What if my 3rd Eye is Myopic: Thoughts On Yoga

What If My Third Eye Is Myopic? Yoga and Me Zander Sprague Yoga and Me I've been doing yoga for quite a few years. And I really enjoy it. I ended up taking yoga the first time with a girlfriend of mine. And at first I was really scared because I'm not that flexible a person, and I thought, "How am I ever going to do that?" But of course the reality is, you don't do yoga the way you see it on TV, with people who have been doing it for 25 years and are all bendy. But actually start off slow, and do it. I've tried many different types of yoga. I find Bickram yoga to be too hot. And I like Iyengar very much. But the funny thing about yoga and me is that I'm not sure that we're entirely compatible. See, there's a lot going on when I'm doing yoga. And I'd like to explore some of these things. Maybe you've experienced the same thing too. Rush to Relax One of the first things I found about yoga was, I was doing it so I could relax. But in doing so, I was rushing to get to the yoga class. You see, I was working in Boston at the time, living just outside of Boston, and would go from Boston back out to my house to meet my girlfriend to pick her up, and then come back into Boston to take our yoga class. And that was just fine, except there was always traffic, so inevitably we got there, not the 15 minutes before like we wanted, but about two minutes before the class. And so here I was, so stressed out about missing the class because I needed to relax. And I found that in other classes that I took, I did the same thing. I was always rushing to get to the class. Then I would get there, and I'd be so hopped up, so keyed up, that I would take the first half-hour just to relax enough to be able to enjoy the class. And of course if a class is only 45 minutes or an hour long, I didn't get that much time to relax. I found that deep breathing was always good, but I always had a hard time with making sure I was breathing correctly. One of the best things I did was bring in a straw and breathe through a straw, because that forced me to breathe diaphragmatically. And of course I looked sort of silly sitting in class, the only person with one of those bendy children's straws. And one time I couldn't find one, so I ended up borrowing a friend's; and I just grabbed the first straw I could see. It was of course one of those crazy straws that has all these bends and stuff in it, and I ended up having to breathe really hard because of course it was hard to get the air through there. So I always found it funny that I was rushing to relax. Don't Fart One of the things that I always found in yoga was there are all these poses that you're doing. And you're sort of bent over, and your ass is up the air. And I'm always afraid I'm going to fart. Inevitably I'd always had a bean burrito or something like that, and was feeling a little windy of bowel. And I was always afraid that I was going to fart, right in the middle of one of our poses. Like a downward-facing dog. Or child's pose. A child's pose is great if you've got really bad gas bubbles, if you didn't know that, that's a good tip for you. If you've got a really bad gas bubble, get into child's pose; you'll find how quickly you get rid of that gas bubble, because it - it sort of puts your butt up in the air, and allows you to fart. Now, a lot of the yoga classes I've been in I'm the only male in the class. And the last thing I want to do is to fart, because of course, I'm a guy and I think farting is funny, so I'll get laughing. And the women will think that I'm a big pig, and I've just ruined everything. And heaven forbid it smells, because that would be the worst! So, I am spending the whole time in class, pinching my butt cheeks trying so hard not to fart. So I wonder. Am I missing the point? Am I not getting yoga? Do all those people who have been yogis for so long - do they fart during their practice? These are things that I wonder about. My Tree One of the poses that is very popular is called the "tree" pose. And I like the tree pose. The only problem is, my tree ends up like - looking like something that's been blown over by the wind. I'm sort of a big guy, and I'm frankly not that coordinated. So having to balance all of my weight on one foot while having my other foot balanced on the other, and my hands above my head, is sometimes very difficult. I've found sometimes I can do the tree very well, and other times I can't hold a tree to save my life. I wonder how people get this balance. How they're able to breathe, focus on all they're supposed to focus on, and stay balanced. I know personally I'm always trying to stay upright, and not fall over. It's especially bad when you're in a class that's really crowded, because you don't usually have that much space, and if you're toppling over all the time, you could be hitting someone else. And that's really not what yoga's about, toppling into the person next to you. My "Quiet" Mind And one of the points of yoga, at least as I've been told by many of my instructors, is to quiet our mind and allow ourselves to relax. I always find that when I try and quiet my mind there's lots of thoughts going through my head. Am I doing the pose right? Don't fart. Did I pay that bill? Did I lock the car? What meetings do I have tomorrow? Shhh. You've got to be quiet. You have to quiet your mind. And it's a funny sort of a practice; to consciously think about quieting your mind, because isn't that missing the point? I'm consciously thinking about quieting my mind, and trying to clear my mind of everything? And sometimes I wonder if other people have the same cacophony of information flying through their head. I mean, sometimes this is the first time I've had any quiet all day. So it's a chance for me to think about all the things I haven't had a chance to think about. But I wonder. Am I missing the point? Is my mind as quiet as I think it is? Or is it just as loud, but I'm just stopping, taking time to listen. Savasana Equals Sleep Now the final pose - I have this fabulous yoga teacher that my wife and I would take classes. And it was fabulous, because her yoga studio was in the lower Haight. And somehow it just seemed so appropriate that we would be going to the Haight to do yoga. It just seemed to fit in. And the thing that we would always end up with, was Savasana, which is just a relaxing, lying down pose. And what I found is that with the wonderful, gentle music, and her very soothing voice, and my lying there, having probably been running around all day, Savasana equals sleep. Many was the time I actually fell asleep on the yoga mat. Thus, I don't - I don't know. Did I achieve the ultimate goal of yoga? Which was, of course, to relax. Or, was it that I'm so stressed out, and going so much, that my body took this opportunity to sleep? As you can tell, I have many questions about yoga and how it fits into my life. Iamzander Equals Bed yoga Now, as I said before, I've practiced Iyengar yoga the most. But sometimes I feel perhaps I'm supposed to be the practitioner of a new type of yoga, a whole new school of yoga. In fact, it is truly a yoga that everybody, worldwide, can do. You don't need any special training. In fact, you have all the training you need. And it is the kind of yoga that you could do for a third of your life, and not even worry about it. This yoga is known as Iamzander. Now, of course, my name is Zander, and I'm making a play on words here. Iamzander is also known as Bed yoga. Ultimately, the goal of yoga is to relax, and to free your mind and your mind just to be. Well, what I find is that if I wake up at 5 in the morning to get up to do my yoga, I get a lot better yoga from lying in bed. I'm very relaxed. My mind is unbelievably quiet. My breathing is deep and rhythmic. I can do the bed pose so well. I can do a downward dog if I needed to, but in your bed, you don't need to do that. So I want all of you to follow me, your new yogi guru, and practice Iamzander, because if we're sleeping one-third of our life away, you can't help but be successful. And you, too, can be your own yogi guru, for Bed yoga. What If My Third Eye Is Myopic? This is one of the questions that first popped into my mind when I was told to focus my energy and look through my third eye. What if my third eye is myopic? I mean, my eyes aren't that good to begin with. I've had Lasik surgery, but they've settled back and I have to wear glasses to watch TV and watch movies. What if my third eye's just as bad as my eyes were originally? That means I can't see anything. And frankly, when I try and look through my third eye, I don't really see much. It's sort of out of focus. I keep seeing these ads on TV for laser surgery, and I wonder, "Can I get Lasiks on my third eye?" What if I can't see out of my third eye? What if my chakras are all blocked? What if my chakras are wired in reverse, and instead of flowing up through the top of my head, I'm flowing everything through the bottom of my feet? What if I'm just not meant to do yoga, because my mind is too active? Well, I asked my last yoga teacher what I should do if my third eye was myopic, because everything was sort of fuzzy. She thought this was incredibly funny, that I would even stop to think about my third eye being myopic. I guess the thought is that your third eye is - you always have 20/20 vision. But I'm not finding that. I can't really see anything out of my third eye. And what do I do if I get an eyelash in my third eye? How do I get that out? As you can see, I have a lot of questions about my yoga practice. I guess what I need to do is just keep practicing, and hope that it gets better. Hope that my mind gets quiet. Hope that I can hold my tree true and strong. That I don't fart. That I don't fall asleep at the end of it. And that my third eye really isn't myopic. Thanks so much.