I will have you know that it is possible to be simultaneously jealous and repulsed when you read about someone else’s lifestyle choices. I saw this NYT piece being shared on my friend Danielle’s Facebook page and also on The Confluence Countdown blog. My mother’s best friend used to say (translated from “Colombian” to English) “So and so does not dress himself, he covers himself.” The same can be applied to how you nourish your self. You ingest the ideal /optimal combination of nutrients to fuel your project, or you create an enjoyable event out of preparing, displaying, serving, and partaking, which is hard to pull of with powder, water, and a blender. Just like it is perfectly legal, convenient and productive to have a uniform (black turtleneck and jeans for example), it is just lovely to bathe in linen, raw silk, crisp cotton, or soft merino wool. I know that our yoga practice and the performance of our other tasks which provide for how we make a living benefit greatly from the type of nutrition touted on the NYT article, hence the jealous part of this rant. I would however doubt that we would have ever seen a still life painting like the ones in the finest museums or a beautifully set table for a milestone celebration if the favored and optimal way to nourish our bodies was to crush it all into a powder, mix it with water so we can catch our heels in the morning and then invent the next gadget gizmo to distract us from the boring in betweens, until it is time to do the acrobatics and sell our product again. There has to be a mid point where we are not a perfectly curated lifestyle magazine wannabe freak or an obsessed acetic betting the quality of their day on the success of their athletic endeavor. Unless you make a living doing either extreme. Then nothing I wrote here applies to you.
There is a dry board at the entrance of our shala where there is always an inspirational quote or passage from a yoga text or another book containing Dharma. Today’s quote was from the Gita highlighting action without concern for results, so I went in vowing to not fret about the end result of each asana and just do. Intentions got highjacked as the often do and I ended up noticing/listing/enumerating every single tick corresponding to every asana which I have accumulated through the years. Here in no particular order but definitely abridged and abbreviated:
-rock back and forth in chaturanga to find the base before lowering.
-reach up before extending my arm over in UPP A.
-walk my feet back in a bit after rising up from prasarita D so I won’t topple and I can walk myself back to the front of the mat.
– wipe snot and sweat from my nose before attempting Ardha Baddha P. (every day with out fail)
-widen my stance to accommodate my rear size in warrior poses.
-squeeze my knees together with my hands before reaching up to Utkatasana
-rearrange my belly fat so I can fit my heel and hopefully bind in Ardha Baddha PP.
-hold my left thigh so it does not go forward again in Janu B.
-holding my legs in the 3rd Navasana then let go again for the last two.
Too many to count from here to closing.
-having to look up at the ceiling first to get into Padmasana.
Awareness is the first step to change they say.
I found this to be one of the many beautiful things that came into my life yesterday:
Is energy prana? I will read up on that. I bring this up because earlier this week I experienced a circumstance that extracted, depleted, drained, (I could go on) every ounce of ability I had to commune, participate, or share space with another being. I know it sounds dramatic but I cannot even give attention to what my husband is saying in conversation, or rather I cannot offer or participate in an exchange. I know that this might sound a bit insane but it did happen and I am sure it was done without the intention to harm me. All I know is that I was left with barley energy to get out of bed, much less go outside. To clarify: I am not depressed. and I did not undergo a dangerous or threatening episode, just a sharing of space where I very literally mean energy or life force was sucked from me, and again I reiterate that it probably happened with no ill intention or wish to do harm. All I know is that it felt a little supernatural and invasive and now you know that sometimes I maybe misplace my full deck. I need my full deck this weekend, because lots of love is coming my way and I need to be able to enjoy and reciprocate.
It seems that we start bawling “it’s not okay!” the moment we exit the womb, but fortunately some of us will bump into asana or some pointers like this one at one time or another.
Let me tell you, sometimes the recommendations (all of them excellent and helpful I am sure) of teachers and other related experts on how to support your practice, begin to resemble an out of control health and beauty women’s magazine. If I succeeded in accomplishing every suggestion from the morning brushing to the oil massage to the nauli, to the pranayama, to the lemon water then waiting 20 minutes to have the no coffee no prana, then at some point during the day (after 90 minutes of practice) chant/try to memorize the sutras, and then don’t forget the at least 20 minute sitting practice, plus do the shoulder girdle strengthening exercises that you saw on you tube. Wait did you forget to soak your triphala the night before? And when was the last time you re-read the Gita, huh? Plus it is what dosha season? and you really should do a cleanse and prepare the meals you are going to eat and something else for your sweetheart because he is not going to eat kitchari day in and day out (actually he would but that is not fair to him). Important not to forget that all this is BS if you don not serve or do seva in some capacity which is called the real yoga- I would not be able to relate to another person who is not doing the same loop. And that is just me with no kids and no job. As you can see it can begin to look like you are trying to follow everything that the Oprah, Martha, and Gwyneth want you to do, but with a yogic vibe. Please do not think that I have given doing all this on the same day even once a fair shot. I’d say my routine includes between 45% and 65% most of the time. I seem to constantly forget that the practice is there to support your life not the other way around.
For a little bit of TMI, today that wise gentleman Tim Feldman gave me a magnificent adjustment in the famous gateway asana known as Marichasana C. I do not remember ever twisting quite like that. My last meal yesterday was soup around 5 PM. I treated my niece who is taking the same workshop to a latte after practice, and that plus a previous black coffee and some lemon water have been the only things inside my system today. So I don’t know how come I have a very strong and persistent case of diarrhea. Do not underestimate the cleansing effects of a good wring of the internal organs. This development, plus the sweat I left there trying to put a good lady act ,has left me wondering If I will need electrolytes.