August 10, 2011

Can Yogis fight?

Lately I’ve been jogging to increase my cardiovascular strength and decrease my girth for the upcoming book tour. The little earbud headphones don’t stay in my ears so I jog with the Bose Noise Reducing headphones.

Yes, they are a bit awkward, and I’ve been told that jogging with them gives me a striking resemblance to Warren from the movie “There’s Something About Mary” (see photo).

One thing that’s unclear…when jogging on roads and coming to a red light, do you stop and let your heart rate decline…or do you jog in place and keep it going?

A few days ago, I was jogging along my usual path. I stopped at a red light and began to jog in place.

A car of high school kids pulled up at the light next to me.

Due to my headphones, I couldn’t hear them, but I noticed out of the corner of my eye that the kids were speaking to me. Maybe they needed directions? Or maybe they wanted to know if I enjoyed my Bose Noise Reducing Headphones?

While removing the headphones, I heard one of the high school kids in mid-sentence saying, “…loser ever!”

“Excuse me I’m sorry I couldn’t hear you!?” I screamed out of breath while still jogging in place.

“I said you’re the biggest loser ever!” the high school kid screamed again.

I wished the light would turn green but it was a slow light. I refused to let these high school kids affect me and shouted back at them “You go away!” while maintaining my cardio rate.

I’d have been better off feeding Red Bull Vodka to a colic baby. The high school punks screamed even louder at the top of their lungs when all of a sudden…they got real quiet.

One of the high school kids rolled down the back window and said, “Aren’t you my mom’s yoga teacher?”

Sure enough, I recognized the kid who had taken my class a few times with his mom.

“Dude, my mom loves your class,” the kid said apologetically while shushing his friends in front.

“Does your mom know you’re a punk ass bitch?!” I screamed angrily.

I was beyond pissed and the second those words left my mouth, I felt terribly for my unyogic slip of the tongue. As the kids drove off, I thought to myself, “Y’know, jogging in place is awkward, and I was askin’ for it.”


Nowadays, there’s no such thing as starting and stopping. We have one speed in life…that which enables us to maintain momentum on the information superhighway.

I’m addicted to this speed. I can’t stop.

When waking up, I run straight to my computer to see who’s written to me overnight. When driving, I often check my emails. When finished with teaching my yoga class, I can’t turn on my phone fast enough to see who called.

Yes, my book is entitled Livin’ the Moment but in it, I’m not preaching from a pulpit…but rather, starting a conversation: How do we get a grip?

Addiction to “speed” is a sickness, and it undermines our connection to the Universe.

Franz Kafka said, “..be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”  In other words: “…turn off your phone and be aware that if you can actually live in the moment, all good will come.”

So often we feel like we are lacking…not enough money, not enough opportunity, not enough lucky breaks. But really, what we’re lacking is the courage to be completely and deeply present…to stop at the red light and forsake pace, for peace.

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