Saturday, September 20, 2014

Yoga Revisited

Since we are in a new term for school and choir and exercise sessions and everything else, including Bible study on Daniel, I just will say that I have switched from Egoscue Yoga to Hatha Yoga, since the Egoscue was driving me crazy (see that post).  Last week, the weather was nice enough for me to bicycle to the class and back--extra bonus for wellness efforts.

In  researching Hatha Yoga online, we find that there is much Hindu philosophy in it, as well as Jungian psychology.  According to the internet, and what can we not all find there, people have a Kundalini effect, which can be problematic for them--an awakening, a higher consciousness, a spiritual crisis--the kind of stuff Jung thrives on.

Alright.  My Hatha Yoga instructor, I think, will go nowhere near that sort of theory.  She did mention certain exercises being good for the kidney, or the clearing of the bowels.  I do find that the kidneys and the bowels tend to work quite well on their own, yoga or no yoga. It always makes one suspicious when the miracles are of the every day sort, and then are hailed as a break-through.  But the exercises were good and appropriate and I am happy with them.

There was a kind of clangy, harpy Eastern style music playing, which was quite innocuous, and fairly pleasant.  I am pretty sure the devil is not in it. It reminded me of a Chinese CD I purchased in San Francisco which I find actually more mesmerizing.  Mesmerizing or not, music is always powerful, and I fairly gladly submit to its influence under most circumstances, not really being a party-goer or otherwise rowdy individual.  I will take a Bach cantata over everything else, but a little Chinese dinner music does not scare me.

And there was a great benefit:  I discovered an exercise that is helping the heel problem acquired when dancing in my kitchen barefoot on the tile.  This is how it goes:  you lie on your back with the leg up and a belt over the ball of the foot.  You stretch all that and then turn the foot in and out.  That was getting at something in the ankle.

Tremendous.  Old age teaches us such new tricks.

See.  Turning the foot in stretched the outside of the leg and ankle.  So, there, that is just a good stretch to me.  Call it Hatha Yoga or not.

There were also the stretches with arms up which seem worshipful, and are supposed to refer you to joy or the sun, or some such thing.  When it seems too worshipful of something unknown, I just say a praise to the Trinity.  "Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."  And at the end, for the greeting of the divine in me and you,  I just look around and think:  "Jesus loves you."  I will tell everyone that who wants to know, and if they don't like it, they can kick me out of yoga.

Of course, there is the bad in us.  Lots of really bad stuff, and a stretch and a meditation won't deal with that, and the world has never lived in harmony though we keep on trying.  The battle for peace is like the battle of the bulge or a healthy body.  It never ends, until it does end completely through the gift of God and eternal life.

So, I can't get myself to say Namaste, and I probably am not destined for a career in yoga.  But know, that I am whispering "Jesus loves you."  Oh, you little black sheep.  And me.  Let us stretch together, or at least side by side.  It does us good but we won't get a wholesome society from it.  It can help us but it can't save our souls.

Peace in Christ.

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