is a dance of the physical, mental, emotional, volitional, and spiritual, then there are elements of these disciplines and activities that overlap. Yoga, for example, unifies the body, the mind, and the spirit in its practice.  When I do that Downward Dog I feel these all come together.

Likewise, astronomy and natural history, for me at least, sometime evokes a worshipful response to the creator who crafted the stars, the moon, ardvaarks, and jellyfish.  The manifested world of the senses aligns with my religious worldview.

And when I cook, drum, write, or paint, I get drawn into “the zone”, which I think is some altered state of consciousness that is not unlike the state of mind I fall into when I am rocking out to some old tunes on my Rolling Stones playlist.   The Stones have something in common with my Boeuf Bourguignon.  Who would have thought it?

Yes, it all works together.

ljg 2017


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Yoga and Green Tea

I am establishing some new morning habits.

For a couple of years, my old habit was to wake-up to inane talk radio and listen to it for a whole hour while lounging in bed.  I would then drag myself out of bed and get dressed, then watch a half hour of depressing and oh-so-repetitive cable news while I ate breakfast. When I left for work, I was already tired and spent. It was no wonder that my right knee felt like a knife was slicing through it. It was as if all that negative energy was settling into the structure and mechanism of my knee.

At the end of March I got a wake up call that I needed to be doing more cardio exercise to improve my health. But how would I do that with a bum knee? Past experiences with western medical practitioners made me skeptical to ask them for help. I did not want to take painkillers or other drugs and physical therapy never proved helpful in previous situations.

So I got off my butt (literally) and engaged the services of a Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner. I just finished 17 weeks of acupuncture treatment, including herbs and nutritional counseling. The results: Four months ago I could not walk two city blocks or climb a flight of stairs without stabbing pain in my knee. Yesterday, I walked and actually jogged TWO miles with no knee pain whatsoever. (Okay, I just jogged on the flat parts of my very hilly town– but still!)

My new morning habit is to wake up at 4:45, make a cup of green tea, leave it to cool, take my walk, come home and do some yoga and meditation, and then re-hydrate by drinking the tea– all before 6 am. This leaves me time to clean up and dress, pack my lunch, eat my breakfast, maybe read a little, and still get to work 7:30.

Do you see what’s missing? NO media. No news about stupid, inept and embarrassing politicians, acts of violence, the destruction of our environment, social unrest, injustice, et cetera.     None.   Nada.   Zip.

Those issues are important and are not forgotten.  I just deal with them later in the day.   My goal is start my day in peace and harmony.

Now the trick is to keep these habits engaged until they become a fully complete life-style.  There’s no going back at this point.

I’d better get myself some more tea.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2017

Tea