Saturday, December 21, 2013


• I am an advocate of not taking water into the yoga room when practicing Bikram. Teacher Tanya has suggested going water-free; I decided to give it a try and took a couple hundred classes without any water. I'm converted. (It’s actually pretty strange that I’m still upright. You’d think that I’d make sure to really hydrate if I’m not going to bring water in class. Nope. I think I drink like 24oz of water in a day, sweat it all out, and don’t really replenish.) While I dig not bringing my own water—one less thing to remember—I’ve come to enjoy stealing Jim’s from time to time during the floor series.

• If you don’t have a kitchen scale, a postal scale will do in a pinch. Yes, I own a postal scale. It is now dusted with powdered sugar.

It looks like the Shakti side string shorts are my favorite. (Size small, if you want to buy me more.) I have a dozen pair. How did that happen?

• So standing bow. Let’s talk about it. I think we all have a showy pose or two that we’re built for. Sometimes it takes years to find it. Maybe you never find it because your practice never took you to the posture that would suit your body perfectly. But I think it’s out there. Right now, standing bow is my successful fancy pose. (On only one side of course.) It’s getting easier. On a good day I can hold it the whole time for both sets with both knees locked and my chin to shoulder. When I’m up to it, I can settle in the pose and start messing around, focusing on my low back and arching more so that my hand doesn’t slip down my shin, leveling my gaze, and getting out of my heel. This makes me feel successful because it’s taken years of tinkering and building strength to get here.

Mine's pretty, but it sure ain't that pretty. 
I came to Bikram yoga with the flexibility necessary to do standing bow.
I’ve always been able to do the splits. My back’s been bendy forever. It was frustrating to already have those elements but not be able to do the full expression of the posture. It’s only recently that I realized that I was missing the strength and the body consciousness to utilize my flexibility. Even though I could bend and stretch enough, my body had to learn what to do with my bendiness and then build up the muscles necessary to get me to where I am now. I guess that has to do with the practice being a process.

• I gave Jim a sweater. He said, “It’s so soft.” “Well,” I replied, “It’s Merino wool.” “What, like, it comes from whales?” No, darling, MerinO not marinA.

• Jim’s Josie had a piano recital today. She played the hell out of that “Silent Night.” Not one mistake, excellent timing. She crushed it. Afterward she took me prowling through the mucky wilderness behind their house. My reluctance was obvious. It was cold. I was wearing boots with a four-inch heel. But she’s persuasive and I am weak, so I grabbed my bushland-inappropriate trench coat and followed her out the back gate and into the dirt and rocks. We scrambled over hills made mud from snow, through wicked brambles, and to the frozen lake where we walked out on the ice as far as we dared (like two feet), and, after Josie had me commit to diving in to save her if the ice broke and she fell in, we tried to break through the ice with rocks. I’m not sure I could have been more inappropriately dressed for this series of activities. It’s a miracle I didn’t fall off a boulder or something and break my neck.

Trekking back to the house, our clothes got covered with stickers, Josie’s especially. She asked me to carry her. “Yeah, I’m not doing that.” Because, duh, I can’t. There’s only 20 pounds between us. I thanked her for her faith in my strength. (Which doesn’t exist.) She said I should have talked her out of the adventure. I laughed and replied, “The day I can talk you out of anything is the day the world ends. But next time you want to take me on some safari that I don’t want to do, can I please remind you of the time you wished I’d talked you out of something?” When we got back, Jim had a special little hummus plate he made waiting for me and a hamburger for Josie, the world’s most committed carnivore. He scrubbed our boots clean of the caked-on mud. Now they’re good as new. And I believe I’m quite the hotshot for crossing the planes in very tall shoes.

• Hey Jim, I bought mistletoe. 

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