About This Site | Archive

The Core Dump

It updates the blog, or it gets the hose again.

Tiny victories

Nic practices yoga. It doesn’t go well.

I've been practicing Ashtanga yoga for a couple of years now and have come to some realizations.

First and most important is that I so suck at it: The liquid grace of a panther being run over by a garbage truck.

I am a terrible yogi, there's no getting around it. I'm tall, fat and inflexible, equipped with muscles that resist all stretching. They want to be as tight as they always were and they are damn well going to stay as tight as they want. Period.

The second realization is, yoga is good for me.

Because I suck at it, not despite it: the suckage shows how much I need it. The damage wrought by a life sitting on chairs and couches is enormous. It's not just that my hamstrings, quads and shoulders are tight, but the lower back, lordie, the lower back—it's like a rotted oak tree. (Incidentally, it was lower back pain that first got me interested in yoga. And yes, yoga has helped tremendously.)

Yoga is also good for me since it forces me to be aware of my body. Since our brains are designed to notice differences, not things that remain the same, unless you stress your body you don't notice your basic state. And if you don't notice it, trust me, it's bad. I now notice when my posture is crappy and try to make it better. Not subconsciously, yet, but if I keep practicing it will be.

So, yay yoga!

I've also noticed in class lately that more and more gray-haired guys are showing up to reduce themselves to shaking, sweaty piles and asked the instructor about it. She confirmed she's seeing more and more men in her classes all over town. It seems word is getting out that as you age you have to start worrying about flexibility as much as whatever Rambo stuff you're into.

It's great from a selfish dignity point: More creaky middle-aged guys means fewer bendy twenty-year-old girls for me to compare myself to. It's also great from a public health perspective. I'm convinced us over-the-hill guys need this. Join us, don't be afraid, etc.

The problem, though, is how to keep doing something you're no good at. It's disheartening when people who are genetically gifted progress at lightning speed while my damn hammies go “nope.” Or even worse as happened this week when somebody shows up for their first class ever and are effing great at it. Just great at it. All kinds of aptitude. If this person keeps it up she'll kick all kinds of ass at yoga. At the same time as I'm in the back of the short yoga bus eating crayons.

It can be hard.

The solution that works for me is tiny victories. Accepting that I suck and then looking for the little things that go right.

Getting the elbow that little bit closer to the outside of the thigh. Getting the hand that little bit closer to the feet. Sinking into downward dog with the shoulders that little extra bit loose that opens up the chest to where the pose starts to make sense.

Always that little bit. One tiny victory, inconsequential as it is, at a time.

Lengthen on the inhale. Fold deeper on the exhale.

Posted Friday, 14 February 2014 by

« The Mac, homegrown

 »


Enjoy the ten latest posts:

Review: The Pet Shop Boys Electric tour hits Phoenix

Hey, you like lasers? We have lasers!

Book roundup, part 14

Some great reads and a huge disappointment in this installment. Includes The Loudest Voice in the Room, Hatching Twitter, Dogfight, Ancillary Justice, KOP Killer, The Circle, Working God’s Mischief and Where Eagles Dare.

Desert rose

Flowering cactuses are a beautiful sight.

New York City trip report

The Lindh family visits the Big Apple and it is good.

We all have our limit

You meet interesting people at the Apple Store. And everybody has a limit.

Protecting straight people

The Arizona state legislature is busy protecting the freedoms of the already protected.

Tiny victories

Nic practices yoga. It doesn’t go well.

The Mac, homegrown

Nic delves into the shady computer enthusiast underworld of the Hackintosh.

My first Mac

On the Mac’s 30th anniversary, Nic reminisces about his first.

How to privatize a public good

The standard right-wing approach to privatizing public goods like education and health care.