Michael Munas (michaelboy) wrote,
Michael Munas

So convinced was I that I was in motion...

One of the most challenging yoga asanas or poses is Savasna. It is a basic relaxation which seems simple enough, but it really isn't.

I often carry tension in my mouth, jaw and neck and as I do, I ruminate about this or that, and find myself forever drifting away from the moment. However, on occasion I have been able to fall deeply into this -- so much so, that I literally begin to feel like I'm chemically high.

I like to imagine that I'm in a state much like this:

Once, in this same mineral Sahara, I was taught that a dream might partake of the miraculous. Again I had been forced down, and until day dawned I was helpless. Hillocks of sand offered up their luminous slopes to the moon, and blocks of shadow rose to share the sands with the light. Over the deserted work-yard of darkness and moonray there reigned a peace as of work suspended and a silence like a trap, in which I fell asleep.
When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky, for I was lying on my back with outstretched arms, face to face with that hatchery of stars. Only half awake, still unaware that those depths were sky, having no roof between those depths and me, no branches to screen them, no root to cling to, I was seized with vertigo and felt myself as if flung forth and plunging downward like a diver.
But I did not fall. From nape to heel I discovered myself bound to earth. I felt a sort of appeasement in surrendering to it my weight. Gravitation had become as sovereign as love. The earth, I felt, was supporting my back, sustaining me, lifting me up, transporting me through the immense void of night. I was glued to our planet by a pressure like that with which one is glued to the side of a car on a curve. I leaned with joy against this admirable breast-work, this solidity, this security, feeling against my body this curving bridge of my ship.
So convinced was I that I was in motion, that I should have heard without astonishment, rising from below, a creaking of something material adjusting itself to the effort, that groaning of old sailing vessels as they heel, that long sharp cry drawn from pinnaces complaining of their handling. But silence continued in the layers of the earth, and this density that I could feel at my shoulders continued harmonious, sustained, unaltered through eternity. I was as much the inhabitant of this homeland as the bodies of dead galley-slaves, weighted with lead, were the inhabitants of the sea.
~ From: Wind, Sand and Stars, Antoine de Saint Exupéry as translated by Louis Galientiere

Over the weekend, I took a reading of my blood pressure after a successful relaxation, and it was 87/55mmHg. A few years ago before I started any sort of biking or exercise, I was typically in Stage 1 hypertension (around 140/90 or greater). I exercise now and try to limit my sodium intake to well under 1500mg/day and consequently I usually hover around 120/80.
My goal is to avoid taking medication, if possible. Both my parents had extreme Stage 2 hypertension and so I guess I'm genetically disposed for that sort of thing.

* * *

One of my aunts died yesterday. I spent many summer weeks at her house when I was young. She was a wonderfully sensitive lady and always so good to me. I know dying is a part of life, but still it makes the feeling of alone just a little larger. We used to get together with so many bits of family and now so many of those folks are gone.

This is me in her yard with her dog (I think I still have those glasses stuffed in a drawer somewhere):

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