#6 I wear perfume. Like a lot of my Latin, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern brethren, I will not leave the house without it. And guess what, nobody has died or gagged. As a matter of fact I get a lot of positive feedback. One lovely teacher at the shala who also happens to be a Yale educated professional violinist AND a shaman (aha, that’s right), once told me that she would think I am not feeling well if she happened to adjust me one day and not inhale something that smells good. I do not bathe in perfume and I do not wear synthetic godawful stuff. I also do not use it shall we say, “to conceal” anything. So there you have it. Tiny rebellions that have not caused havoc. Yet. My three favorites, in constant rotation:
I am usually beyond thrilled when a moon day arrives on a Friday or a Sunday, and don’t get me wrong, I have a nice white Bordeaux chilling in the refrigerator. It is however only the second day of my pranayama for energy experiment and Wednesday was a bust because my niece faked me out pretending she wanted to go to yoga. I then decided that it would be best to do a 10 AM led. When she was unable to wake up in time on her own, I left in a huff to a led HALF primary, so that does not count. Today I won’t lie, I was still exhausted when back bending came around but I focused on what I did right instead of what is still stuck. So I’m doing three rounds of kapalbhati and three of nadhi shodan first thing in the AM.Those are what teacher taught me and I am not in the business of assigning myself independent studies in breathing techniques. Any suggestions I might want to bring up for when I talk to her about this?
I had such a wonderful experience yesterday afternoon during my first ever restorative yoga class, that I woke up this morning with the sun AND refreshed. I only use the word refreshed and woke together maybe on vacation by a warm turquoise ocean. I am so glad I went, and I had to choose between that and a wine tasting benefit! I am totally growing in places. I could have gone to Mysore this morning but I knew teacher had been with her teacher Tim Miller at his workshop in the city. And when she goes to a workshop she always has something interesting and new to share. She cannot really talk about it during morning mysore but during the 10 AM led classes/workshops and Friday/Sunday led she does get a chance, so I decided to go to that this morning. She did have a lot to share… About INTERMEDIATE! Serves me right, I thought to myself, but by the end of practice that serves me right comment had a totally different meaning. She has talked about how to move your sacrum and your pubic bone in preparation for back bending a million times, but it was only today that I finally heard and understood what to do during Ushtrasana. I cannot believe I’m looking forward to trying what I learned tomorrow. Intermediate makes me spacey. Lot’s of driving mistakes on the way back to the ranch. next time I’ll check email and drink some coffee at Tusk & Cup for a little while.
Among the many lessons a daily Ashtanga yoga practice has given me is the appreciation for the routine of the morning inner dialog/negotiation that occurs after the “harp” sounds at six AM every morning. Regardless of how my stomach, and my joints feel, or the quality of my rest and of the last meal of the day before, I now feel the following:
-Gratitude instead of relief when no impediments present themselves, but specially when they do and I sit up and head towards the shower.
-Compassion instead of pity if the above does not happen.
-Equanimity (just a glimpse to be honest) instead of disengagement when I am nervous or feeling negative about the outcome of my practice that day. The intonation of the word “whatever” determines the meaning.
Love instead of infatuation when I think of the results, the lineage, my teacher, the Ashtanga community. It is no longer the excitement of I bumped into the cool crowd , but the astonishment that you found your path.
Two really good mornings in a row will turn anyone into corny sap.
I am off to Boston this afternoon for the rest of the week, with the clear intention of not getting lost while I find the shala space I want to practice at in the suburbs (is Brookline the suburbs??).
Taking a week off practice: Overrated. Even with sleeping in, both body and mind are hyper and restless.
Finding out why Jois closed: Overrated. After the surprise, and either the schadenfreude or the grief, the why is just gossip. Very weird though, is how most comments on the topic are anonymous. Why? Underrated.
Peg Mulqueen and Jen Rene’s video clip of their recent AshtangaDispatch workshop: Underrated. It should be viral. Having problems with Guruji’s silhouette in aqua, but there is no rule that everybody has to like what I like.
The balance in the ratio of men and women in the photo posted by Cathy Louise Broda on FB, of the first time Guruji taught in NYC: Underrated. It is priceless. A big chunk of the history of the Ashtanga community in the USA right there. Beryl Bender Birch so very underrated.
Food as consolation for feeling blue: Under and Over rated simultaneously. Sometimes consolation is not what you need, you actually need to swim in the blue.
Arts and Crafts as consolation for feeling blue: Very Underrated, almost as underrated as being of service while blue. There is a lot of potential creativity and energy in the blue.
If I am taking the pulse of the cybershala correctly (feel free to join me in not being 100% sure) we are all biting way more than we can chew. A few examples:
- Not for profit educational organizations that need to refine and narrow their goals for the dissemination of yoga and it’s benefits.
-individual practitioners who need to go back to basics in order to better understand the gifts that yoga bestows on the humbled student.
-teachers and disseminators of the practice and the Dharma how realize that they cannot and should not be everyone’s teacher.
-World travelers and practitioners who realize that there is nothing to prove.
-bloggers who understand that there are days where there is nothing to say and that in itself is an intricately well wrapped gift.
Because I am helping my only precious child pack for her move to Nepal and we decided to make it a party instead of a mom sob fest.
Not in the 1960′s parenting tool but as a useful prop for us tamastic beings who cannot seem to lift from the grasp of gravity. I asked teacher if it would be okay to try what I saw on this clip below (I know I know, Shhhh!) and she very kindly agreed. There are straps, blocks & blankets at the shala, but they mostly gather dust, except maybe for an injury/condition/or preference. Lets say that they are not promoted or discouraged. I have to say that I had my hopes on the block, but what was most beneficial was the way that strap speaks to your shoulder blades. They really slide down your back and your elbows are braced to prevent buckling like the columns of a building (do not trust me with that analogy- I can barely use glue correctly to put things together). Anyway, This clip does not look new but I have to say, Maty knows! I am so glad I talked myself into asking, and very grateful that my teacher was gracious enough to help my try this.
I learned how to jump back from standing very early in the practice by watching a video by the sometimes annoying Lucas Rockwood. I learned how to jump through with ease to sitting by watching a rare demo of Sharath doing it on a clip that Grimly shared last year or earlier this year, can’t remember. I just remembered that I saw what Sharath did, went to the floor and copied it exactly. I cried a little . I just sent my teacher a video of Maty Ezraty putting a strap around a student’s elbows as an adjustment in Urdhva Danurasana, to see if she concurs and tries it on me. As I was sharing my recent insomnia woes with teacher before practice, it occurred to me that even if I learn to lift up completely it does not mean shit if I cannot maintain a quiet empty mind while I move my body. I finally figured out that it is entertaining and even interesting to watch Kino, or Matthew Sweeney or DG technique and tips, but progress only comes when you go inside for solutions to your asana challenges. The “ping” if we want to call it that comes when you stop crafting strategies and procedures and let the sound of your breath shut that racket down.
It really is the only sane option. What you want, NOT what “you want” to do to procrastinate when you are afraid to do what you want.
This two fine authors might not look at the world in exactly the same way but they have a handle on what is coming down the pike. I am insisting that the husband read both and left one of them on his desk because the other one I’m re-reading. I promise you:
This plus this:Equals
THIS!! It is going to be awesome.
Did you sleep well? No
Did you go to practice? No
Did you have a good home practice? No
Have you eaten anything besides 3 handfuls of hazelnuts? No
Are you ashamed of this lame post? No
Aside from lousy sleep, do you have a good reason to be this grumpy? No
Do you know anybody from the state of Missouri? No
Is your laptop running smoothly? No
Will you go for a walk later? No
Is behaving like this okay? Yes