Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Some days you just wanna sit cross-legged in your office chair knocking back beet juice and puttering around the internet instead of, you know, doing things. By 10:30 this morning I was already done with walking Gus and taking yoga, so I felt justified in lazing about until I was going to go teach at 4:30. In that way—and seriously so many others—Benjamin and I are soulmates. Around the time I got home from taking class he asked me if he could please not go to the pool with his sister and stay home instead. Hell yes, homie. And let’s turn on some Star Wars to keep us company.

But the wheels came off. Come 2PM I was sitting on the steps in the garage clutching a Diet Dr. Pepper and hiding from summer break. Bickering over the TV, a blasting slasher flick, flip flops and damp towels from the pool in the entry way, and pancake batter dishes just chucked in my spotless sink were more than I was interested in dealing with. So I hid until Jim pulled in and saved me.

This morning I told Cameron that I’m enjoying watching my yoga practice change. And that’s really what’s happening. I’m watching it. I’m not propelling the shifts. I’m just kind of riding along, letting the body and psyche have what they want.

For the last three or four years my practice has been about volume— as many classes as I could get done. Like taking 12 yoga classes/week was pretty standard. But I’m feeling this swing toward returning to actually enjoying myself in class and learning rather than focusing on busting out as much practice as I can. My yoga practice is making itself into something more about quality instead of quantity. Which is weird because my leanings in regard to everything else tend toward more! more! more! I was built without a stop button.

The quality I’m seeking is taking classes that are a pleasure and looking to find the flawless geometry of the postures in my body—avoiding sloppy just-gotta-get there yoga and refining my foundation instead.

I find myself reaching for big deal poses less and less. There was a time not all that long ago when I was gaga for the mad impressive, tough asanas. All the fancy, twisty, balance-y, death-defying tricks that make up the bulk of still yoga photos on Instagram. And I can do enough of that. Arm balances come to me pretty naturally. I’m a bendy little thing. But I am not feeling compelled to get more of that into my game. I want to clean up what I’ve already got.

After asking some students why they come to the mat I asked myself too. The answer is simply that it’s on my mat that I most frequently meet my very best self. That’s what I’m looking for in my practice lately—my best me. Not stuff that merits photos. If in my practice I happen on the aesthetically pleasing and impressive, yay, but that’s not my end game. Guys, I don’t have a goal. In yoga that’s such a good thing.

Yet my students are interested in inversions and other flashy shapeshifting, so as a teacher I feel like I need to maintain solid footing—or handing, if you will (yuk yuk yuk)—in the snazzy poses so I can offer them more than just what I want to do. If I taught what I want to practice we would do 45 minutes of sun salutations and then 30 minutes of sleepy hip openers on the floor, and we would never ever ever do Revolved Triangle and Warrior I. Ever.

It’s also interesting to see that I don't require as much Bikram yoga in my practice as I have in the past. For years now it’s been my habit to get in five to seven Bikram classes/week, but lately I’m kinda okay with three to four and about that many vinyasa classes. I’m not interested in getting rid of the Bikram in my practice altogether—the part of me that frequently requires a good old fashioned ass-kicking will never die, and I need to sweat out my demons. But it feels nice not being nuts about it. I might be edging in on “normal.” 

Also the dependability of Bikram yoga is a gift, especially when traveling, which we do kind of a lot. Vinyasa classes can be a crapshoot, and when I'm limited on time I like that with Bikram I know what I'm in for. 

This weekend I’m going to the yoga for trauma people training thing or something like that at Midtown Community, and when telling Jim what I'd registered for I said, “Maybe it will make me a better teacher.” His reply— “Maybe it will make you a better person.”

Also, I'm sure I can safely assume that you too have had to ask your non-smoking significant other what he wants you to do with the 40 lighters you found while cleaning out his closet. Do you store them in the safe with the 10 guns and cash and then relabel the thing Outlaw Kit or do you cram them all in the “lighter drawer” downstairs for when you need to spontaneously set off fireworks? It's lofty stuff, the decisions we have to make 'round here.

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