The Quest for Mindfulness – Upside down and inside out

I love being upside down. I love love love it. Ask anyone who knows me well enough, I love doing things backwards and inverted – why? I have no clue, I just think its fun – perhaps I was a bat in previous life as I like

Ask anyone who knows me well enough, I love doing things backwards and inverted – why? I have no clue, I just think its fun – perhaps I was a bat in previous life as I like hanging upside down and I have unbelievably poor eyesight.

This said, I was chuffed that at the last Zen Yoga session, there was a little bit more inversion asanas and some ‘play’ time so to speak. This time with better fitting leggings that this time covered my derriere and a clean and freshly washed top so i didn’t stink out my fellow yogis I was ready and raring to go.

I felt like an excitable kid as we experimented with jumping in and out of our downward facing dogs and planks, as well as a little  handstand kick ups. I felt all giggly as we practiced our sequences, as the best part of learning new ways to use my body  reminds me of the freedom of physical exploration when I was a hyperactive the tomboy without fear, just hanging off trees and upside down on monkey bars .

The one thing that I found rather challenging were the backbends, not because in and of themselves they are difficult,  but rather following my recent hip misalignment and resulting back problems, my psoas muscle and hip flexors are so compromised, it felt like someone had placed a garden gnome under the arch of my back and its plastic pointy hat was piercing into the vertebrae between my bum and lower back. I literally saw stars and after two attempts just accepted my body was not ready for this asana until my hip issues were healed. For literary eloquence I will refrain from putting a sad face emoticon here.

When the meditation segment of the yoga in Berlin class came around, as was the case every time so far, instead of being the still experience I had hoped for it tended to be a glaring interrogation lamp focused on my garbled thoughts and minds white noise.

One thing that was very jarring was that I realised that the whole lesson, had been narrated in the voice of Amy Poehler, whose autobiography I had been listening to at work the whole day prior to coming to  class. This meant my mental chatter also had a very comedic lightly Bostonian twang to it, which was also rather distracting.

Tatjana did leave us with some very poignant and inspiring observations on Zen and meditation. She asked what people expected when they come to the practice? Most people want some kind of ‘magic’ or spiritual fireworks, yet Zen she noted, is the everyday.

Most of our lives consist of small moments strung together like a daisy chain,  from walking, cooking to breathing. If we treat these apparent moments as if they were insignificant, then we render or treat our life itself as if it were insignificant.  I smiled at the end of the yoga in Berlin class, as I thought to myself how I personally like this very simple philosophical approach of the everyday, it seems attainable, it seems human, it seems palpable. Insert smiley faced emoticon.