Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm a shrimp burrito!

Hey y'all! Happy summer.

This is the time of year when us Bikram yoga practitioners should pat ourselves on the back. Or, if that's too self-congratulatory, at least we should take it easy on ourselves when it's hotter than hell in the hot room, and when we know there's no reprieve from that heat when we walk out the doors.

That said, well, I guess I'm getting ahead of myself. I haven't blogged in a while--it's my longest gap since I started Eat the Yolk. Part of that gap is due to a week spent traveling back east.* I had a blast in New York and Boston (visited a studio there--great place, although I'm not sure it could be classified as "hot yoga." Warm yoga?). But the main reason for lack of blogging has been a combination of other factors: summer doldrums, change of routine, and less--dare I say it?--less of an insistent need for yoga. 

Normally, yoga is my life raft. I reach for it when I'm drowning in a sea of schedules, stress, malaise, sadness, whatever. And then, I am compelled to blog about the insights and changes that stem from those blessed classes. But with the stress-reduced summer and another serious (but good!) life change, that "OMG, must yoga now" feeling hasn't grabbed ahold of me quite as strongly as it did during the school year. 

Thankfully, I've managed to maintain a 3x/week practice. I'm actually seeing a lot of progress there. I like going to the 9:00 a.m. classes--I'm calm and steady, and knowing that I have the rest of the day ahead of me is just lovely. 

So maybe it's all just been a little.... too good! Until this week, that is. 

Things have been heating up weather-wise in SoCal, and my personal life is getting a bit busier, too. As a result, yoga has afforded me some moments for intense growth. As other bloggers have noted, it has that ability to peel back the layers to really expose what's going on in your mind and heart--whether you like what you see or not. 

Something was bugging me before yoga this morning, and warm weather drove a crowd to "get 'er done" and attend the typically sparse 9:00 a.m. weekday class. The room was immediately a pressure-cooker, and a high-maintainance newbie slowed the standing series down considerably. By the time we got to the floor, I was gone. An old anxiety had resurfaced. I was feeling trapped, claustrophobic, and overheated. The meditation techniques I'd been working with to keep me calm in situations like this immediately went out the window.

I was panicky and wanted to leave, so I let myself rifle through the thought stream in my head in the hopes that I'd find myself something to calm me down. As I lay on my stomach in spine-strengthening series, the stream of thoughts went something like this:

"You're in the ocean! It's cold! What's in the ocean? Fish, octopus, crustaceans, fish, bubbles, bubbles, shrimp. Oh, shrimp! They make a good burrito. I like shrimp burritos. I am a shrimp burrito! Just be a shrimp burrito."

Silly as it sounds, that thought actually calmed me down. A shrimp burrito is just a shrimp burrito. It doesn't get stressed by its environment. It just exists as a little amalgamation of tortilla, salsa fresca, frijoles, whatever. It doesn't cast judgments on its environment.

OK, I realize the shrimp are dead by the time they get into the burrito. They don't cast judgments 'cause they can't cast judgments. But still, the thought kinda sorta makes sense? We're in yoga! We don't need to think so much. After the burrito thing, I was able to simply notice what was happening. There was less judgment, and ultimately less panic. When I thought of the heat, I also thought of how incredibly efficient my body was at cooling itself down. What a remarkable little system we have inside ourselves! We can stay in a room of over 110 degrees, do strenuous poses and get our heart rate up, and get to the point where we feel comfortable. Isn't that incredible?

Just be the burrito!

Shrimp Burrito Man

**Must acknowledge other amazing bloggers for already commenting on this summer blogging phenomenon!


marti21 said...

Only because your topic is food related:
Tuesday I was blessed to have the instructor who says “…like a Japanese Ham Sandwich…JUICY…YUMMMMIE…” and it made me laugh out loud because you had just told me about this and…wahaha…I was on my lunch break!

belovely said...

Awesome post! I never knew I could be a shrimp burrito...but I guarantee this idea will come to mind the next time I'm freaking out in my head at yoga, and need to calm down. :) So thanks for that tasty morsel!

Also, feel free to check out my post from a few weeks back about the state of the Bikram blogging world. It's not directly talking about why summer slows us down, but it's also relevant. Just if you're interested! :D Thanks!

belovely said...

Hey again...sorry! Silly me. I just realized you've COMMENTED on that post, so you've read it. Ha. Just kidding :)

Yolk E said...

I'm so glad you had NICE JUICY YUMMY guy, Marti. I haven't seen him in my studio in a while. Maybe it got too juicy and yummy ;-) So happy for your comment!

Heck yeah I've read it, Belovely! I love your blog--and one of the greatest titles ever! :-) Thanks for your feedback.

catherine said...

I am now craving shrimp burrito. Thinking of coming to SD in early November; hopefully my craving can wait 'til then. :) (Perhaps we can spectate together?)

Lush said...

Bikram yoga is my haven as well, but sometimes it brings out the unexpected (and even unwanted) experiences that just put me back to my natural zen-state. I think it's such wonderous balancing act that we seek and receive in return (you ALWAYS get feedback from your body, mind, or soul, or altogether, in every class, for good or bad). I just found your blog and have been thoroughly enjoying catching up on the older posts. :)

Anonymous said...

ha! I love it and am going to totally think of being a shrimp burrito on Sunday night when I go to yoga.

My favorite part? " It doesn't get stressed by its environment".


Torri :-)

Yolk E said...

Thanks for dropping by and reading through posts, Lush! :-) I couldn't agree more about each class giving us greater awareness of our bodies... isn't that why it's so wonderful?

Thanks, Torri! Shrimp burritos unite! :-)