Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cycle Oming in Sonoma

Just got back from 4 days of cycling in Somoma and doing 3-4 hours of yoga a day at Terra Bella just above Glenn Ellen. I met 14 amazing people this past weekend; each teaching me something about their lives and at the same time something about mine. I soon realize that everyone has something to teach us; we just need to listen. There is such richness in a community that shares your passions, especially those with the same tenacious curiosity resting within you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why I like Yoga

In Yoga, we talk about "the mat" as a place we resolve, learn, expand, gain. Here is one of my lessons on "the mat."

Crawling in my toasty studio this morning, I felt the heat of yesterday lingering in my studio. I put on my meditative flow tunes, and with my breath moving in and out with each pose I saw the temperature inch up a little higher. I realized yesterday that my body is changing; my arms defined by the movements, my hamstrings becoming more like bows at rest, AND, I like it.
Yoga has shown me that there are no limits except for the reality I may construct. I thought I could never reach my toes (past reality); now I go past them and lay my chest on my knees (conscious reality). I thought I could never put my hands in prayer behind me (past reality); now I go beyond and can wrap my arm behind my back and grab the foot of my folded leg (conscious reality). Yoga clears the mind so you can just produce what is possible; you don't think about limitations you just create the possible. I now "be" the new reality, in my bike racing, my business and my relationships.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Summer in Seattle (almost)

I was suppose to race in Wenatchee this weekend. Yeah, it was going to be 90 degrees in Seattle today. Hmmm that = 100+ in Wenatchee. Hmmm. Me thinks I'll hang in Seattle, bike for 4 hours, take a nap on the porch, have a bbq at the lake house and blog about it so all those suffering souls east of the mountains may think better next time!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bad Mind, Bad!

I have these sudden instances of worry (like all of us). For example, yesterday a client had one of those pregnant pauses after something I said and my mind begins to play with that pause;

MIND: I'm off (my game), client thinks I'm off, Oh I was really so off, now they are going to tell people I'm off, heck they are going to convince others I'm off, gosh I was off and its going to affect future business on how off I was.

Bad Mind, Bad, Bad, Bad MIND! Stop it. Okay mind, that was a nice little trick, spinning me in all those wonderful ways. Not now I'm not going to fall for that one. Elevate yourself... yeah, that's it - no need to spin there.

Suddenly, when I realized I triggered MIND, I tell myself to rise above. Get conscious of where my mind LOVES to take us... Oh those gloriously mind satisfying places of spin, spin, spin of worry. Ya see... the mind LOVE to take you to the past AND the future... it never likes to play in the present... heck its no fun in the pure reality of the present moment for Mr. MIND.

I've taken MIND to obedience school often in the past couple of years; Sit! Stay! as it was like a rabid puppy that needed to chill out. Now, its learning to be a faithful pup at my side... fetching any ball I toss it and bringing it back to my feet. Good Boy, Good Boy!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Today's Youth

I spent some time with a 17 year old kid last night. He seemed pretty pessimistic, as his days prior to graduation are spent gaming for hours, working at the video store and lamenting about its better to game than sleeping because sleeping is too boring. He also said to me that his past friends (at school) were treating him like an outsider. He also said he didn't know what field he wanted to pursue because he couldn't imagine doing something (one thing really) for the rest of his life. Wow the sense of time (or lost) at such an early age.

Okay I said...

First off dude, if you want friends (other than those in your game) you need to invest time in developing relationships. Secondly, your career is what you make of it and to see it like a static video game is to be blind to the dynamics of life. I told this young man... "look, if you think you can control life like the predictability of a game, you are missing the game itself." I then said, "Life is like the best video game that challenges you, excites you and is forever changing." Most of all I told him "we can't control life and wouldn't want to!"

He looked at me, with a respectful eye...
Left my home with his mom with what appeared to be some hope showing on his face.
Then told his mom this morning that I was wicked cool.

If only I would listen to my own advice...
No need to control life...
The big globe just spins on and on and on.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Older I Get...

The more I learn about my body... particularly as things get off kilter and I need to pay attention to myself. So this past week my education was in SI joints (sacroiliac joint) which is where my pelvis attaches to my sacrum. Now I didn't even know or think there was a connection there (yeah I'm not a doctor but sometimes play one) and for some reason I figured the tailbone comes off the body and was connected like the rest of my spine (floating with discs and ligaments) and this little joint wasn't a joint but just part of my pelvis.
WRONG. So my lesson....
This little joint (best to my PT's knowledge) is where many people have disfunction from sitting too much, weak back muscles, etc. For me it got a little misaligned when the muscles of my back went into LOCK DOWN. Yah see... When the muscles like the QL and the Psoas contract (and go into spasism) on the back side, it locked my sacrum in the forward position...

AND, when you go to be homo erectus...
It basically yanks your spine from the back side and you scream OUCH!..or oh, oh, oh, oh... as I did thinking you blew a disc or something. So on Tuesday evening I was quite happy being as Diagram #4 (post race) illustrates, then on Wednesday morning I was figure #1 (Post Child's Pose) and Thursday Friday I was #2. Today I'm happy to report that I'm back to Diagram #3-4 as my muscles have returned to rest and relaxation and normal function....SO, you know me I had to do hill repeats today. Yes! Kitty (my yoga teacher) tells me that muscles lock/spaz just as they are getting strong. Hmmmm. I like Kitty.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Child's Pose

Tuesday night I rolled my BMC on the track at Pacific Raceways to do the surgefest bike race of the flats with the master's men. Oh, boy I thought... I just need to hang on. If I can make it for 30 minutes with the pack that would be victory (as I could define it). With my heart popping from my chest on the first two laps I hung on and it suddenly felt easier. With two laps to go and 40 minutes into the race... I said to myself, I'm going to make it and through the final turn, I gave my last burst of energy calling upon all the muscles of my lower half to hammer and finish high in the pack. Victory!

I climbed into my car and raced home stopping at whole foods for a big slab of salmon, salad and a pocket full of hemp seed granola and chocolate chips (my treat on those "you deserve it" events).

Crawling into bed, I fell a sleep with a smile on my face.

The next morning, still full of joy...
I jumped out of bed at 5am and I sauntered into my yoga studio to engage in my daily 1.5 hour practice to the entire CD of Krishna Das. 40 minutes of getting down on my dawg, I moved back to childs pose. Oh know I thought....I can't get out of this pose.

Getting worried, I rolled over with a shortness of breath as it seemed like some evil monster had full grip of my lower spine - both hands mind you. I laid still for 10 minutes and thought I should need to extend my spine. Using my wall ropes I elongated and it did nothing but make my breath shorter. I tried to stand errect. No luck. I hobbled into my house knowing I had a full day of meetings.

Got dressed and stood much of the day (as it seemed better).

At 3pm, I called my yogini, Kitty (also an acupuncturist) and said I need to see you. She called her brilliant massage therapist/medicine man and the two of them received me at 5pm yesterday evening. Giovanni worked on my for what seemed like 2 hours. My body was worked as he read my body and its movements as a world class tango dancer. He moved with grace and my body just received. Then, he departed with my body vibrating with moving energy and blood like I was floating. Kitty gave me water and let my body rest for 1.5 hours. She returned working pressure points where my muscles thought they needed to be in fear mode and locked. They soon relaxed. Then she stuck needles into those same muscles and vibrated them deeper into my lower back. She then put mugwort on the needs (probably 15 of them) and set them a blaze - yes on FIRE!

Now I don't know about you...but not being able to see that someone is lighting your back on fire and that you will be okay takes much trust. The heat was amazing, warming, healing. The smell... well not so fun.

At 12:30am, I got home crawled in bed.
I woke this morning able to get out of bed without pain. I'm not 100%, but I can move.

So what did I do?
Well, Kitty suggested with all the opening and freeing moves I've unleashed in my spine over the past three months (with her great one on one work with me), then the intense bike ride pushed all the stress into these muscles that are not use to the abuse. They got scared and locked up; full of lactic acid.

I also think I'm trying to do too much.
I'm listening....

Today I chill.