Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Yogi Gamer

Before yoga & vegetarianism
At my weekly Dungeons & Dragons night I told one of my friends “I don’t think that I can play my character anymore.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“I’m not really in that place any more.  I made Gilbert”, I said, describing my current decadent self-absorbed fighter, “when I was in a really angry place.”  It was true.  Our long time dungeon master had just died, I suffered from a seemingly unending series of medical problems, and nothing looked good.  “But now I’m in a totally different place.”

My friend shook his head.  “I don’t see how that matters.”

“Dude, look.  Since then I’ve stopped drinking, became a vegetarian, and do like three to four hours of yoga a week.”  Honestly the stopping drinking part made me go from two to three drinks a week to none, but it still represented a change.


With yoga & vegetarianism
“No meat, no alcohol, and lots of yoga, and all that need to smash people in the head really goes away.  You start feeding homeless people instead,” I said.

“Bullshit.  You are just in a good mood because you are on vacation.”  This was right after Christmas.

“No, I should be in a worse mood because I’ve spent most of my vacation visiting family and sitting in traffic.”

My friend wouldn’t give up.  “You’ve been in a good mood before, right?”


“But in the end you always want to fucking kill something eventually, right?”

“I’m not so sure.”

“Trust me,” he said.  “By the end of the night you are going to want to kill something.”  He’s not only one of my oldest friends, but he’s also my lawyer, so you have to trust, right?

And this takes us to the conundrum of my current gaming life.  In the last two years I’ve had a series of unusual turns in life.  The most interesting was having several sections of my chest removed and replaced with artificial parts (carbon fiber aortic valve, Dacron ascending aorta, and a sternum mostly made out of stainless steel).  Recovery from this involved lots and lots of yoga, something which I had dabbled in for a decade before but which became a weekly part of my life after the surgery.  As I continue my search for an understanding of my new body, and the emotional and spiritual ramifications of this evolution, I have decided to deepen my yoga practice by starting a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program at my local studio, the Newington Yoga Center in Newington, CT.

I also still do like to game- dice & minis, computers, Xbox, etc.  And most gaming involves smashing.  Really, though, what I want to do most often now is go up to the monster, give it a good meal and a big hug, and talk out its problems.  If that fails, then the non-lethal takedown of a Vulcan nerve pinch will do.

So where will this take me as I deepen my love for humanity while still gaming?  I’ll share with you as I learn more myself.

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