I decided to cheat a little bit and kick off this challenge by talking to someone I’ve already talked to a few times on the train. We commute on the same train to and from Boston every day and we first started talking because we are usually the only people who bring our bikes onto the train. There aren’t really any places to put your bike on the train so if two or more people have bikes then it’s a total mess. That’s how we met each other, awkwardly trying to fit both of our bikes onto the train car. By default we’ve ended up chit-chatting here and there.
He’s a PhD computer scientist who does compiling (software to hardware) for a well-known software company in the area. I’m not quite sure what that means but I assume it’s pretty technical. In addition to breaking a mental sweat during the week, he is also certified as a yoga instructor. He got certified through this program where you spend 1-2 weeks on a beach-side resort in Mexico.
He told me that he does a “Yin” style of yoga which is extremely static, i.e. you hold the same pose for up to 10 minutes. Essentially holding these poses allows you to mentally focus yourself to push past the discomfort. It is also supposed to stretch your connective tissue instead of your muscles as is the case with Vinyasa yoga which flows through different positions pretty quickly. He said that Yin yoga is great for endurance athletes who spend a lot of time in their own heads while physically exerting themselves. It helps you to train your mind to ignore discomfort while also stretching connective tissue instead of just the muscles. Over the past two years I’ve gotten really interested in both endurance sports and yoga, so getting some tips from this guy has been awesome. I’m always looking to push myself in new ways physically so I feel like Yoga training could be a great physical adventure for me to pursue.
He also told me about how he spent a 10 day vacation with Buddhist Monks in Thailand in complete silence.
Also he takes classes at a resort in upstate New York in massage therapy (hot stone massage, Thai massage, and other styles). I took a massage therapy course in college and it was a fantastic experience. Both yoga and massage are skills that will enhance my life (if you know what I mean) and I can use them for literally the rest of my life. I think that they are both something worth investing in.
I was kind of blown away after talking with him for a while. I wouldn’t have thought that a PhD Computer Scientist would be the type of person to teach yoga, practice massage, and take public transit to work every day. And oh yeah, I noticed that his messenger bag says something about a squash championship, legit. I’ll have to ask him about that sometime.