I really enjoy the morning stretch. Whether just sitting and reading something or getting to the Down Dog Yoga app and doing about 10 to 15 minutes of Yin or Restorative Yoga. There's nothing I really seek to accomplish with it. I don't want to address some problems or work my way through some intentions for the day. Honestly, I don't have intentions most days. There's not a word I seek out during the morning that will frame my day. It is more that I feel better after doing it, during doing it, and the rest of the day. I think Yoga for old people is very helpful especially in the mornings when the body does not want to loosen up. I started with Yoga about 1.5 years ago with no real goal in mind. I just wanted to feel better and see if it was for me. The first months I alternatively loved it and hated it. I felt I could not reach my toes much less some exalted state where my absorbed mind bent consciousness and delivered me to something beyond the stretch. I then found out Yoga for me is not about any of that. There is no exalted state, desired outcome, or goal to be reached. It helps with this to have no goals, no end play, no outcome to reach. I have logged the time doing yoga to apple health now and again. I turn it off because there is nothing I want to track with it.
The morning stretch doing yoga is just that. A morning stretch. I find myself waking up, feeling alive, finding the slow moving breath that frames the slow, slow stretches. Yin is about silence and slowness. Reaching a point and then going a little further. Never to hurt myself but to offer a bit more.
I know with Yoga I reached something when my friend H told me last year I was looking good and others in Hanoi told me I had lost weight and asked how I was doing it. I had never associated Yoga with any of it so I was surprised.
The second morning stretch is always meditation. I think what I do just helps the feelings of what I term "okay-ness". I don't do anything in particular like chant or listen to music but I do use an app called Calm because primarily of one person that does daily guided sessions I enjoy. I also like the soundscapes of the ocean, the forest, and other things I can reach into. Mostly though there is nothing I reach to or want away from. Meditation is not that way. Not finding or escaping to me. It is simply being. Then being okay with it all.
The last stretch which may start in the morning but often goes on some of the day is walking. I don't walk with purpose or swing my arms or chant or count steps any longer. It is like my body knows what it wants with walking and it knows when I achieve it. Feelings of euphoria often come now like the stretch reaches a new level for me just with one foot in front of the other. This stretch does not require a map or distance or time but it once did. Now it is the act of doing it. The being in it. Not the planning or mapping or charting.
When it all comes together
I feel sometimes it does. But there is nothing I attempt or want from it all blending into one thing. It is not a greater good for the old retired guy. It is more like not searching but finding. Not seeking but seeing. Then when it does come together, each thing feels like it contributes to just the act and art of being.
Walking, yoga, and meditation. Wonderful moments to find nothing, seek nothing, want nothing. Just to be. Perhaps be nothing or find my way through experiences, thoughts, feelings, ups and downs. Never all good or all bad. Life is never one or the other. All three seem to blend all together and give me something back. I'm not sure what but I like it all. I just finished 15 minutes of the most wonderful and luxurious Yin Yoga session.
Soon the walk commences to nowhere in particular. Another no plan plan realized. Perhaps off to San Francisco on the train today. No stretching allowed. Just enjoy the being of it all on a cool, beautiful morning in California.