March Challenges

Journey to handstand: Pfft. Those of you journeying online, pay attention don’t get hurt.

March Cleanse: Been trying not to muck it up since December. I don’t own a bikini and if I did I would just put it on. Those of you that treat your body as the temple that it is, I respect your cleanse as the  spring temple ritual that it is.

Meditation Challenge: I don’t think meditation is a tool to be used to challenge what is, but I am just soaking in all that is inside Gregor Maehle’s Yoga Meditation.

In other news, I cleaned out Eileen Fisher Green yesterday. 4 dresses(tunics I don’t really wear dresses) 2 pants, 2 sweaters, 1 top. $205, everything linen, silk or merino. Loved gently used clothing. 30% goes to GoGirl.

Bought a blooming jasmine plant and inhaling every time I pass it.

The Ashtanga Consulates

IMG_4114The first time I traveled by myself for an extended period of time, my dad gave 17 year old me an Amex card and the business card for the Colombian Cultural something or another at the embassy in Paris. He said that if I ever was in a bind to try the Amex office first. This was when a long distance call was so expensive that it had better be real authentic trouble if you called home. Now a days we all travel without needing to know anybody in particular when we venture far, even though my dad always says that my sister and I were chumps for not attending a school that had  a club in key cities. (he is a Cornell dude). Now though, I feel like I do have a club or a center that welcomes me wherever I go. Every time I enter a Mysore room I feel comfortable within the first 5 minutes tops. The teacher and I know someone in common almost every time, and sometimes you see someone from a previous part of your life who happens to have found the practice too. I just spent a short frigid weekend in Portland Maine which is on my way every time I travel Downeast but end up passing way too early to stop and practice (but not too early not to load up on bagels and pastries, hum..) I always wanted to visit Studio 72 on India street and finally got the chance. My yoga buddy KG used to practice there and says beautiful things about the place and the teacher. This is by far the tiniest shala I have ever visited. It is also the prettiest shala I have ever visited, and I visited the former Jois Yoga in Greenwich. Jennifer Morrison welcomes you with a smile and a very efficient sign up sheet that doubles as a release form and she then asks if there is anything she needs to know about your limitations or your practice. I mentioned a sore neck these days and later on, I do not know how, she fixed it/released the kink with two adjustments: One in Pada Hastasana, and another in Prasarita C. I could only stay for 30/40 minutes because we had some appointments, but I do plan to forgo the bagels for the practice next time I swing by because this is the other thing: the rest day is Sunday so they are open on Saturdays! I knew the bagels could not be the only reason, but I just figured it out as I wrote. The other two cool things that happened were that I found my college buddy Becky in the room practicing and I had with me a blanket/shawl she had brought for me from Bali 33 years ago! We have plans for chai next time. And it was valentines day, so Jennifer had homemade heart shaped cookies for her students. and a hug. I am an old damn hippie and I love a proper hug that doubles as hand shake, fist bump, and anything else that conveys that you were liked solely on a hunch and intuition.

 

Surprises

I have a stiff, non movable neck right now. It won’t turn, it won’t bend forward, I did not even try Purvattanansana because backward was going to give me the same answer. Why is my neck like this? Because for the first time in ten years I maned up and helped the husband with the highway driving on our trip to the cabin. Damn lane changing will ruin anyone’s practice! But guess what, you can do a practice with a non moving neck. It will help the brand new person practicing next to you because it will probably make her feel way more competent if she silently thinks that at least she can look up during upward dog. And even if you thought it was all too clunky and stiff, when you get up after rest, your neck feels a tad less tight and on it’s way to normal. Yoga Chikitsa. Another nice surprise? These:

photo copy 10th anniversary shala tees in the softest pre-washed cotton and with enough give to not deform Ganesh with your 36 D cup. And lastly, I felt very satisfied by being able to initial my 20th practice of the month (plus the two non qualifiable ones in Maine) which would mean that by the end of this week,  I was pretty much able to show up at the mat 6 times a week for the gorgeous month of May.

Floors

photo copyAfter 17 years of living in this house we are finally caving in and getting flooring. We gutted and renovated this house by ourselves with family( plumbers/roofer/electrician) when we bought it in 1996. We ran out of money and steam when we ripped the damaged floors and decided to live with the nail scarred sub-floor with some coats of deck paint. This year husband offered reclaimed wide planked maple and I said hell yeah. Home practice today because measuring floor guy said he would be by between ten and noon, and I am to OCD to risk a flat tire or a traffic jam coming back from practice. First outdoor practice of the season and it was dare I say it? Fun! Full practice almost under 90 minutes and soaked. It wasn’t that warm either. The squirrels were not happy with me in their yard. My turn to take it over rodents, come back in late November!

photo copy 3

Just Sharing

This came into my mailbox via Lucas Rockwood. Still watching, but so far kind of lovely. Happy Friday. Also, If you have any tips on how to massage the top of your hand when it has a “pinched” nerve, please share.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/59966679″>Why We Breathe – A Yoga Documentary</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/backtoawake”>BackToAwake</a&gt; on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

April

I grew up in Medellin, also called the city of eternal spring which is ridiculous, because how could you tell if you never dealt with winter. I experienced my first transition from winter to spring in 1981. I always thought that all that giddiness you read about spring fever was metaphorical, but no. Nothing like the Maine winter of 1980 (45 below when my parents came to visit in December) to turn me and everyone around me manic in every aspect, when the first crocus/sunny but still freezing days came along. There is nothing open in Bar Harbor, Maine until memorial day, but I found ways to shop every catalog I saw until I scared myself ( with my Papi’s money because I was like that then). People were having spontaneous “romances”, wearing tanks and flip flops while it is 30 degrees, having gin and tonics and mint juleps while freezing in porches, but me? I was buying shoes, dresses, make up, and other shit I had no use for in granola land. Ever since then I have had to be very aware and very careful with my behavior when spring really starts springing. And it is always about clothes, which is stupid because nothing really great comes out for spring. Believe it or not pinterest is helping because whatever I want to get, I pin instead while hoping for a windfall, and no you cannot see what I covet because I finally succumbed to the secret board. Healing through baby steps people, don’t judge.

HA!!

Delighted when it did not snow this morning, although I know why. Last night I decided to tape a huge heavy duty garbage bag over the front window of my go cart to see if I could just lift that & the snow instead of stealing my husband’s ice scraper. It is just like with umbrellas, you carry one as a precaution and it doesn’t rain! I also had a very satisfying practice, and by that I mean, I practiced presence and focus successfully even though there were athletic newbies (men!) in the room today. My primary is finally  becoming meditative and sometimes it worries me to hear that staying too long in primary might cause injury. I really don’t mind just not going past the first series, while exploring intermediate twice a month with the guidance of my teacher’s led “explorations” just so I don’t feel like I’m a dodger. There are so many things I could improve upon while feeling stable and at home (most of the time).  For the first time in my life I do not feel panic about not getting somewhere on time. I guess that is what teacher meant when she said we are never done when I first met her. What that meant is that the joint never closes and the offers never expire.

My Hometown

I grew up In Medellin. Lived there until I was 17. I visited once between 1980 and 1985. Then it took me 19 years to visit again.  That time it was like visiting a place I had never been to, with a few familiar landmarks plopped in between unfamiliar new roads. Among them my childhood home which now operates as a pentecostal church across from a shopping center. I’m Sharing this article, and if you ever visit, don’t take that cursed vulgar tour he talks about.