the image on top is "Welcome Home Sweet Sugar" by Kelsey Brooks

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mini-existential crisis

Thoughts in savasana.

"I wonder what it's like to become part of everything. It seems nice in theory but once I do it I won't even be able to reflect on what it's like to become part of everything! Oh no! Maybe I'll become a new and confused thing- but I won't even realize it! That's not fair! Maybe I've always been new and confused things? That's sort of comforting, maybe? What's that humming in the background? It's so soothing. Is this what it's like to experience pure vibration? But of course not because my experience of vibration has to do with the nerves and things that react to the experience of my body-being being vibrated. Oh my god that is so scary, no relax, breathe. It's fine, remember that everyone is going through this, and they are all fine, or are they?"

At this point, Joy (teacher at Prana) walks over to me and smoothes down my forehead. Was I frowning? Did it show?

Friday, February 12, 2010

I hope her name was Megan....

She had this quality of respectability to her that I have striven for my entire life. It's a way of being that transcends the limits of joviality or seriousness, and ignores the boundaries of free-spirit or stickler.

The way she spoke it was as if she had utter respect for the best of every person.

It also made me feel incredibly ashamed of the way I had been talking. As I entered the studio, probably because of my own insecurity or ego, I was sort of using what Lindsay would call 'my yoga voice'. You know, that voice you use to let everyone know that you are totally calm and in control of a situation. Sort of. Ok, not really. More like the voice you would use on tv if you had to play a character whose role that was.

And what that does is it limits people. It's more a way of controlling them and their emotional reactions than of really encouraging them to grow and be.

I was so ashamed of that. After class, I felt like my head was spinning.

Not the bad kind of ashamed, which is external. Not the sort that Douglas Adams would describe as 'the heat crinkling in your neck as you remember the time you dropped the football in 4th grade', but a more profound kind that leads to growth.

I will to do that. I will to try to notice, emulate and create more ways to do that....

It doesn't really work that way, though. It's not like painting the walls of your living room (which requires various degrees of effort, but is a very straightforward practice). It's more of a letting go process. Letting go of the need to please others, letting go of the need to have them trust me.

You can't force someone to trust you. You can't rationally convince them, you can't beg them, you can't really do much. All you can do is keep your integrity and consider yourself trustworthy and hope it's something like the flu.

That's....really not a good metaphor for being trustworthy..........


I took an "Hour of Power", thinking it would be just a quick wake-up call.

hah- it was an incredibly intense practice- I don't think I've been that sweaty since the summer I took Jeanne's class.

Carlos's class motto is "don't think, just do". It's a straight vinyasa practice- you never hold any pose for more than a few moment, but then you move right away into another one, so you are moving the entire time. Non-stop. Beautiful.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Prana Power Yoga

I got a two week membership at Prana. I have missed hot yoga so much. So very much. I don't know how I did without it. I mean, I've been doing hot vinyasa at 38th st, but with only an hour for each class, I rarely fall into a meditative trance unless I go twice.

There is something about those extra fifteen minutes that is so much better. Also, Prana's classes are 'flowier', we must have done at least 6 sun salutation A's and B's. And half moon, which is my favorite pose.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

YTTP hot yoga

The YTTP hot studio is my frequently courted beloved, but since every yoga experience is different (particularly the one I'm about to describe), here goes;

A little background information:

4 drinks last night, a seemingly unremarkable quantity, but more than I've had in ages, that's for sure.
I've kept my contacts in for three days.
I had perhaps a bloody mary and a half while still drunk, a tremendous amount of salt.
A tremendous amount of sugar (but let's be real here, can that really have dire consequences? Especially if it was the most beautiful, sparkly fair trade organic brown sugar? I mean, really?).
Potentially not enough air, or overly dry air. Although I would love to blame it on that, I think it was the contacts.

Anyway, I just got this pounding headache. And not just a headache. An overall oh-shit-am-I-dying-can-I-breathe-through-this-fuck-don't-think-all-thought-hurt-stop-thinking-stop-thinking. And the rest of my body followed suit as well. Last time this happened to me was at a YTTP retreat, though it wasn't as bad. I was really happy that Emalia was teaching, because although all the YTTP teachers are amazing, Emalia has this "Oh, I'll take care of you, you're totally safe here" quality about her (maternal projection, much?).

I was shaking throughout practice, and took many and many a child's pose, but when I was done, my headache was gone.

I swear, yoga cures everything. Apart from being late to class.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I stopped by Ishta and caught a very calm, restorative class which was exactly what I needed right then.

Bikram Yoga Williamsburg

I'm not what some might call a "Bikram person". I don't really like the practice all that much, and I have a range of conceptual defenses as to why*.

To give the practice some credit though, I do think the concept of confronting yourself in the mirror, watching yourself work and react- all brilliant.

Sometimes, I just need bikram. Just to remember who I am.

All day long you gather hints of random judgment that makes you wonder about what kind of person you are. It's exhilarating to really see yourself (or as close as one can come to seeing oneself), especially to see yourself and how you respond under extremely stressful conditions.

I liked the Williamsburg studio for it's people, but I didn't like it for it's smell. And this is nothing personal- it's just that hot carpeted rooms full of years of sweat have a tendency to mushroom. As in, smell like mushrooms. So unless the carpet is specially designed against stink, it will.

The community was really warm and inviting, though, which I appreciated a lot.

*There's no hip openers, it's strict and stringent format makes me feel powerless, I'm not interested in what someone else can make me do, I'm interested in what I can do on my own. Plus, for some reason, I usually feel lonely when I leave class.