Friday, February 7, 2014

Fighting The Tofu

One of my favorite authors, Natalie Goldberg, talked about "fighting the tofu" in her own Zen meditation practice. I love the analogy - tofu is this white, bland, foul bean curd. (Well, other people don't think it's foul, but I certainly do.) Tofu doesn't do anything but just sort of sit there. So why fight it? It's like you're fighting imaginary tofu, because the tofu isn't doing anything to harm you.

So lately, I'm having this kind of internal fight between my brain and my body. When I get up in the morning, there's a part of my brain that says, "YES! It's early - let's go do some sun salutations!"

But then the remaining part of my brain reaches for my phone or the iPad and says, "No, it's cold in the house. You won't be comfortable. Stay under the blankies a little longer and play with your phone. Besides, Tom will have to get to the wood stove to start a fire, so you can't do yoga in the living room, anyway."

And then I get on with my day. I drop Colden off at school, and I get home, and that first part of my brain says, "HEY! Let's just take half an hour and do some hip stretches!"

That other annoying part of my brain says, "Nah, you've got this and this and this to do. You've got a big to-do list. Forget the yoga."

And so on.

It goes like this for a good part of the day, until finally, Colden is in bed, and then that annoying part of my brain tells me that it's too late to do yoga, and I should just go to bed.

[Insert big sigh.]

I need to start listening to that part of my brain that tells me to take a few minutes to do yoga, whenever it may be. Doing more yoga would be a good thing.

If I listen to the annoying part of my brain long enough, I start to think, nah, I don't need yoga. I fight the urge to drop down into a few sun salutations because I think, "What good is the yoga doing me, anyway?"

Silly, right?

I'm starting to think that the resistance I'm hearing in my head might mean that I'm on to something good here. Just when the desire to quit gets strong, it usually means that I'm on the right track.

I've got teacher training this weekend, but I'm going to try to start listening to that part of my brain that tells me to do more yoga when I first wake up in the morning. What's the worst that can happen? I get healthier? I get happier? I get stronger and more relaxed?

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