In an attempt at complete relaxation I have been dabbling in yoga and meditation. OnDemand has some wonderfully easy yoga videos that I can watch for free and I bought a book on meditation for beginners that comes with a how-to CD.
In 8th grade I was awesome at yoga as you can see here on the left. But that was eight years ago and my body isn't quite as agile. Every morning (or almost every morning) before school/work, I lay out my yoga mat that I won in a drawing and attempt to move my body in ways that it is not meant to move. "Breathe out as you gently move into this next position," she says while I'm cringing and struggling to move my foot and breathe out slowly at the same time. I'm getting increasingly frustrated and sweaty when JD makes his appearance. I am in child's pose (which I'm pretty sure is the only comfortable yoga pose) when I feel JD's nose on my neck. I swat him away and continue. I move not-so-gracefully into downward facing dog (haha it still makes me laugh) and before I know it JD is walking underneath me like we're playing London Bridge. At this point I decide I'm done because the yoga is making me more tense than relaxed. Thanks JD, you're a pal.
As I do not have time or energy for any personal reading at the moment, I have yet to finish my book about meditation. I have, however, read enough to do some basic meditation as often as I can. I sit in one of our dining room chairs with my back straight and my chin down with my eyes open, but unseeing. I listen to the CD tell me to focus on my breathing. If I realize I'm thinking about something, I acknowledge that thought and then push it away. Back to the breathing. I try to meditate when the dogs are all passed out in their respective spots, but more often than not someone gets interested in what Momma is doing. Max sits in front of me, staring into my "unseeing eyes", distracting me from my breathing and causing me to think how creepy that is. He loses interest and I go back to my relaxed breathing. Crimson comes over and lays his head in my lap, nudging my hands, hoping for a scritch. No such luck buddy boy, I'm breathing right now. However, Crimson is pretty relentless and eventually I have to give up and wait until they are distracted once again.
I'm figuring out this relaxation thing despite my needy puppies. Every day I feel a little less tense. Especially after that hot stone massage I had today. If you haven't had one of those you should get one. Seriously. So nice.