Anne Smith :: Blog for Jan. 2010
Hi, Everybody-here we are in January...the new year is breezing on in.
I’m trying to slow down the time. How? By not immersing myself in magazines and newspapers, for one thing. If there’s anything that makes me feel crazy, it’s a fashion magazine or a newspaper. For one thing, there’s just not enough time to read a paper, unless it’s a dumbed down rag, which is even worse. By the time I get home from work, it’s old news, and by the next day, there are those old newspapers blowing in the wind, skittering down the street, swirling around streetlamps and plastering against pedestrians rushing to work, holding their next daily newspaper. Same thing with trends and fashion: here today, gone tomorrow. I prefer to read the news online- economical, green, and an efficient way to cut to the chase. It frees up more time to enjoy other things. Like my newest passion, Bikram Yoga. Talk about slowing down time…26 challenging poses in a 105-degree room for 90 minutes, SMAO! I go to the studio on W72nd next to the OTB building. (It’s hysterical to see the characters from OTB chain smoking outside the Bikram entrance while young dancer-types hiss with exasperation, rolling their eyes, as they shoulder by them with their yoga mats slung over their shoulders). The Bikram instructors are amazing. They stand on a little platform, rattling off the long impressive-sounding positions while coaching a roomful of students. There are such different styles of teaching. As a teacher myself, I love experiencing the varied approaches to the same program. I didn’t think I would love it this much, but the results are undeniable. Rapid weight loss, strengthening, toning and detoxing the body, disciplining the will; I was initially grossed out by the damp, fetid smell of the room and the fact that the class was so crowded that the guy next to me kept splashing me with his sweat. Ewwwww! You have to try to ignore stuff like that. ….I told my twin sister Mary that I thought she would love Bikram, and she called me elatedly from Orlando to say that she had found classes near her home. We are deriving perverse enjoyment from renaming the 26 positions –our favorites: Eencieweenciespidernervousana (cross your right leg over your left leg over your right leg over your left leg, etc) and DianaRossaladiva (spine straight! Right arm up! Charge your body forward!)
On a more serious note-who among us has not been emotionally affected by the earthquake in Haiti? Day after day I have opened links online to see photos and read more accounts from survivors. I am particularly moved by instances in which music has played a role in calming and unifying the masses of people who are displaced and in crisis. I believe in my heart that in times like this, our love and consideration toward anyone who needs help has a ripple effect. Yes, Haiti needs help. But so does the family on your block who has a child with cancer or an elderly relative with dementia, or a husband who has lost his job. Disasters on a large scale, like the earthquake in Haiti, have a tendency to rally people, to marshal their collective strength, to bring out the best in man…and then the event passes, to be replaced with more current news, a different tragedy someplace else, another fashion trend, another sports figure’s ruined image.
I would feel more hopeful for the future of our planet if I knew that the happiness and well being of every person- near, far, old, young, rich, poor, black, white- was in the consciousness of each individual who lives, on a daily and ongoing basis. It’s easy to open your checkbook or click a mouse to send a donation to The Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, or a similar charity. It’s much harder to buy a meal for a hungry stranger in the subway, or ask someone you know, who is struggling, how you can help: And even harder for us to ask for or accept help. Don’t be afraid! Start in little ways and I promise Haiti will feel it. I’ll be thinking of all of you, going about your daily lives; I’m sending you lots of love, light, and best wishes for everything good.
Until Next Time-Annie