Yoga is tedious. Nearly every pose is an uncomfortable, muscle straining embarrassment that I want to be over with. And don’t even get me started on the weird, dirty hippy culture surrounding yoga in Western civilization. Yet I attend every Saturday in the Parc de la Ciudadella. The sessions are run by a lovely friend of mine from Bulgaria, whose simple Spanish is well pronounced and clear, unlike the locals who speak as if they had a mouthful of food. When I find myself squeezing my eyes shut tight, trying to force my center of gravity lower so as not to topple over, I can shift my focus outside myself and listen to the sounds of morning in the Parc – the company of little green Monk parrots chattering and squawking in the trees, people jogging, dogs trotting by. This all makes the session bearable and go by faster. But I still hate almost every second of it.
Near the end of the session, when we go into my favorite pose, the corpse pose (which is basically laying there on your back), I can look at the sky through the trees and wait my turn for my yoga teacher friend to get to me and gently touch my forehead with her thumbs and hold them there a minute. I think these last 30 seconds are the real reason I withstand an hour and half of sweating uncomfortably while not visibly exerting oneself. Something about her two thumbs pressing into my head centers and relaxes me so completely it makes my mind go completely blank for just a moment. It’s like, total tranquility and clarity, for just a second. I need this. Then all at once, a flurry of thoughts erupt in my head and the moment is over. And this is what pisses me off.
I wish I had some more moments like this, need more moments like this. My head is an absolute whirlwind of ideas and unfocused energy, now that I am not working. And it’s only been a week. And it’s not like I am doing nothing, either. I don’t want a vacation. I hate being idle. I am taking 3 hours of Spanish a day, plus another I study another 2 hours at least per day. I am going to networking meetings and events, arranging visits with friends and acquaintances old and new (mostly because I’m lonely), bicycling every day, researching business ideas, and, even though I said I wouldn’t do it for a couple of months, doing some job hunting.
I wanted this to be a break where I could study Spanish and consider some new directions in my life, maybe even write something, in a relaxed but focused manner. But I am so distracted and, I don’t know, anxious? that this post required a stack of chocolate chip cookies just to get me through. And every attempted post between the last published and this one has required some sort of chocolate flavored distraction to keep me in my chair. (Note: Cookies of the choco chip variety are not easy to find here in Spain. These particularly delicious cookies, in fact, were purchased from an international market, were made in Germany, and are aptly named “American cookies”. I must admit, while most German foods mimicking our culinary American delights are a far cry from the real McCoy, these are a pretty decent attempt.)
I hate not having a purpose, even a shitty one like contributing to a job that I don’t necessarily love. Having time and endless possibilities makes my hands sweat and heart pound and makes need sugar. I am overwhelmed with how big a life everyone has the potential to create, and I am consumed with dread that although given every opportunity, I may never achieve greatness. I am not embarrassed to want greatness, but I am scared to admit that I want it, because of the possibility I may fail to attain it.
Therefore, I will do the only thing that gives me relief from the self doubt and anxiety swimming around in my head these days, the only thing that relieves me of the noise in my head. I will flounder my way through ridiculous yoga sessions in the park. And I will hate almost every second.