Saturday, March 10, 2007

Nothing to say at all

And I'm bothered by it. This past week, I've been consumed by the Fundamental Teaching Techniques with Lori and with my new twice a week teaching gig at Practice Yoga as well as with getting a lot of chores done that involved serious phone time (calling the Insurance Company to sort through the dentist and orthodontist stuff for the kids, for one thing; calling to figure out what I bought and what I returned in the past two months). Just learning to pronounce the Invocation to Patanjali has been sucking up a lot of my energy. And here I was thinking that I was really pretty damn good at it. But all those long vowels and the sch's versus the sh's versus the ch's versus the s's...oh, boy. Today I took out Brian's recorder and tried to compose some version of the chant on it that would help me remember which vowels are long and which are not, using different notes to represent the long ones (there is no prescribed tune to the chant, although we all know that our respective shalas have their own versions that most of us use in our own practices). It was rather ugly, I have to say. No wonder I have never tried my hand at composing. But it did kind of do the trick in terms of acting as a mnemonic device.

The training has gotten me a bit fixated on some issues I have in twisting, which seem to come out in Parvritta Parsvakonasana, but don't seem to be causing me problems in Mari C or D. My upper back just doesn't want to participate in any twisting. In a precarious, unsupported pose like Parvritta Parsvakona, the issue becomes obvious as my hip swings out to compensate for the lack of twist in the upper back. In the seated twists - Mari C and D - I can work around the issue because I'm thin enough to get really really small and tightly wound so that my arms don't have to reach around that much "mass" that I would need to let the twist go all the way up into my Thoracic Spine. And my shoulders are fairly flexible, give or take a little chest opening that still needs to happen.

But this issue has me a bit obsessed at the moment since this teacher training has converted me to the importance of the Fundamental Asanas. I am wondering if I need to do some R&D binding twists to help enourage the Thoracic Spine to join the party.

Speaking of thin enough. I forget if I mentioned this before, but I lost a few pounds since January, mainly due to the fact that I have been practicing regularly again after not practicing for a couple of months while recovering from surgery. But, and I hate hate hate to say this, it has made a huge difference in Supta Kurmasana. And now the truth comes out: there is some discussion amongst some people who are in a position to know, that thigh girth is a factor in Supta Kurmasana, all other things being equal. That's not to say that you have to be teeny tiny to bind in Supta's just that if you're binding around thighs that have some weight on them, then you have to be extra soft and flexible in order to do so. I am not extra soft and flexible. It's not my thang. Right now, I am in a place with Supta K where I can reliably bind the hands, although not necessarily hold the bind for long once the ankles cross. But the pressure! If I gain a pound or two, it will all go away. And the shame! It will become obvious that I have been stuffing my face.

No, none of this sounds particularly yogic. And it's ironic, because it's at a time when I've taken a regular teaching job and have taken on some additional teacher training. And let me tell you, there are folks out there who really really like to criticize me for it. I have some unpublished comments from these folks - they didn't like the commentary on the Westchester Vagina Debacle. They don't like the ass photo. Oh, the comments I have gotten on that one! And the rebel in me keeps the photo up because I liked it until people started criticizing it, so why should I take it down just because some people don't like it? Anonymous people, I might add. And same with the Vagina entry, no pun intended (see? I am just begging to be criticized here). I liked it a lot until someone wrote to me telling me that it's an outrage that I could be a yoga teacher and a mother and be writing stuff like that. Now, I wonder. And I don't want to judge myself based on what others think. Even if they're right. I want to come to my conclusions about myself and what I do based on my own judgement. Not someone else's.

Hence, I find myself a bit stymied and writer's blocked. You wouldn't know it from the sheer volume of words pouring forth tonight. But trust me when I tell you, I have nothing to say at all.



Anonymous said...

hi, I'm an occasional reader of your blog, and I thought the westchester vagina thing was pretty funny. That whole thing is so ricidulous anyway.

However... I do want to say something about your entries about the 'racial slur'. I have no bone to pick with you. But I need to say that the way you referred to the black skiers (well dressed,-twice- thick lipped -- I mean, come on. Did you not hear Joseph Biden?), in both entries, is really no different than the way the black skier referred to your neighborhood as where all the rich white folks live. No one really likes being referred to by their race but it's something that blacks hear constantly. It is so common for a white person to refer to someone in a passing comment as 'black', that it is not even remarked upon by other whites. And so when the tables are turned, it is very uncomfortable for white folks, because yes, it's a reminder of racism, especially their own.

Your 'butt' photo IS a little weird, but I say it's your blog. let it blossom, as they say in hatha yoga classes.

Anonymous said...

okay, so you don't want to post the comment that I can't believe you're a yoga teacher or a mom. Please remove the butt.

samasthiti said...

Yoga people are uptight Lauren, let's face it.
It's this whole "happy, happy, I'm so enlightened I do yoga" bullshit. You don't have to be a saintly
Yoga Sutra quoter to be a "good" yogi.

It's like how women aren't supposed to fart, or when they do it's supposed to smell like roses.
The eight limbs say nothing about not having an opinion, or not having a sense of humor and fun. I don't always like what you write, I don't always like what I write for that matter. You have a way of starting a dialogue, which is always a good thing if people don't get mean and nasty. WHICH I have seen "YOGIS" do.

We are all hypocrites. All of us. Every single last one of us. Jesus, the Buddha. Even SKPJ, he's got some baggage. Let's just accept it and have some fun.

"YC" said...

Good points, Anon 1 and S. As for you, Anon 2, you are quite persistent, so I decided to grant you your audience. There. Do you feel better now that you aired your pointedly ugly grievance?

Anonymous said...

I am an ashtangi, a yoga teacher and a mom. I thought the vagina post was hilarious. Nothing un-yogic about it. Comedy lets us see truth (here, double standards, falseness, delusion etc.) without a big painful stick. People take everything too seriously. Have some fun.

PS. Here in MN I'm w/o an authorized teacher so I love it when you pass along technique info from sir. Thanks.

samasthiti said...

Women who become mothers are expected to act nothing like they did before the children. Have to be nice, have to put everyone's need before their own. Oh, and don't forget BE NICE. With expectations like these it's not hard to imagine why women have more depression than men, more self esteem issues than men.

I am more than willing to give these kids of mine fist position in my life, BUT I struggled for years trying to figure out that it was OK to be the person I was, to regain my voice, my self, my individuality.
Ashtanga helped bring back that fire. Yoga gave me my balls back, my ability to fuck my husband like a whore instead of a Mommy, swear and have some cocktails, let my hair hang down. I am a better mom for it. Happier less repressed.

"Well behaved women rarely make history."
-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Tova said...

i write this as a sit eating ice cream out of the carton. i am a big girl and i can bind pretty easy in all my marichy's (even grabbing thigh in C and ankle in D) and pretty reliably in my supta kurmasana. i have had to cultivate a pretty deep spinal twist, but hey i have my bind and my ice cream, too! would losing weight make my practice easier? probably. but would it make my life more satisfying? probably not.

for the anon who can't believe that you are a teacher, i think she needs to see your breast cancer yoga link. i think it is a great example of how a person can make their own suffering something positive for somone else, and that is pretty freaking yogic if you ask me. and by the way Lauren, thank you for your help, while i only have one ovary now, the one that was taken was entirely cancer free, phew!

and i love the a** photo. don't take it down!

Anonymous said...

i guess i feel better now that you've aired my 'pointedly ugly grievance'. (except that I still have to look at the butt, although i guess i don't really have to, but I can't stop reading your blog. ugh) I just think your blog is like a train wreck. and yes, i've seen the whole breast cancer thing.

Tova said...

and what does that say about you, anon, that you can't look away from the trainwreck?

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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