Monday, October 18, 2010

body & soul

Today is one of those days spent entirely attending to self-maintenance. Might as well; I have nothing better to do.

After a necessary and crucial good night's sleep, began the morning (after e-mails, etc.) with pranayama and meditation, the former accompanied by the mesmerizing drone of a tanpura, the latter in silence.

Breakfast, the usual couple of eggs, will be succeeded for the rest of the day by vegan fare -- fruit, nuts, brown rice type of stuff.

After a thorough shower, shave, tooth cleaning, and so forth, dressed warmly for the bike ride to Greenwood (even now, at 3 p.m., it's just barely above 50). I'm returned home from Capitol Hill now, so back to scrupulously working on leaving the faintest possible carbon footprint.

During an hour in the studio, fitted into place the final piece of daily practice, movement and exercise (asana). I noticed while working that daily yoga pays dividends; all my muscles are well toned, the body balanced and well proportioned if somewhat undersized and underweight.

Got my cardio workout on the bike ride home. (Going to Greenwood is downhill, returning is uphill.) I've become a believer in the necessity of daily cardio-pulmonary work -- as necessary as stretching and moving to achieve strength and flexibility.

Some people might say all of this is self-indulgent and narcissistic, and i suppose to some extent that's true. But I don't have much else to do, and anyway the better care each of us takes of ourselves now, the less someone else will have to take care of us later on.

Right now I think I'll go stir in what at this point is the only missing ingredient -- a nap.


Thursday, October 14, 2010


Yesterday I moved up to Capitol Hill for a few days of cat sitting, taking care of Ole. Besides having to drive more to get to where I need to go, being here is not much different from being home. Life has begun to be pretty much the same anywhere I go.

I moved across town with a small knapsack with a couple changes of clothes in it, a bag of groceries and supplements, a few toiletries, a laptop and a cell phone. I also came with a car, of course, but I'm getting to the point where I could carry everything I need on a bicycle, and ditch the car. I could be gone from home for six months and never miss a thing.

How simple my life has gotten. When I was married, owned a home, and was working things always seemed a lot more complicated. I think it was working that mostly made it that way, since a person needs to figure out how to fit in all that other stuff we need to do around working. But now life is amazingly simplified, and it gets simpler all the time, and any place I go, I'm home.


Sunday, October 03, 2010


At this point it's all about breath. 50 Years of smoking can't be overcome, but with adaptation even emphysematic breathing can be optimized.

Practice starts with establishing a relatively slow and deep breath pattern, with abdominally-activated exhalation. Once movement begins, the initial pattern is retained for the duration of practice, and closely linked with the movements throughout.

Pranayama follows, and sometimes there's difficulty. The concentrated and purposeful breathing can be frequently interrupted by coughing, as the discipline of yoga activates fluids and impurities in the lungs and encourages the body to expel them. That's actually a good sign, indicating a slow but gradual improvement in the baseline condition of the respiratory organs.

Related: I've lowered the temperature of the marijuana vaporizer from 350F to 325, because the cooker was giving off a bit of smoke at the higher temperature. Smoking not allowed!