06 July, 2014

Yoga Firenze

Today was home practice at the B&B.

My legs and feet and just about everything were tight and sore from walking miles and miles the past couple of days. So I knew that the yoga would start off feeling rough, and then feel better and better as it went along. My body needed it. I spent time focusing my concentration on relaxing the places that were sore, and it definitely helped. The yoga occurred during an afternoon break, between walking all over the place sightseeing (Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio) and dinner (La Cucina del Gorga -- highly recommended).

The particular places that were tight were hip flexors, calves. The things you use to walk. A lot. It seems that traveling in general seems to be conducive to tightening of the hips. I have been doing yoga just about as regularly as always, so I almost wonder if the hip tension is related to the emotional aspects of traveling; being out of one's element? I don't know. It could also be completely physical.

The trip has been good so far. The only thing I should mention, because it falls somewhat into the mindfulness and compassion category is the little thing that happened in the morning. We needed to take a bus or walk to the Uffizi, and we decided to take a bus, even though it would not be considerably less time than walking. Due to crappy phone signal here, it is hard to get good map GPS, so there's a bit of fumbling about to find things. The phone doesn't always accurately show what direction we're moving. I have my theories about why that is, but it's not yoga topic. So, we couldn't really figure out where the bus stop(s) were. There were like 3 different buses we could take, and I couldn't figure out where the stops were, even though my map was trying to tell me. I started to get pretty frustrated because I don't like it when logistics are not smooth. I started to blame myself for not having planned better. I started to implode in that thinking of "This is all a huge mistake... we shouldn't have stayed here where we need buses to get around..." You know the kind of thoughts.

But we found the bus, and we got there, eventually. Oddly, the stops that the phone told us the bus would make were inaccurate, and we ended up needing to get off late and backtrack. So, for your information, I would not trust Google to tell you bus routes in Italy. At least not with 100% accuracy. It ended up taking us longer via bus than it would have by walking. But it didn't matter. We still got where we needed to be and didn't have to wait long to get into the museum just after opening.

The other thing I noticed, which feels kind of yoga-related... I have found myself on this trip relying on Google maps instead of just lifting my head and looking at a street sign. It's become almost to a fault. And when the map program won't tell you where you are, you can spend all your time trying to figure out where you are, so that you can use the Google maps, or you can just put down the phone, lift your head, look around, use landmarks, read a street sign, use a real map, and figure out where you need to go the way that people did for thousands of years before Google made map software. I have been needlessly relying on it like a crutch.

That seems related to the idea of trusting our actual senses more than we do.

It's tempting to say "Ok, today is a no-phone day" and take a paper map. And it would be fine. And it's particularly intriguing that considering that idea causes a bit of unease in me. I don't want to give up that crutch, even though it's often not helping me. Often it's misguiding me. Often it's taking me out of the moment, rather than guiding me through it.

So many lessons here.

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