The Tao of J Lo

For those that know me or read this blog, you know I have been yoga obsessed for the past 8 months. I love it so much. It has ended my 6 year struggle with lower back pain, it has flattened my giggly middle (see Stuck in the Middle, Oct 2010), it has calmed my mind and opened my heart like I never though possible. Yoga has become a big part of my life and I am forever grateful that it found me.

That being said, aside from the occasional hop onto the stationary bike, yoga has been the only form of exercise I have done the last 8 months. It has tightened the saggy ass I thought I was stuck with forever and whittled the waddle on my triceps to a very acceptable size, so why would I ever “bother” to do any other form of exercise? So often over these 8 months my husband asked if I had done any cardio. I would reply that I had and that was the truth, but riding the stationary bike for 11 minutes once a week really doesn’t burn many calories. My forehead was so stuck to my mat that I would get irritated at the idea that I needed anything else but yoga. How wrong I was.

About two weeks ago, an old feeling started creeping up my neck. I couldn’t shake it. It was an extreme tightness and pain that started from the back of my shoulders all the way up into my head and it was almost unbearable.

“I have to get to yoga.” I would say daily and I would go and feel great for the 75 minutes on my mat but as soon as I got back into my car, the tension would return.

“What the hell is this?” I asked myself for two weeks. “With all of the yoga and meditation I do I am so zen, I don’t have anxiety damn it!”

I was resorting to tons of advil and nightly cocktails to relax my muscles but even drugs and alcohol didn’t cut it. Then, a few days ago I headed down to our exercise room to try and get some relief from the agonizing pain. I got on that bike and started playing my tunes. After my standard 11 minutes was up, I hopped off the bike. Just then, “On the Floor” by Jennifer Lopez came on. The beat was exactly what I needed to help slip into my zone- a zone I so often forget I have and I don’t get into nearly enough. I started to move. Not just a polite little school dance move but a let loose, Willow Smith Whip My Hair and everything else move that felt so good and joyful that it went on for quite a few songs and I worked up quite a sweat. In that movement I was able to free myself from the crap that was locked in the muscles of my back and neck. And with the release came a tear or two. I realized then that whether the tears come on the treadmill, on the dance floor or after a big fat orgasm, it is all the same thing: an emotional release from physical action. I need more of that, we all need more of that.

I have always loved to dance. Most women do. As I have gotten older I have seriously forgotten how much. Once you hit your thirties and children come into your life, going out dancing goes by the wayside. I now understand the surge in popularity of Zumba. I have never tried it but I looked on-line for a class near me. There were 50+ places within a 15 mile radius. They teach that class all over the place. It’s a good thing too. Ladies everywhere can now get their groove on at gyms, YMCA’s, church basements, and even down at the Lodge of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes (when they let wives in.) I am trying a class on Thursday.

This die-hard yogi isn’t hanging up her mat by any means. I am just now grasping the meaning of balance and the importance of mixing it up “on the floor” or in my basement. There is plenty of room in life for the stillness and the movement.  In fact, they are both required.

So if you are feeling blue or stressed or can’t sleep for the myriad of reasons in our crazy lives, heed the call of that other lyrical sage Lady Gaga…and Just Dance!

One Response to The Tao of J Lo
  1. Susi
    March 25, 2011 | 1:08 pm

    So true…it’s all about finding balance in everything, isn’t it?

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