The Implications of Breathing

Last summer I got a car accident. Boom. A day or two later I apprehensively and rather sorely went to Yoga. The teacher decided that her students appeared a little beat up, so she decided to teach a restorative class. The second half of the class was my first experience with Pranayama, which is a basically intensive breathing exercises. Towards the end of the Pranayama practice, I started swelling up with emotions. It was rather intense and very unexpected. I decided that the experience was important, and should be revisited.

I started attending Pranayama classes about two months ago. Now I unexpectedly find myself walking on the more spiritual path of Iyengar Yoga. During my third class I experienced the emotional charge again. For a couple days after I was a bit manic – extreme highs/lows. Since then I find that I’ll be far more sensitive for a day or two after the Pranayama class. On one hand, it’s awesome and important to get in touch with my deeply buried emotional self. On the other hand, it’s a lot to deal with, it spills over onto Stina, and moreover, when things are not going well I wade too deeply in a pit of despair. My work life has been insane for the last few months. It’s a lot to deal with on its own, and I’m now amplifying the negative impact its having on my self esteem.

I gifted Stina tickets to Wicked for Christnukah. When the day of show arrived last week, I wasn’t sure if I could go. Last minute, I pulled enough work stuff together so that I could take off for a few hours. It was amusing, and a great break from work. We got out around around 11, I promptly began a freak out about having to get back home and start working again. As we walked towards the train home, Stina pointed out a homeless man attempting to sleep on the sidewalk with his socks hung over the sewer vent. That was all the perspective I needed. I have it so amazingly good. I need to not lose perspective of that.

I fully plan on continuing the Pranayama classes along with the normal classes and see where it takes me. I never would have predicted the impact Yoga is having on my life.



Lost in the Sauce

Yoga, which I’ve been fairly disciplined about practicing, has been somewhat of a daemon bitch mistress of late. I’ve hit a wall. Actually, I hit this wall many moons ago, but now I’ve  hit it so many times that I’m actually trying to befriend it. I’ve named it Clancy. Clancy the wall. I’m not improving much anymore. I’ll never be able to perform a lot of the basic poses without a small army of props.  I kind of suck at yoga.

On the other hand, the impact Yoga has had on my life is tremendous. I no longer feel so fragile, and in turn, I’m a happier person. I no longer wake up with back pain. I’m attempting to come to terms with the fact that its about the journey, which will only end when I quit walking the path or cease to exist. Some days I’ll be proud of my accomplishments, and some I’ll feel inadequite. I’m usually sore, but that’s a nice reminder that I’m doing something difficult. There’s nothing else in my life that is so challenging where I keep at it with out taking steps forward. Maybe that’s part of the reward though. It feels real. It takes me out of my daily routine, and focuses my mind on some form of healthy torture. 

Somehow, much of this applies to my music as well. I’ve been listening to a lot of music that both inspires me and makes me feel inadequate. I have to remind myself that its really about the journey. Without those feelings there were be no push to further myself and my art. Writing music will always be difficult.

This is the first time that I cut myself a lot of slack after finishing an album, and consequently I haven’t done much with music. I’ve resigned myself that if I’m going to create music, I’m going to have to face this “muddle through” period head on. I have to experience the frustration of not feeling the flow and having little direction. That’s what I’ve done every time I complete an album – and I guess floating by is not going to cut it this time. Or maybe it would, but I’m too impatient to see it through. 

I was totally shocked to discover that Charlie Cooper, one half of Telefon Tel Aviv, just died a few days ago.  He was 31. There are a few bands that have been blowing my mind during this fuzz “6.0” transitory period, and Telefon Tel Aviv has been #1. They have been in constant rotation in the past few months, to the point where I’m actually attempting to deconstruct their music. I always assumed that they’d be at the forefront of the IDM scene. Charlie Cooper was paving new musical ground, and I assumed he would be there to take my mind along for the ride.  May he rest in peace.

I’ll end this with a link to a song that I discovered yesterday. It is by Olafur Arnalds, an Icelandic artist. I found it both incredibly moving and inspiring.