The Importance of Yoga

The most important thing I learned from my mother is to allow myself to experience awe and wonder.  To experience the feeling of wonderment is to experience a sense of delight with what is.  It’s a moment of rest for the brain where you just accept and feel the feeling of “wow.”

As someone who is overly analytical and who could keep up with a three-year old on the frequency of uttering the word “why,” I particularly appreciate these moments when I’m simply too awed to think.

Today, I want to experience the joy of exploring beautiful flowers.

Instead of picking flowers, I photograph them.  One would think that photographing flowers would be a relatively easy task.  They are, after all, not going to run away.

However, given the flowers I most want to photograph are growing in colonies on a hillside, getting into the flowers with my big feet and a tripod turns into quite a feat of athleticism.  I carefully plant the toes of one foot and balance like the karate kid on one leg as I try to gently create a space for my other foot; I am painfully reminded of how long it’s been since I last went to yoga class.

Once I get myself in a spot where I can put both feet on the ground without crushing anything, I bend down and look through the viewfinder to focus on the flower.  The wind is blowing so hard the the flower is literally blowing completely out of my frame.  I have to hold the flower gently with one hand while I move the camera a bit with the other.  And, it turns out, I’m not close enough to the flower to focus.

I must stand, lift the tripod, find another clear spot for each of its legs and repeat the process of focusing and framing without moving my feet.

When I bend back over the camera again, desperately wishing for a place to rest a knee, my hand is shaking–I can’t keep the flower still enough to focus.  I have to straighten up, shake out the soreness, and try again.

In the end, I am grabbing snapshots of a flower as it waves by my lens in the wind because I cannot stand the pain of the position I have to stand in to do otherwise.

While I suppose I could buy a bouquet at the store or even start growing flowers in a pot, one of the things I like about shooting flowers up close and personal in a park is the feeling of surprise.  The first time I look inside a blooming flower with my macro lens, I see something I never expected to see.  Going to the park and exploring flowers I can’t identify and have never seen before keeps me in a state of wonder.

I just didn’t expect photographing flowers to have a prerequisite of regular yoga classes.

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4 responses to “The Importance of Yoga

  1. I think being in nature and having to control your bodies movements and pauses would be a better yoga environment than a studio. I admire your remarkable zen like vibes you put out. Tison might need a little yoga too lol.

  2. Great exercise. Who would have thought? We sometimes think if we have seen one flower-we have seen them all, but there is so much we don’t see until we really look. Photos can bring the wonder out – rather, up to the eye. Beautiful colors! I think it was worth the effort.

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