Thursday, June 24, 2010

215800 - what ARE those mysterious numbers?

A few weeks ago, I blithely put up a shiny purple badge on my sidebar then promptly fell silent without an explanatory word. This is because it only took me a few days to realize that this wonderful project, which I think everyone ought to take the opportunity to consider, is in some ways unsuited for me right now, which is not to say it won't be suitable for other people right now, or for myself, a few weeks down the road.

It came to my attention via my friend, original yogalilan, and life coach Lianne Raymond, who has been sharing her practices on the community blog, yogalila . It's been great to drop in on the writing and shared practices on the twitter feed, and the daily musings of originator Bindu Wiles.  Most of all, in provided me with the inspiration and momentum to get out of my yoga slump - I seem to have one every late spring, to the unhappiness of my lower back, especially. So, just by virtue of putting a badge on my sidebar and reading what others are doing, I'm slowly coming back to a habit of consistent practice.

I tend to use my own sequences, tried and true poses that my body needs for regular maintenance, so I infrequently use media. But when I do, right now Jill Miller does what my body needs; I love the approach she takes in YogaTuneup, either with rolling on balls in the form of self-massage or movements that break me out of my habitual patterns - because even in my yoga practice, I tend to have habitual patterns.

My newest interest is a blogger I ran across through Jill's links: Katy Says.  Her approaches often defy conventional wisdom, but she makes persuasive arguments; I love her article You Don't Know Squat, with a terrific biomechanical breakdown of an exercise that hardly any one thinks about, but I'm convinced is essential to our health - even independence - as we age.

However....while the yoga part of 215800 is going great, the 800 part - writing 800 words a day, just doesn't fit with what I need to do in my life right now. This part of the challenge was designed for writers, though with considerable flexibility - Bindu points out that it can be anything that involves words. Participants have shared wonderful blogs posts, memoirs, prose and poetry.  And, I do write, all the time - in the form of my personal journal entries, and academic writing. Up until the time 215800 began, ironically, I was also doing morning pages a la The Artist's Way. But right now, due to abstract deadlines, funding submissions, and other academic responsibilities, all my writing is technical; what often seems like the same 800 words in variants and revisions, distilled into the required formats. I write and draw mind maps, outlines, schematics. I write notes to myself to be used in my thesis. I actually like this kind of writing, and enjoy it. Bindu suggests:
THE WRITING: The writing can be ANYTHING. Memoir, blogs, business plans, essays, fiction, free-writing, letters,……..ANYTHING. The point is to get writing again daily and to have the boundaries and challenge of a daily word count to reach.
 Boundaries and word counts I certainly do have - but determined largely by academic constraints.

I notice that Bindu is extending 215800 by 10 days - fantastic! I plan to keep up my practice regardless - it's for life, after all. But perhaps after getting a few more academic chores behind me, I can spend some time writing a little more freely, and personally, and come more into the spirit of the original intention of the project.

Meantime, a little video love for Jill here - her shoulder routines have done wonders for a chronic injury in this area, and are now part of my regular maintenance.

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