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Sweat Fest

Forgot my toothbrush, my floss, and my bathrobe.  Not too bad.  Except that tonight after a mind-blowing and body-blowing Yoganand workout, I found myself staggering around Wawa looking for a toothbrush.

Those of you familiar with Wawa know that toiletries aren’t really their big sellers.  I found a cheapo toothbrush, complete with a little paste, buried under the Trojans and next to the Advil.   I also bought pudding because I really needed it.

I entered class all bubble bathed and blown dry, and even got there early enough to chat with Kim, and with the Y-Man himself.

After the howdy-dos, he led us in a tricked out version of his famous “Workout.”

You know how some people make chili?  How they start with a basic recipe, but then, just for fun, throw in a little cocoa powder, some honey, a shake of tabasco and maybe some cigar ashes?

Yeah, it was sorta like that.

The ends of my pretty, freshly shampooed hair dripped.  Drips of sweat also fell off the end of my nose, and splattered on my mat.  My top was drenched and sticking to me like a bimbo in a wet tee-shirt contest and I had to keep pulling it off my skin.

Then, during savasana, my hair dried into stiff clumps, and when I got up I looked like a person who had just spent the night in a cardboard box over a subway grate.

I looked around and noticed that Iwas the only one who looked liked a bedraggled puppy. Everyone else looked exactly the way they did when they started the practice.

There are, apparently, some deep hair secrets of yoga I still do not know.

But seriously, I am hangin’ in.  I’m keeping up.  I’m not embarrassing myself. It’s not even been a full day, though.  Tomorrow it begins in earnest.

I need to get to bed.

I had Kim take this of me, so you can see for yourself.

in an altered state. Asana 4, evening 1
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Getting My Drawers In A Bunch

Rain on the windscreen of an automobile with w...
Image via Wikipedia

Tomorrow morning I will drive down to King of Prussia (in heavy rain, apparently) for another 5 day Training with Yoganand.

Today I have been doing my books, writing my October rent check and, so far, just mentally packing.

I can’t believe I still get the jitters every time I anticipate these trainings.  They’re so intense. And holy shit do they ever they kick up the dust for me.

Here’s a partial playlist of  “head music” from previous trainings:

I wish my body could do that…

If I practiced that every day could I do it? ) Or are my arms (legs, torso) just t00 short?

I need to train like this every day!

I wish Yoganand’s studio was closer.

I need a class to go to, dammit.

These other teachers are incredible and they are so young!

I wish I had started this path earlier.

God I feel old.

I hate this goddamn “sharing.”  It’s so fake.  I hate looking for a partner.

Bear Rock Cafe for lunch again?  Oy.

Too. Much. Stim.

I need a hot bath NOW. With Epsom Salts, please.

I think I just saw God. ….No. Really.

It’s not about the pose, is it?

hehehehehehe.

What the hell just happened?  Where am I?  Why these tears?

So I’ll drive mindfully through the rain tomorrow and get there at 6, and spread my Manduka, and say hello to my fellow teachers, who I have now done 5 of these trainings with and know pretty well.  When the day is over I will drive back to the Best Western, take my bath, and fall exhausted into bed to do it all over the next day.

I hope to post. It’s my intention to.  I miss me when I’m not here in the morning.  (heh).  I can’t remember if I posted the last time–I’ll have to check.  Yes! I did!  And I just re-read those entries.

And you know what the best part of blogging is?  Having blogged!  I just re-read my posts (they’re in the March archives: March 18, 19, 22 and 23 if you’re interested) and now I feel much happier.

It’s going to be fiine! What am I getting myself all worked up about?  Sheesh!  I’m an idiot.

Talk to you all tomorrow.

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Transitions Can Be A Bitch

Baked apples
Image by anjuli_ayer via Flickr

Everytime I came here to write last week, the page ate my words as I wrote them. (Or was it just that pesky  “delete” key?)

I wanted to write about how the full Harvest moon knocked me to my knees, and about how I was drowning in mountains of summer and fall clothing, each begging not to be relegated to the storage bin.  “See?  It’s still in the high 80s,” said the shorts and tees.  “Don’t be ridiculous,” said the sweaters.

But I couldn’t.

I wanted to write about the new light coming in through the bedroom window now that the window AC is gone.  And how the kitchen is newly flooded with light because the canvas canopy on the deck is now stored away for the winter.

But I couldn’t bring myself to sit here and write. There was more a need to sit and just watch, without words. I needed to just listen.

Transitions demand attention.

The fall transition is especially hard for me.  I love summer and it’s a   wrench to see it fade away.  A new season, a new way of being, a quieter, more contemplative way of being is beginning to assert itself.  I appreciate that too, of course, but…

When two seasons collide like they did last week, I got overloaded. I needed to hit the “reset” button.  I had too many windows opened.  I had maxed out my RAM.

But now that the moon is waning, and the weather is getting cooler, and I no longer have to get up and teach morning yoga, I am starting to resign myself, and prepare.

And today? Today I baked an apple.

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Inspiration Bonanza

You ever have one of those weeks where you keep bumping into people and things that amp your vibe?  Yeah, well that’s what happened to me this week.

It started with this blog post by Chris Brogan where he talks about people who just do “what needs done.”  And they do it with love.  “Because that’s the lovecat thing to do!”  I wanna be a lovecat!  Or maybe a “Lovekath!”

And then I had lunch with Mr. SuperNova, aka Tim Schlitzer.  Talk about somebody who amps my vibe!  So positive! So funny!  So inspiring.  We ate Cauliflower Maranca and caught up.  I called it a “ketchup day” and it made my heart happy.

Yesterday ended with a long chat in the yoga room after class with Jean-Anne about food and health and supplements and exercise and feeling great and yoga.  It was so very sweet.

And then this morning I read this post and was reminded of why I love stories, and the first person narrator.  It has a Youtube of The Wonder Years embedded in it too, that made me feel soft and nostalgic.

It’s been a good few days.

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Friday Gratitude

This week I am grateful for:

My velvet comforter. (Yum.  The nights are getting chilly.)

That the ventilation system in the studio was fixed. (Holy “Hot Yoga,” this week, Batman!)

Yin Yoga –both being able to teach it, and my private practice of it.

My awesome pranayama runs this week (every day!!) Nasal breathing is definitely getting easier.

Keeping steady with my disciplines: everyday meditation and everyday yoga.

Getting back to my writing (thank god!) I have been in an unbelievable funk with the ink!

Rain.  Desperately needed.

Big, awesome lunches that keep me fueled all day. Part of my new ayurvedic eating system. (Today, Naan pizza and sweet potato.)

That G’s foot is healing (yay!!) and she got a new orthotic at the Dr.’s today.

New glasses!  Black, boxy, bold.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Yin and Yang: A Story of Two Yogas

Friday prayer at the Jama Masjid, Dehli
Image via Wikipedia

Morning yoga, as predicted, has been shelving off pretty dramatically lately: cool, dark, foggy mornings do not inspire early rising.  There are only 2 more mornings left of 6:15 yoga classes, then morning yoga goes away until April.

When I got to the studio on Wednesday, no one was there, so I decided to do as much of the Ashtanga Primary Series as I could fit into an hour.  I got out my David Swenson book (I tend to forget the sequence in places), my blanket for Tiriang, my pranayama bolster for sivasana, and my headband, and as I was just about to start, Irene walked in.

Irene is a new student, a college student, and a very interesting, mature, intelligent and disciplined student as far as I can tell, but she hasn’t been practicing very long.  I asked her if she’d be up to doing an Ashtanga practice with me, and she agreed, so we began.

I forgot how much I love that practice!  I really do, despite the fact that I can’t do half the poses.  The sequence makes me happy, the athleticism of it makes me happy, and even the fact that it shows me up as far as my limitations go, makes me happy.

It does derange me a bit if I do it too much, though.  It’s very yang, and especially in the winter when my vata is challenged, too much strong pranayam and too much striving and pushing, cause me to become twitchy and irritable, rather than grounded and unflappable.  Ashtanga can definitely kick up my dust and flap me!  But, in moderate doses, it is just the ticket for breaking me out of the winter “slugs.”

Yin Yoga, my latest love and obsession. is very still, introspective and grounding.  I have been practicing steadily for the past few months and it reminds me of the yoga I used to do when I was first doing yoga back in college, using only books as guides.  Since I didn’t know any better, I’d hold the poses for extraordinarily long times, getting lost in sensations and wiggling deeper into the forward bends particularly.  I’d end my practice in a whole new country within the universe of my body.

Now I am teaching an 8-week session of Yin, and it’s really strange. I feel like I’m ripping my students off.  In a yang-style class, I talk a lot, cue a lot, make suggestions based on what I am seeing, and do physical adjustments.  From a “teaching” perspective, it’s very active and busy.

But in Yin, I basically just time them.  I guide them into a pose, and then while they hold it, I might offer some encouragement for a deeper release, but after that there is a lot of silence and I simply watch them.

Tonight as I looked out over the room of rounded backs deeply engrossed in their private struggles with Caterpillar, I was struck with the beauty and the holiness of what I was seeing.  It looked like prayer, or a moment of deep devotion. It reminded me of the old men prostrated in the Jama Masjid in India, and how their just being there on their prayer rugs caused a whole gaggle of chatty tourists to immediately become quiet and still. And just watch in reverence and awe.

There is a place for Yin and a place for Yang.  Too much Yin, and I could just mush out.  Too much Yang and I break like a guitar string: twang!

But in balance, I play sweetly, softly, and with reckless abandon.

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Costume Changes

1. Pajamas to yoga clothes.

2. Yoga clothes to running clothes.

3. Running clothes to gardening clothes.

4. Gardening clothes to dog walking clothes.

5. Dog walking clothes to sacred writing pants.

6. Sacred writing pants to (shower) and then back to (different) yoga clothes.

7. Yoga clothes to pajamas.

Am I the only one who changes clothes 7 times a day? Do you see anywhere in this madness that I could consolidate?

Yeah, I know.  Some people do wear pajama bottoms to yoga, but it’s usually not the teacher, hello?

And I guess I could run in yoga clothes, but it’s been in the high 40s these past few mornings and yoga togs are a bit on, shall we say, the the thin and skimpy side?

And everyone knows that gardening has its own specialized grunge couture that doesn’t go seamlessly from “day to evening.”  If you know what I mean.

And my sacred writing pants, are, well, my sacred writing pants.

So all day long I find myself backstage, changing costumes, as the story of my life slowly unfolds.

I feel a lot like Cher between sets in Vegas.  Really.  I do.