About mariavlong

I'll tell you about what today is like for me. It will include Yoga, chasing after some pretty or yummy thing, trying to be nicer & less of a big baby.

Asking for A Friend

Not really. I had a small spontaneous party with like minded friends and neighbors which justified some huevos rancheros and a Bloody Mary around 11 AM. I had been looking forward (my piriformis in particular) to a castor oil bath, so I googled castor oil bath while hungover. Well wouldn’t you know that castor oil with a few tweaks is actually a hangover cure??? De nada, you few retrograde Ashtangis! Hahahaha.


You guys, I know there is funeral in Charleston today, and my president made me so proud that he was there representing us. But  as I am solemn, I am also so darn HAPPY that we have  had positive news for 2 days in a row.  Racist symbols coming down, ACA is not repealed, and my gay family members, and my gay friends who truth be told I love more than my gay family members, have full rights. Happy rest day & Namaste.

Choir Preaching

If you are interested in reading things related to ashtanga, this is probably in your mail box too, waiting to be read or maybe you already read. I love blog entries with perfect timing. Reading this one feels as good as tiger balm or a salt bath if you are presently sore, or it can replicate the feeling of a practice that was enjoyed. I will also say perfect timing because doing your practice will never make the things that are wrong in society worse, or make your personal challenges and relationships deteriorate even more. Doing a practice is either neutral or beneficial. Will it make you feel  intense things? You know the answer to that. Your feelings and mine are not what defines when yoga is good or when it is bad. yoga is the ocean, You either have a difficult swim, a rough sail, or it was so calm that you could not surf.  It  just sounds weird and a bit silly to say that the ocean is bad because one of those things happened to you, but people have no problem saying yoga is bad when it is problematic. It is okay not to go in deep or far or for a long period, when the waves are too rough for you and you are not feeling your best. Or when the people playing in the ocean around you are horsing around and ruining it for you. It is another thing to say that you do not feel your best because the ocean is rough and the people in it are being annoying. This is not what Zoe is really talking about, but I thought I’d throw that in. I loved that her post applied to people who will never see second as well as to people rocking advanced A and B.

Nadi Cleansing

I practiced at home today because every third Friday of the month at my shala there is what is called introduction to second series instead of led primary. I usually bow out when I remember that it is that Friday and at some point even started marking it on my calendar until my teacher pointed out that it was going to feel like that when the time came to start second anyway so why delay the inevitable? Good point right? So I stopped marking it but I still  sometimes ditch it when I happen to remember. There is however a group sitting practice before asana practice on Fridays and I love that so sometimes I bite the bullet and go just to have that time. Not today though. I  have cried and felt strong anger on 3rd Fridays for no reason and I have not burned my sadness or my anger about our collective response to the domestic attack on our fellow human beings.

I live in the town where Anne Coulter grew up and became who she is. It is also where Glenn Beck chose to live before he left the East coast after his meltdown. Many years ago my mother in law drove her son in law who is a black man to see the Phillip Johnson Glass House from the road, and the police pulled up while they were standing by the road just looking at it because neighbors had called. BUT there is always light where there’s darkness or else how could we know it’s dark right? I live in the part of town where the servants, grocers, and bricklayers of the big estates used to live at the turn of the 19th century. Close to the railroad station where now all the restaurant workers and the cleaning ladies show up every morning to be picked up in the gigantic Escalades, Tahoes, and suburbans to clean the already clean gourmet kitchens because the restaurant workers are preparing the meals that those same SUVs will pick up later that day. My next door neighbors until very recently were a man called Charlie Guilliam and his wife Hattie. both from North Carolina. He joined the army to escape  a rural racist environment and became one of General Patton’s Drivers. He drove the General’s Vehicle during the parade for the liberation of Paris. His landlord who originally owned his and my house, refused to sell him the house even though he offered cash and had to wait until the man died and his wife relented. Hattie tried to teach me how to grow vegetables and figured out that it was just easier to give me her tomatoes. Before she retired she worked for family in Greenwich and cooked like the hotel chefs of the old days did. The adult children of that family cried like babies at her funeral. Charlie was the janitor at my daughter’s elementary school. And like any teacher will tell you. they see, hear,and know more about the state of the school than the superintendent. He and Ray shared a beer or two on weekends and he would fill us in on what was really going on but with a gentleman’s prudence and good careful manners. He also told us something that may prevent me from ever selling this house. My house was a safe house for people active in the black liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s and he showed us a photo of Angela Davis standing in my kitchen with the young tenants of this house at the time. They never had children and left the house to their church congregation which is a  tiny Baptist congregation that is one block away from our street. There is a black Baptist church smack in the middle of lily white New Canaan, and The pastor and his wife our now our neighbors. We are not so close because they have to travel to more than one congregation, but I walked over yesterday and gave Candace a blubbering hug only imagining what it must feel to be the wife of a black minister on that day. Let’s find pockets of light, find something torch-like that lights up, take it, and walk towards the places that have none.


The older you get the more you realize that honesty and sincerity are essential to mental health and clarity. If you see my Facebook page, you will notice that I am overly fascinated/obsessed/perturbed  by the Rachel Dolezal story. Not to mention how surprised I am by the turns that the comments and opinions take on the matter. For instance, I can tell who does and does not interact with black women friends on social media who are weighing in on the matter. It is like two different planets out there.  But back to Satya-truthfulness. If we want business practices and work in general to change, we have to start challenging the way communication takes place in that arena.

I subscribe to Danielle La Porte’s newsletter/blog thing. If you don’t know her, look her up and you will either love her or want to choke her with your bare hands. She sent a piece this morning entitled: The Risky Business Of Being Sincere in Business which I cannot share because her link is broken. Minus the very engaging personal examples she shares, here is the gist:

Nothing is more Biz Legit than the truth, so usually go with that,

.Sincerity is a form of power.

If we were all more human in our work communications, work would be more humane.

To bring it a little more toward the “yoga biz”, a teacher’s bio has red flags when I read that they “have studied with many masters” and “have travelled all over India” and are “inspired” (not took workshops or learned from)  by well known established western teachers. Just tell me who taught you and why you think you can teach.