was speaking with the many-numbered black belt who founded my son’s Tae
Kwon Do school. (His once pure black belt has worn to grey-white from use.)
This fierce competitor took up yoga years ago as a means
of deepening-continuing-extending his martial arts practice.
years of intense combatitive competition had left his body in distress.
Yoga was part of the path back to a fuller, more balanced martial arts
experience for this master.
I own an art gallery. I write a blog. Ah, you effete! I hear you crying, How could this relate to you, you girly man?
this way. I’m in my 50s and am called upon to lift heavy bronze
sculpture, transport large (as in huge) framed canvases, and move all
manner of objects about. On sudden notice. One minute I’m there
innocently pecking away like an academic on my computer keyboard and the
next I’m hurtling across the gallery floor to hoist some ungodly vase with the girth of a sumo wrestler’s stomach cavity.
Or — as recently happened — my
wife sends me out on numerous Home Depot runs for oversized bags of organic
earth — each to be hoisted and transported and hoisted two more times before
scattering its rich earth into a raised garden bed for her.
When your body is unsupple — unbalanced — injury occurs. As it did for me.
I see how even those much younger than I — and supposedly more capable — injure themselves. So
I take this martial arts master’s example of balancing and strengthening
one’s self through yoga seriously.
Since that discussion I’ve been inspired to bring spot yoga back into my life . . . until I can again include longer form yoga in my schedule. So there you’ll find me, at any given juncture of the day — at the gas pump, beside my desk, in line — extending and engaging my body so I can better extend myself into what I do.