Blog Predictions

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So the hurricane did no happen and I can leave as planned. That word plan has no credibility with me after all this back and forth. I am packed for half a month in a carry-on from IKEA. hope it does not burst and fall apart. Yes I have a duffel bag for shopping damages somewhere in there. So here is what I think is going to happen blog wise.

  1. from what I see on instafacetwitter A LOT is happening on that yatra and there is no way to document it all or otherwise I will miss it, and end up like those people that miss the event trying to take a selfie.
  2. It will be a “bit” (lol) superficial since I am not a religious scholar or an asana expert. Even if it blows my mind, it’s like instagram- the blood moon was way better in real life, and my description/shot will not do the event justice.
  3. wi-fi questions about access in  Uttarkashi have been met with avoidance and generalities ( I say that with zero animosity and tons of good humor) so you know the answer to that one. I may have to share when I am back.
  4. I am such a dork, I am already calling the Himalayas the HimAlias

You May Never Come Back To Read Here

This is the most un yogic, unkind, un pretty, but still pretty fearless thought I have had since practicing made me less of a problem child in a body of a grown woman. I’m hoping that blurting it out will get it out of my system:

To all those mostly men who voted to shut down Planned Parenthood: This is what I wish for you- One day science will make it possible to  surgically implant some sort of uterus device into a man where a fertilized egg can be placed to thrive. Against their will of course,so they get a feel for what is being asked for when rape results in pregnancy. After nine months of nurturing the sanctity of life, a C section can be performed ( not fun as a remember, but survivable ). Watch them scream take “it”out! when the contractions barely begin,( or whatever alert their body ends up giving for ready to roll). I bet they would all claim it is a cancerous growth that needs to be removed because it is life threatening.

Some days chitta vritti nirodha does not happen, but that is no reason to not try again tomorrow. My bad not the yoga method.

If and When

My good FB buddy Lisa Hill is an ashtanga teacher(who is awol from her excellent blog) maintains the feed of Ashtanga Yoga Chicago over at Facebook with consistent and up to date Ashtanga news, teachings, and opinions. She recently posted this on the group feed and asked to start a dialogue/conversation. Here is my very personal opinion. Opinion, not ruling,or law, or edict. If you are a teacher, who no longer will practice or offer Mysore style & guided classes, please do provide a PSA to your students letting them know you quit Ashtanga. If you have are famous on youtube, snapchat, Instagram, and twitter for your asana demonstrations, instructional videos, or beautiful photos and have a ton of followers, do announce as well, because someone is going to ask where did you go? The rest of us? No matter how how heartfelt our blogging or our practice was and for how many years, and how bad the injuries, or how many awful Ashtangis you know, we should follow this sage advice offered by Peg Mulqueen on her feed not long ago:

Bin-yoga-mat

Oh, but you say, what about an abusive teacher or a studio that runs away with your money, or, or uh, I dunno. I’ll listen and thank you for the tip. but don’t blame it on Ashtanga, Ashtanga is not a person, or a disease, or an act of nature. it is a portion of your day where you sweat, breathe and try not to screw yourself.

Imported Mysore Magic

It might be a combination of all these things below,  or my powers of auto suggestion which others may refer to as flaky, or just plain coincidence and random generosity from un embodied energies. I had a soulful satisfying practice that has provided dopamine and serotonin to share.

Who knows, maybe teacher brought some shakti and other good juju from Command Central inside her presence, and I am not the only one risking being considered “impressionable” in less polite terms.

I do know that it was 90 degrees outside when I showed up and you know the people who were finishing warmed it even more for us. Sweat was leaving my body in quantities never before noticed.  I don’t enjoy a rug but I kept wishing for a rug, because there was no need to be squirting and spraying water all over everything for seated poses.

Slippery arms help all sorts of binds.

Enjoyed a slow count. That sounds almost offensive to me ears if I say it aloud.

The first no drama headstand away from the wall. I don’t expect a repeat but I enjoyed it.

I’m glad teacher expects a repeat because one of her biggest take aways from her August at KPJAYI was that transformation keeps happening, no matter how long or how recent your time practicing has been.  The secret ingredient seems to be when the teacher and the student both believe in miracles when coming to the mat. Then you can begin to identify and recognize the miracles outside the mat.

I notice that whenever I sound corny it’s because I’m happy. Incredible, we have been conditioned to be embarrassed about sounding happy.

Our Yoga Stories

Folks, I am arriving to the part where my practice shows me that telling the story of my practice is becoming something sort of unrelated to my practice. I am at the point where I realize that I practice to interrupt the vrittis which later return here (and elsewhere) as the story of what happened, or what I think happened, or worse: What I think will happen next. Other times it is an exercise in standing out or self identifying as  being in the correct team (Ashtangi) or as separating myself by being against exhibitionism, through asana, or intellectual mental gymnastics, and against commercialism through those two methods as well. None of those identifications are necessary for completing a practice. My story only means that what I narrate concurs  and flows with the stories from others, and their stories resonate with me. It only means that the stories of others, mess up my narrative and create dissonance. My like or dislike of their stories or mine do not make them accurate or real. If I could describe what really happens during yoga practice (so tempted to put an acronym here) it would be an attempt to describe the finding of space that remains open and unfilled.

Cultural Appropriation

Sweet baby Jesus, there is currently a shit storm brewing on Facebook that was conjured during the comments on Matthew Remski’s post on his retelling of the interview that Kino gave him after he highlighted her injury report on her FB page. Shit storm is no longer about Kino and her hip, no Sir. Actually hard to tell what it is about right around now. And you know I do not have the credentials, the academic skills, or the discipline to follow what is really going on. All I know is that right around now talk about  White privilege, colonization, feminism, racism, and cultural appropriation is hopping. And not just among yogis who know a thing or two about throwing shade. Salon, Slate, TheAtlantic and NYmag all have pieces on these topics this week.

This is not even what I wanted to blog about today. I wanted to recommend. Ta-Nehishi Coates’ book; The World And Me.  I am being educated and made aware of things a 57 year old white latin woman had no idea about, through a very fine piece of literature.

Innumerable Methods

Just finished reading Annie Lamott’s  Facebook post on her 29th recovery birthday and it made me realize that we all use something or another to blunt the panic and fill the holes. We spend so much time judging comparing an overanalyzing each other’s method or substance of choice, that it is hard to realize that we use that too as a way to calm the fuck down and feel better about how we go about administrating our fix. Today I experienced how we can be so successful in blunting the feeling or filling the hole, that we can loose the ability to communicate with parts of our bodies. I was convinced that I tilted my pelvis when I needed to perform certain asanas. It turns out that it is all in my head. My pelvis has not heard or understood a single request so far. I have several ideas on why I just only now realize this, but that is a longer post than the ones I prefer to write. Annie Lamott says that “why?’ is not a useful question. All I know is that yoga is a circumstance that fosters the communication and the exploration of those spaces and parts of yourself that you thought where holes and you sealed up or cut off a regular conversation with. There are other places and possibilities to do that. Not just through yoga. Just let’s not get all wound up and bent out of shape when someone slips and scrapes their knee or twists an ankle while trekking the valley or the summit.  I don’t know shit about baseball but Annie says that Grace bats last, and that’s how we will all recover from using.

Today

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.

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.

Dios Mio

I’m upset because I’m not upset. Did you get that? Here is  one of the perks about being a regular at a restaurant or a bar, or a cafe. (being vague on purpose here). You see a server/owner/bartender ( again on purpose) outside our regular environment and they confide that they overheard someone; a friend, a family member, a martian, talking trash about you!! I was horrified and embarrassed for about six seconds,and then realized I don’t GAF. This might sound like good news, but to me it really means that I do not have close bonds with people with whom I should really have tight bonds even if they might hurt me. I am going to work on that. I am also working on not feeling gleeful that I know that they were throwing shade at me and I can be sweet when I see them really really soon, and feel superior.  Anyway, baking cake and looking forward to eating it. Also opening a  bottle of icy cold Gewurtztraminer (Ga voortz traminer- you’re welcome) before Ray comes home. Have a great Friday  rest day and may you not need dramamine.