[I have been traveling and have been generally unable to post anything. The travel provided a variety of interesting topics, so if you are following, look for increased activity – a 15-hour flight offers significant opportunity to edit and catch-up.]
Yesterday (September 24) I visited the Taj Mahal, which is located in Agra – 130 miles south of Delhi, India. Due to traffic (in Delhi and in Agra), it was almost a four-hour drive (each way), so my new plan to improve my core strength started today. For some time now I’ve been interested in seeing if yoga might be something that would not only strengthen my core, but improve my flexibility – two things I certainly could use.
It is a curious coincidence that I would begin my experiment with yoga in Delhi, India. Most trace the origin of yoga to India. (More about that in a later post.)
In trying to figure out how I might get started with yoga, I learned that there was “an app for that.” I good friend recommended a $2.99 download that offers a wide range of poses that emphasize balance, flexibility or strength and that offers beginner to expert choices as well as “classes” (which collect and present poses in certain recommended sequences). You can also create your own sequences, and hence your own, custom “classes” based upon, as the app says “ability, focus, intensity or duration.”
I am certainly a beginner and I have heard enough from many that these “poses” are not easy, so I let the app provide me with my first class – “Beginner Combination,” which included strength and flexibility poses and lasted 30 minutes. It was not easy. I wonder what new muscles I’ll hear from tomorrow or the next day.
Because this is a blog devoted to “running and faith,” a final word about yoga as a religious practice or, for some, a religion itself is appropriate. In fact, some Christians (and perhaps members of other faith backgrounds) eschew yoga because it represents for them a form of false worship. I believe the physical practices and disciplines of yoga can be adequately (and in the west have substantially been) divorced from the “religious” aspects as to avoid conflict with important Christian doctrine – more on this in a subsequent post.
(I really was at the Taj Mahal.)