Little yoga

The process is meant to be sim­ple, spon­ta­neous, with­out videos or books. How­ev­er, in the dis­tant past, I had tak­en cours­es. I lat­er for­got all about it, although I promised myself I would get back into it.

What I have retained from the yoga prac­tice of that time is the breath­ing, some pos­es, and atti­tudes. It is impor­tant to breathe, both in yoga and in med­i­ta­tion. What I retained from these forms of well­ness is mind­ful­ness of the moment.

For a year, I did mod­er­ate car­dio with an ellip­ti­cal train­er in my room. At the same time, I bought new books, sub­scribed to an online pro­gram, pur­chased a good mat, but didn’t move forward.

I don’t know what final­ly prompt­ed me to get back into it. Let’s go with the sim­plest expla­na­tion : I just had the desire.

I start up the Endel app and watch for a while the ani­mat­ed curves draw­ing some wise aes­thet­ic, switch on the exer­cise mon­i­tor on my watch, and choose yoga. This will cal­cu­late the effort, if any. The result will be record­ed some­where in the cloud with­out me pay­ing any more atten­tion than that.

I did the same for the ellip­ti­cal. My goal was to improve my car­dio. I used to read, watched series on Net­flix, but got a bit bored with it, both the effort and the episod­ic sto­ries from the big stream­ing giant. My car­dio may have improved, but I don’t know. My all-know­ing watch gives me about the same results as a year ago.

With my lit­tle yoga, it’s eas­i­er. I start by rais­ing my hands, stretch­ing my arms while look­ing out the liv­ing room win­dow. Then I lift one leg. The left one, which I had bro­ken in 1998, caus­es me to bal­ance prob­lems, while the right one does not hes­i­tate to keep me straight.

So I lis­ten to my body, my first home. Year in, year out, the injured side end­ed up imi­tat­ing the non-injured side. It’s a small vic­to­ry, but I don’t get too excit­ed about it. Heal­ing will always be a con­trolled wound, like those cracks in the earth’s crust that threat­en to release new lava at any moment.

I take a deep breath, stretch my bel­ly, bring my out­stretched arms to the ground, which I man­age to touch. The mus­cles at the back of my legs don’t like it, but again, they don’t protest any­more after a month of try­ing. I man­age to touch the floor with my fin­gers in this way and even briefly press my palms against it.

Then come the imi­ta­tions of the pos­es I learned in my class­es. I don’t always have the bal­ance or the patience to go through with it. It depends on the day’s com­plex­i­ty, whether I do the exer­cis­es in the morn­ing or in the evening, whether I am stressed or lonely.

The exer­cise I always do is the head-down dog fol­lowed by the plank. I don’t hold this pow­er­ful push-up posi­tion for long, as my arms don’t have the strength they used to. I often end up with a qui­et cobra. The sequence forms a kind of wave, and it feels great.

I lis­ten, feel my body, the crack­ing of the joints, the move­ment of the mus­cles. I breathe, think about every­thing and observe with­out thinking.

But it only lasts ten min­utes, some­times fif­teen. It’s just a lit­tle yoga, a form of prayer to myself. It must be good for me, but I don’t cal­cu­late the progress or the true nature.

My blood sug­ar lev­el tends to rise slight­ly. I have oth­er instru­ments for judg­ing my organs, but I can­not deduce any­thing from them because I am not a doctor.

I am only an aging man who lives on an ephemer­al island. I am just a life, still beau­ti­ful­ly the same, lucky not to suf­fer so much, to have reached this age bourgeoisly.

I am aware of the intense sad­ness that is hap­pi­ness. I am just one more ques­tion, one more anony­mous breath.

And I stretch, I think of the sky in front of me, of my breath in my entrails. I am just that.

It’s amaz­ing.