So last night I was working out with my buddy Rodney Yee. He was, of course, on my TV looking all effortless and cool flipping into funky yoga poses while I labored and sweated on the family room floor. Rodney says a shoulder stand is a cooling, restorative pose. I do not even attempt the shoulder stand right now. I just watch in wonder. Most of the other things, though, I can do. I always wonder if, when I talk about doing yoga in front of the TV, people imagine me doing it. I sincerely hope not, for the sake of my own personal dignity. I am not what you would usually think of as the yoga type. It's all a little incongruous.
However, as difficult as it is for me, I do it because I really do find it to be helpful. All the kinks and the stiffness that come from sitting at a desk writing all day, all the stress of balancing work and home and church and community, honestly disappear after a session with my man Rodney. I love the careful breathing, the reordering of my joints, the good-sore that happens the day after. That's me, today. I like it so much that I sometimes even think about taking a yoga class and doing it in front of real, live people. Then I think again and I arrive at this conclusion: nah. It's a solitary restorative activity for me.
Today I had lunch with some of the other young moms from church. We do this once a month and I usually try to go. Today it was in Jenny's back yard, sunny and breezy with chicken-and-spinach salad and lemon sweet bread and strawberries and little kids playing on the lawn. Lindsay brought her week-old babe, Natalie. Natalie looks a lot like my Abe did as a newborn: chubby cheeked, squinty eyed, slightly furry and utterly peaceful. It was sweet and quiet (maybe because my kids were at school, huh?) It felt like a deep breath in the middle of a busy day. Again I felt restored, driving back to work with the air blowing into my car windows. That was a more social restorative activity.
I think I need a balance. Solitude can be hard to find, but I've been a believer in its importance for a lot of years. I like it so much that sometimes I forget I also need social interaction. Today, after both kinds of refills, I feel amazingly even.