I am essentially a lazy girl. I have fought this my whole life.
I have felt extremely guilty for my laziness, because I grew up steeped in the Puritan work ethic of the East Coast. I have tried, with every fiber of my lazy being, to fight my own basic nature: volunteering for things I don’t really want to do, always offering to get someone a glass of water or tea, staying late after the party to help do dishes.
I work hard when I work, but the truth is, I don’t want to work at all. I’m lazy. I’d rather sit around and do nothing. Literally. Sit and stare into space and not think about anything — or, rather, think about everything but not hold on to anything.
Our society doesn’t prize laziness. We want production, purpose; stuff to be made; stuff to be done. And there’s no shortage of work. People around me prize their busy-ness, their no-free-time-ness.
But I find all that anathema.
I didn’t want to be a slave to houses and cars and payments and stuff — so much stuff that I would need places to store the stuff while I acquired more stuff. I wanted to be free with my time and with my mind and with my life.
Some of the most profound discoveries in our world were found by deep looking; by close, prolonged attention to one thing; by thinking and figuring in long, slow time. This, I loved.
So, with great good luck, I found yoga. Yoga is a discipline that requires discipline. I liked that.
And then I discovered that a huge part of yoga is meditation. It is called “sitting.” Here was a sanctioned — nay, required — way for me to be lazy. I could just sit and be still and think about nothing or everything. One of the exact teachings from a meditation instructor was to just let the thoughts float by like clouds in the sky. This was perfect. This I could do!
But then I had to take lazy one more step. I created a style of yoga that required even less effort to produce the same results. I found the secret little buttons and hidden guideposts on the body that turn it on, increase energy to the different systems, regulate them all and keep them organized.
I called it Energy Medicine yoga. When I did these things inside my yoga practice, all the systems worked faster, smoother and easier. Now I could do less yoga and still get the same results. You can do the same thing.
But a word of caution, because the thing with this type of yoga was that I had surplus energy. I could go all morning, noon and night without flagging, without the desire to lie on the couch. I was energized body and soul.
It was almost as if I had changed my essential nature. Although I still loved to sit on the couch at the end of the day and do nothing, it was now after a long day of skiing, skating, snowshoeing, yoga, writing, teaching, organizing and planning. Inadvertently, I created what I had initially desired my whole life: I was no longer lazy. I was full of energy, life and vigor.
I also still spent long times of every day sitting still, contemplating nothing. This seems to me the best of all worlds.
Related on MNN:
- Why morning yoga beats a cup of coffee
- Which meditation technique is right for you?
- Ways to get more energy