What Not to Do

In my pursuit of holistic health I become very excited about sharing positive discoveries made along the way: drink dandelion tea to boost potassium! Try some hip-opening Vinyasa pre-run! Add some cayenne to your water bottle for a happy liver!

However,  I also sometimes often learn important lessons about what NOT to do. While I usually regard my enthusiasm as an ally, it can get me in to some uncomfortable situations. Literally. Perhaps this has more to do with impatience. Either way, I try to view these as opportunities for entries on an ever-growing list of What Not to Dos. I suppose this is in the same vein as my frequent mantra “laugh so you don’t cry”.

I’ve had few lessons of the What Not to Do variety over the past few days. For example: 

Do not take a 10-mile ride on a bike with clip in pedals when you do not have the clip in shoes. It will hurt your feet. Do not attempt to ride aforementioned bike with zero knowledge about how its gears work. This could result in wipeouts due to insane ratio imbalances. Do not ride this bike in an unfamiliar city with no phone or map. Do not ride this bike uphill in the Eastern Oregon desert in the hottest hour of the hottest month of the year. And perhaps this is the most poignant What Not to Do lesson that I learned in this situation: absolutely do not wear denim cutoffs on a sweaty, 10 mile ride. These shorts? 




On the other hand; tiny, denim cutoffs will result in hamburger meat for inner thighs. While I have lived in the 3 pairs of workout shorts that I packed, free laundry facilities beckoned me. Next time I’ll just be riding dirty.

How does this relate to my health? Well by the day’s end, I was feeling pretty alienated. My mind was frustrated, my body was sore. I was in a bad place. I decided to drink some tea and take a soak. Sometimes, I put post-steeped peppermint tea bags on my tired lids. I did this but forgot I had also added cayenne pepper to the tea while it steeped. Thus, my next lesson in what not to do: Do not put cayenne soaked tea bags on your eyes. It will burn. And it will turn the flesh around your eyes bright red for the following 3 hours. “Laugh so you don’t cry” I said to my puffy-eyed reflection in the mirror. 

So, perhaps these experiences will save a reader from blistery thighs and eyelids. However, in retrospect these lessons seem like common sense. I guess my lesson here is to personally re-define enthusiasm, make it less stubborn and impulsive and more about sustainably feeling good. Patience. 

One more lesson: Do not become overzealous about inversions in yoga. I fell out of a headstand 3 nights ago and wrecked my neck for a few days. I’d recommend some guidance from a more experienced practitioner. And patience. 

Patience. Laugh so you don’t cry. Patience. 

This is my mantra for the week.

Tomorrow holds a hike and canoe trip with my brother, some sage harvesting and lots of Gentle Hatha. I will save inversions for next week. 

In Restful Spirit, 



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