Last night I thought I would pull out Dr. Andrew Weil's CD, "Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing." I was doing great, breathing my way through the exercises, until I came to the fast-paced in-and-out shallow breathing. Next thing I knew, Jack was shaking me, afraid I was having some kind of attack. I won't tell you the words that came out of his mouth when I told him I was simply doing some breathing exercises, but I quickly decided it was time to leave the bedroom.
So began my search for the late Richard Hittleman's "Yoga: 28 day exercise plan." He was huge at one time, had his own TV show, and his yoga books sold in the millions. (There are 20 according to Wikipedia and are still sold on Amazon.) I have been writing a magazine article on yoga for the past month, and had the chance to speak with dozens of yoga practitioners, which got me thinking that it might be time to return to yoga, a practice I once did it religiously for at least an hour a day. So this morning, about 2 a.m., the time was right. I found the book and a large beach towel (my yoga mat is long gone), and did Day 1 of Hittleman.
The first day is a tease -- it took less 20 minutes because I actually remembered how to do the beginning postures. But unlike past times when I did Hittleman's yoga, this time I was in no hurry. I breathed deeply through all the postures, even when I was holding each. I paid attention to what was going on in my body, and listened to it when it moaned, telling me I had stretched far enough.
I never did that before. In the past, I would try to perfect the extreme position from the get-go, ignoring my inner voice. I can't do that anymore. I need to slow down. I need to pay attention.
Does this mean I am finally maturing?