Thursday, June 26, 2008

This Time Tomorrow...

yoga summer camp came to an end. i find myself stranded in the los angeles airport for ten hours. i pace the terminal over and over: starbucks and burger king aren't going anywhere, either. i'm hungry. am i unenlightened if i order a cheeseburger? hunger is the price we pay for ..what? responsibility? good taste? in LAX it gets me no where. two flight attendants eyeball my yoga mat, my straw hat. headed for boulder, indeed. where is a rose quartz when i need one? and i'm still hungry.

but now that i'm here and back ordering black coffee at the shop on the corner where everyone i've ever known in boulder orders their coffee, it feels as though i've never left. i see a lot of my friends today, by accident. boulder feels as small as ojai. can i turn a corner without seeing someone i know? but today it is welcomed; i am shocked to write it is a pleasure to be home. they ask what i learned. no, that's not right, they ask did you learn a lot. yes or no. some don't know what questions to ask and i don't know how to say over coffee i've changed and we end up talking about pollution, or LA traffic. i run into a newer friend; we don't know each other well, and our conversations are friendly, toothy, transparent. he is interested in yoga, we talk about a time for him to come take a class with me. yoga is the next natural step for him, he quit drinking a year ago and now he wants to quit smoking. we decide on next wednesday. it's a new moon, he says, grinning. is he coming to yoga so he can quit smoking or kiss me? i don't know, but i decided a few weeks ago both motives are respectable so when i see him scribble in his planner i can't help but grin back at him, merry as christmas. i mean, it's yoga. what can go wrong?

i'm avoiding. yoga summer camp came to an end. i'm back in boulder after two and a half weeks in southern california practicing yoga. learning to teach yoga. i designed two classes this afternoon, in an effort to put off returning to work and real life a little longer. but i grew tired just putting the pen to paper. should i be doing this? do i know my elbow from my ass? completing the training articulated many unnamed fears, wants, needs. the sentence i want to teach yoga sounds much different when you're actually enabled to teach yoga. it's like the beginning of a relationship, when everything is still a bet. doubt, desire. he calls, i call him back, he leaves a message on my answering machine.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Love The World You Find

Day six or seven of yoga summer camp. I don't even know. Today things began making sense for me, in my own body and in the studio. The slowness started to seal in ideas, postures, poems. I think I'm getting it.

Not having the freedom of my time is getting to me, though. My eating routine is off. I'm not really rolling with that as well as I wish I could. Knowing my job will be changing at my studio in Boulder upon my return is bothering me. I find myself at that studio just as much as I'm at Lulu's, with the way it pops into my mind. And boys, I'm thinking about boys.

Just staying present is my big task. Remembering to do little things in the moment I'm in, like looking forward with my head while trying to jump into handstand. Who cares what happens after I'm up? What I'm trying to do is get up.

At one point during our practice today I thought I felt a psychic 'phone call' from a friend. I think that statement sums up a lot of my mental state during this training. This friend and I once sat lotus style in front of one another at a hot springs in New Mexico, trying to communicate silently. It was one of the most pleasant afternoons I've had in a long time, and while a lot of the telepathy business was rooted in shyness and wanting to just look at him, I'm still hoping one day I'll be able blog psychically. Oh, yes.

What does this have to do with yoga? That is the eternal question in my posts. Yoga has to do with everything. I could write an entry about buying beans and it would be about yoga. The deeper I get into my practice the more things become connected.

Kira talked a lot about resistance today. Saying no to say yes. Some of that resistance is in our physical bodies--the way you can trick a muscle into stretching by contracting it first, and some of it in our emotional bodies. We did handstands today--a big anxiety pose for me. I said no a million times in my head, and gave my usual lame attempt at the wall, mostly for posterity. Look, I tried. Happy now? And lo, I was tricked into it.

No, not tricked. Kira pushed her feet into my shoulder blades which gave me the stability to push my legs out to a right angle. But somewhere in there was a moment where I said ok. I stopped sending psychic messages to my legs and arms like DON'T LET ME DIE and I stopped, for a second, thinking about the second that was coming after that one.

And it was great. Of course. I'm getting to be more and more honest with my body, trusting it more, loving the places it lets me get to. Trying to settle into the sensations of whatever world I'm in. Maybe I'm not as ready as I'd like to be to teach, but I'm understanding I could be. Like sending and receiving psychic messages with John--it's probably not going to happen, but thinking it could is pretty sweet.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Here I am, two days into yoga summer camp. Feeling alternately inspired and uninspired. This morning I admit boredom. Kira's teaching at 9 am and although I'm up and dressed for it, a vinyasa class does not sound appealing. I miss my hot yoga practice, but I'm not sure I want to do that, either. If the essense of yoga is focus and attention, as Joel Kramer writes, then I'm screwed. I find my mind wandering during meditation, my breath escaping me without acknowledgement and my body physically resisiting the poses I ask of it. All of it is physical: my back is suddenly a liability again. Sensation comes and goes in my right leg and my upper back and shoulders spasm as if in shock when asked to compensate for the lower back. Tomorrow I visit a chiropracter--my future as a yogi lies in her hands.

It's hard not to feel inspired in Kira's studio. It's a small, light space with open windows and pale blue walls. Almost nothing reminds me of my studio at home; in fact,the windows here open up to big, green trees. No gas station or apartment complexes in sight. The pace of things is different here, which suprises me. Students don't start showing up for class until a minute before it is scheduled to begin. Do I feel somehow threatened by this? A chance exists that I rely on arriving thirty minutes before the class to spread my mat out, roll my neck around, focus. I don't know how to just arrive. This morning (Sunday) Ashley and I woke up only ten minutes before 8, actually driving the three blocks to the studio so we could make Uschi's strong vinyasa class. I tried not to panic, but I did a little anyway. How do they do it, these people who just stroll into class, thunk their mats down and forward fold?

I need to start my yoga homework. Something about sequencing. In the interest of not letting these posts of mine drag on and on for days, I'm pressing "publish post" and just letting what I've said be what I've said. The end.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

omg so nervous

i can't believe the teacher training starts tonight. in forty-five minutes to be precise. i'm so nervous! i love that it starts so late in the evening, it makes it feel sort of mysterious and exciting. i feel so unprepared in some ways and also completely ready and excited.

the only thing keeping me halfway calm is reading erich schiffmann's book. he's working really hard to convince me that yes at my core i am actually goodness, love, peace, calmness. like everyone. i'm trusting that i can stay with that during this training and that whatever shows up for me it will be ok!

i'm working on finding my own voice and that's what i hope to get out of this endeavor--a little more knowledge and peacefulness about who i am, whether i end up being a yoga teacher or not.

i just threw an entire bag of spinach on the stove. warm, calming, sugar free FOOD. that's what i need right now to fortify me for the journey ahead!

Monday, June 9, 2008

How Not Doing a Handstand Still Counts as Practicing Yoga

Handstand is a really important teacher for me. Sometimes I can do it; most of the time I can’t. In a yoga class recently the teacher indicated that we were going to do handstand and I noticed that a primal response of fear took over my whole body. I didn’t do handstand that day. Instead I just paid attention to that feeling. I played with it while everyone did their variation of the pose. I just felt my fear. I felt happy because I had finally noticed what was really holding me back from doing the pose. And because I could finally label that feeling as 'fear' rather than 'inadequacy.'

Sarah’s here from Boulder, the teacher training is only four days away, I finally cracked open the Bhagavad Gita and I actually like it, and my energy and excitement is starting to flow back into my life like a stream of fairy dust.

How are we supposed to relate to our own emotions? I’m noticing that I tend to get completely taken over by them and then I can’t enjoy them, good or bad. That non-handstand was so revolutionary for me because I enjoyed that fear. So my next question is, is it possible to notice the fear and do the pose anyway?

Last night I did manage to kick up and do a handstand against the wall of my apartment, twice. The first time my arms buckled slowly and I landed on my head. Sarah was there and we laughed at the horror and humor of it. The second time I kicked up and stayed up for a couple shocked seconds in which I looked at the upside down room around me and waited for the pose to enlighten me. So I know I can do it, in a carefree environment completely free of things that trigger my self-consciousness and overthinking.

Listening to Fleetwood Mac, “I’ve been afraid of changes…time makes you bolder, even children get older and I'm gettin' older too.”