Moving right along

January 30, 2014

Finding my balance in nature

Finding my balance in nature

I’ve moved out of the river bottom, and back again, countless times. The property where I’ve been living this past year and a half was once an open field, and before the two-story house that now stands here was built, I lived in a house trailer that was transported here from the Ojai Foundation land in Upper Ojai.

Later I lived in an old one-room structure that still stands at the back of this property, with glorious views of the river bed and sunsets in the direction of Lake Casitas. I was here the year that the now dry creek bed was a roaring muddy river that almost jumped the banks.

It was here that I got my first huge, heavy computer–in the days before email or Facebook. It was here that I actually began the cumbersome one-finger typing process of getting the draft of  The New Yoga for People Over 50 copied on those now ancient square discs.

I woke up this morning feeling sore, stiff, and tired from schlepping boxes of stuff to my storage unit these past two days. Fatigue drains not only the body but the spirit–I realized I’d better stop in my tracks and take the morning off to do yoga and walk in nature, to replenish myself, even though I’m under the gun to be out by tomorrow.

My muscles felt so fatigued that at first all I did was align myself symmetrically on the floor in Savasana, the Corpse Pose. The process of moving, packing up all the stuff we identify with, leaving the familiar cave we’ve been sleeping in, is like a little death.

It felt so right to just lie still on the hard floor, watching the river of the breath, absorbing the utter impermanence and fleeting futility of the struggle of life.

Physiologically, it takes about twenty minutes of consciously resting in Savasana for the body to completely relax and let go. There’s a pleasant feeling of the bones of the body, the whole skeletal structure, sinking into the earth. In Savasana we learn to completely let go of everything we identify with and surrender our mortal physical vessel back to the earth.

After the long Savasana came a series of deep floor twists and the always-good-for-us basic lying-down leg and hip stretches . . .

By mid-morning Honey and Chico let me know it was time to go outside. It was drizzling, and suddenly there was a burst of hopeful raindrops–it was wet enough to make me run back inside and grab a jacket.

In the midst of this drought, we Ojaians remain eternally hopeful. The promise of rain hangs in the air, a few drops fall–and then it’s like the sky changes her mind.

* * *

Chapter Three of Fishing on Facebook: A Writing Yoga Memoir, is titled, The River Bottom

Photo credit: Amy Joy Bakken — in Ojai, CA.

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