Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Building Hogwarts Next Door and How it's Just Like Yoga Breathing

You know, you can't pick your neighbors sometimes.

I thought working from home would be so much more peaceful.  I was so, so wrong.

Yesterday, the landscaping people were outside my sliding doors doing something with a leaf blower. I say something because it would

buzzzzzzz for about 10 seconds
and then stop,
then silent for a 30 seconds and then
buzzzzzzzz for 10,
silent for 20,
buzzzzzzzz  for 30

and so on for most of the morning and I don't know what the hell that could be. Don't you just point leaf blowers and ... blow?

This on and off went on for 20 minutes right outside my sliding doors. The ones I now sit 15 feet from all day. This buzzing pattern continued through all the condos around me all morning.

It was like one of those bizarre breathing rituals you do in some yoga classes, with the thumb on one nostril and the pinky on the other

inhale left nostril, thumb on right nostril
exhale left nostril, thumb on right nostril
switch
inhale right nostril, pinky on left nostril
exhale right nostril, thumb on left nostril
switch
inhale left nostril, thumb on right nostril
exhale left nostril, thumb on right nostril

It's as .... not-relaxing as it sounds, or as it reads rather. And your fingers get all gooey and gross from the ... uh .... drippings from your nose. There's this thing that yoga-people don't realize about alternate nostril breathing (I think that's what it's called) ... when you make me press my nostril ... or any part of my breathing apparatus really ... it makes me feel like like someone is trying to kill me by cutting off my oxygen.

Then, my body's natural, organic, and vegan (yeah vegan!) will to live kicks in and I start sucking that air in my nostril as though my life depends on it because ... it feels like it does. Then, of course, I have to blow it out just as hard, which is where the ooey, gooeys start dripping or in some cases shooting out my nose. Also, there's that sucking, sloppy sound that happens when you press your finger down on a nostril or remove it from a nostril.

The whole process is a gooey, disgusting mess is what I'm saying.

And before you can help it, that gooey mess is oozing down your arm and - depending on whether it's allergy season or not - down into your elbow.

Then, there's the rhythm. When someone is guiding you through a breathing exercise, they are not doing that exercise themselves. There's no way. I've led meditations and I always breathe .... and then remind my followers to breathe ... knowing that there is no way we're in sync. You can't talk and and breathe deep at the same time. Which is why, if you have ever had to endure an alternate nostril breathing exercise (and you have my sympathy if you have), you know that you wind up feeling like you can't keep up with the teacher. And that's supposed to come later - when she twists up like a pretzel.

And here's the insult to all that injury: the teacher is usually saying things like,
  • "Relaaaaxxxx" Ummmm, I'm fighting for my life? 
  • "Follow at your own pace. Don't worry about me"  Really? Of course, I'm going to inhale when you say "inhale" and exhale when you say "exhale." It's a class and I'm a follower in it. Hello!
  • "This practice helps you center your mind."  On what? The snot in my elbow? I don't want to focus on that.
  • "Breathing like this helps you concentrate on the present moment."  Well, yes, but in the present moment, I feel like I'm being suffocated by a movie villain in yoga pants who it turns out is me. There's snot on my fingers and running down my arm. My nose won't stop making sex noises. And, I think my legs are going numb from sitting this way.
  • "Release your thoughts" Release my thoughts?! How the hell am I gonna count to 10? The only thought I'd like to release is the one I had that told me to try yoga because it would help me relax.

I forgot about the counting. You're supposed to do it 10 times on each nostril ... or 5 times on each nostril for a total of 10 ... I can't remember. The last time I had to endure this, I asphyxiated myself and lost a few brain cells, so I don't remember.

If you've ever been to a yoga class and thought,
"Jesus, I thought I was gonna die before we even did anything!" 
you've probably been asked to do alternate nostril breathing.

By the way, is it me or does my description sound like water-boarding? The panting, the wetness, the being suffocated. I wonder what would happen if a teacher asked,
"Did you cheat on your spouse?"
right in the middle of all the other shit they say. I think people would spontaneously confess.

Anyway, back to my noisy apartment-now-office yesterday. After the alternate leaf-blower/yoga breathing experience of yesterday morning. I started to hear a similar sound around 8 p.m.

Are you freaking kidding me? What could they be doing now? 

And then I realized that I could feel a vibration coming from my front door. I opened it and inched out. Well, my dumbass neighbors have a buzz saw on their porch. They're building something that required them to turn that thing on and off intermittently all night! Right outside my door!

The only thing that stopped me from going out there was my desire to not play out a scene from COPS in my parking lot. WTF are they building over there? Hogwarts?

You know, I just realized the other thing in my life that buzzes intermittently - my sister's snoring!! I shared a room with her for almost 20 years and every night she would be quiet and then start building and building until she would blow herself out and stop .... then start all over again. I never got any sleep.

No wonder I was so stressed out yesterday:
  • the intermittent buzzing
  • the yoga flashbacks
  • the sister-snoring PTSD
  • the dumbass neighbors
Maybe I should go to the library tomorrow.