Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oh. K.

Wow, I am bowled over by volume and variety of responses to my midday post-practice whine break. Lots of perspectives offered, and none of them mean or judgemental, which might be attributable to the fact that I have turned off anonymous commenting. Behind the veil of anonymity, people will say things that they would never ordinarily want to be heard (read) saying. Faced with accountability, people will censor themselves. Interesting that the consciences/superego/yamas/call-it-what-you-will carries not nearly as much power as the desire to be perceived in a certain light. When it comes to shaping behavior, the externals seem to be far more weighty than the internals.

Anyway, my favorite comment is from Karen, who suggested that I just enjoy Supta Kurmasana for a while. Why not, right? I mean, I have been longing to feel it for so long. Now, I have my wish. It stung to read it. The truth hurts. It's like, wow, what's gotten into me anyway? Why am I being so graspy? So desperate to add more to my repertoire?

I have to say that I have been struggling in the past few days. Not with the physical practice. That's been great. But with motivation. And desire to practice. This happens to me every time I finally "get" a pose. It happened after I finally bound by myself in Marichyasana C. Same with Mari D. To a lesser extent, it happened after I got and then "got" Bujapidasana. It's like the same thing that happens when you really are attracted to someone and you really want them to like you, and then when you finally catch their interest, it's like, eh, who cares, and what was all the fuss about? Or when you desperately, desperately want that new job, and then you actually get hired, and suddenly, you're like, oh, shit, it's like, just a job.

It's why I stopped running the marathon. The first time, I did it to finish. The second time, I did it to break four hours. The third time, I did it to....um....wait, now why did I do it again? As I crossed the Queensboro Bridge (somewhere around Mile 15 out of a total of 26.2), I remember feeling my quads tightening up, and thinking, what if I just walked home from here (I lived at Mile 17 at the time)? What difference would it make? I'm never going to win this thing. And with the way my quads feel, I'm never going to beat my last year's time, although I was still very much on track to do so. The best I could do would be to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and what exactly would that do for me? Cause me to run another 26.2 miles. And that's when my pace slowed from 8:20 all the way to somewhere around 9 minutes per mile. When I got the the last five miles, I knew that if I wanted to beat my previous year's time, I was going to have to run harder. Except I just didn't care anymore. I ended up finishing two minutes slower than the year before. And I never had any desire to ever run it again.

I don't want that to happen with the yoga. I want to revel in the absolute pointlessness of it, the practicicing for no performance, the endless, Sisyphean journey.

It's very hard.

YC

what does it take, i ask you??? what? tell ne!!!

And i will do it. Just tell me. Communicate with me. Do i need to breathe deeper? Practice faster? Practice slower? Lift up into a handstand after uttkatasana? Jump straight into every pose, arms bound? Bind in supta kurmasana without assistance?

Today was my seventh or eighth full-on total-bound full-monty supta K in a row. It was my third dwi pada liftup. It was my first dwi pada to a workmanlike titthibasana to an actual bakasana.

I fear that Sir is one day going to tear his face off, revealing himself to be that most famous of mind-fuckers of them all, Ben "Henry Gale" Linus of Lost fame. Has the leader of the Others actually infiltrated the yoga world? For the love of god and all that is holy, let this not be true!!!!!

YC

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Psychological Approaches to the Management of PAIN

Apparently,Cheri Adrian (scroll all the way down after you click this link) IS a psychologist, and a published one at that. Note to Cheri and Adrian/Cheri Adrian: I prefer the pharmaceutical approach to the management of pain.

YC

End of days?

Carl and I were discussing Stat Counter's merits, and I said that I found it pretty useless, while he found it quite informative. Well, I am here to say: USELESS. For example, I clicked on the link to find out what states people are visiting this blog from, and it shows the following:

19 New York United States
14 Maryland United States
12 ?
10 Oklahoma United States
9 California United States
8 England United Kingdom
4 Minnesota United States
3 Pennsylvania United States
2 New Jersey United States
2 Brussels Belgium
2 Colorado United States
2 Michigan United States
1 Missouri United States
1 Nova Scotia Canada

Now, since I KNOW that some people read this in Washington (the state), for example, and New Jersey, as another good example, how is it that those states don't appear at all on this list?

I know that the right answer to this question is: who cares?

But, still. The internet is still as anonymous as ever, and most people can hide behind their ISP (internet sevice provider) in order to create insane fake personas and then layer them with insane fake persona friends and insane fake persona boyfriends until they've created an entire univere of insane fake personas, and none of what anyone says matters anymore because it could all be fake anyway.

Sigh.

Maybe Cheri, Adrian, The Boy and Kiki (for lack of a better fake persona) are, in actuality, the Four Horsemen of the Blogger Apocolypse, and the end of days of blogging in innocence has arrived...

YC

Monday, May 28, 2007

another day another practice

Sooo crowded today. So hot and sweaty. All good. Slight tweak in my upper left back, attributable to a stupid thing I did in the bath this morning. I observed where it effected my practice: nowhere. It only hurt before and after. That's something to be happy for. I'm sitting at the Randall's Island Golf Center now. Waiting for the kids' burgers to be ready. I have a 20 ounce bottle of Sprite Zero tucked between my back and my chair. It's nice and cold.

I am bored here. I keep thinking about food but not knowing what - would want to eat. I have a cold that has eliminated by sense of taste. I want the pleasure of going out to dinner, but I am prety sure that the only food which i might enjoy is the whole oat groats i have ready and waiting for me at home. Bland, chewy, mushy, sweet. Perfect for a no-tastebuds day.

YC

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I'm all En Vogue today

No you're never gonna get it (ow!)
Never ever gonna get it (no, not this time)..."

Remember that song? I kept singing that in my head today.

The good news is that practice feels awesome, and I have so much energy left over after stopping at Garba Pindasana that I am able to come home and take Adam out for an eight-mile bike ride through Central Park's main drives. I remember with fondness the days when I used to push my baby carriage around those drives for exercise. Then the stroller became a jogging stroller. Then the jogging stroller became a bike seat. Now, finally, I have my own little biking partner! And plenty of energy to spare.

Came home from that and ate a delicious bowl of "whole oat groats" with almond milk and wheat germ. I love hot mushy food (although not mashed potatoes - blech!). I wonder if the reason my practice has improved in the past few weeks has been my incidental shunning of animal flesh and my substitution of what would normally be on my plate for things like rice, lentils, groats and the occasional pasta (usually asian noodle stir fry). Also, I have stopped drinking coffee. Ever since the tongue injury, I can't face the prospect of coffee. Too acidic? Maybe what with the lack of coffee and the sharp increase in young coconut, my diet has become more alkalitic and less acidic, which many many moons ago, Mark R. told me could improve my practice by eliminating stiffness in the joints.

In any event, the biggest improvement in my practice is the fact that there is no more drama in Supta Kurmasana. I just do it now. Yesterday, Lori told me that if there's time, I should attempt to get myself into it. I had no idea about that. And I think that really helps, or it did today. By the time Sir got to me for my assist, my shoulders were already WAY under my legs. I bound solidly, no slippage at all, despite sheets and sheets of sweat falling off my body, not even when my ankles crossed, and not even when I took it upon myself to dip my head even lower under my crossed ankles. Once again, I surprised myself by pressing up in Dwi Pada. It was harder today, though, and once I got up, it was either fall forward or let the legs spring apart. I chose the latter and then fell on my ass. No big deal.

The one and only problem I have with not finishing Primary before getting to backbends is that my backbends suffer. When I practce the full Series, like at home, or when I pop into Yoga Sutra, my backbends feel amazing. When I stop before Baddha Konasana, my back is still quite rounded. I think that Setu Bandasana really helps to set the stage, especially because I have a strong neck and can really use that as leverage to arch.

Eh, the point is moot. I am here in Primary Purgatory forever. I am resigned to it. No need to contact my teacher, friends. It's FINE. I am FINE with it. Can't you see that? I am FINE!! Lalalala! Happy! And I should never have to do dropbacks either. No, perish the thought. Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT lobby for assisted dropbacks for the Yoga Chickie. She does not need or want any Asana Charity, but thanks.

YC

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Eight Randoms

1. I am writing this at a Yankees game. We're sitting in the 15th row, right next to third base. I really couldn't care less about baseball.

2. When I was a senior in high school, I was the "voice of Mountain High School", reading the morning announcements each day over the PA system.

3. Speaking of high school, I played a hooker/dancer in a production of The Night of January 16th and a hooker in a Chekhov play, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

4. I also played Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank in a community theater production. The director took out my line, "Margot, do you think I'm terribly ugly" because she felt that it was not believable to the point of absurdiy. Bad acting? Or cute teenage girl? You decide.

5. I never hated my nose until after I got a nose job. Now I fucking HATE it. Bad nose job? Or appearance-obsessed plastic surgery junkie in training? You decide.

6. I have huge feet. HUGE. I wear a 37.5 european/ 7.5 american. I am only 61 inches tall. To put it in perspective, see V's Mind Bending Randoms...

7. I have been pregnant five times. I have two children.

8. My first crush began when I was in kindergarten and lasted through fifth grade. His name was Joe Katz, and he resembled a combination of my two sons - short, freckle-faced and funny.

I will tag (1) my sister, Dinnerland, because, well, she's my sister, and I would think that she has some random factoids to offer that would shock and appall me (and hey, wouldn't it be good to broaden our blogging horizons?), (2) Steve Dwelley because maybe he feels left out of all the fun - I mean, even very highly-regarded teachers who write about esoteric topics (and really well, by the way) on their blogs need to be able to get into the vast trenches of the inane with the rest of us now and then, (3) Adrian because that Luuurrreeeen-luving, old-fat-ashtangi-bashing Cheri has taken over and it's time to bring back the nicer alter ego, (4) Susan ("Rhymes wih Crazy") because she kinda hates me but seriously needs to get back to blogging and practicing (oh..wait..she already is! kewl!! but she says that she really doesn't want to be tagged, so, I definitely am tagging her...), (5) Jason because I haven't seen a single blog entry from him in months and months, and he was always good for getting me riled up with his blogger persona, which could be summarized as "I am highly critical of all of the stupid ashtanga blogs out there, and so I will now proceed to incite them to further stupidity for my own entertainment", (6) Elaina of Still the Turning because she seems so nice, (7) April's CR Diary because CR seems to dovetail so nicely with Ashtanga, and I felt like extending the branch into her calorie-restricting world.....and that leaves number (8)....hmmmm....let's see, who else, shit, I don't know. Suggestions welcome.

YC

Friday, May 25, 2007

Okay, which one of you's ratted me out?

Apparently, or so I am told, my teacher, who goes by the name of "Sir", at least here on this blog he does, received an email from one of you people with the itchy email fingers, which email said, and please allow me to paraphrase what was paraphrased to me:

"Would you PLEASE just give Lauren the next pose already? All she ever talks about on her blog is being stuck in Supta Kurmasana. Supta Kurmasana this, Supta Kurmasana that! Please?! Can you put her out of her misery already?"

And, no, of course it wasn't me. Whomever wrote it, or so I am told, is someone that Sir knows. It wasn't one of those fakey email/blogger personas. It was an ACTUAL concerned Ashtanga citizen.

Wait!! I know who it was. It could only be one person. Anonymous Shala Mate?!!! Was that you?????

In any event, not only did I bind in Supta Kurmasana today, but I pressed up in Dwi Pada and held it for a good couple of breaths, surprising even myself in that I did it completely unexpectedly, and without assistance of any kind. Not even verbal assistance. That makes FIVE SUPTA KURMASANAS IN A ROW. It is no longer a fluke.

No. Longer. A. Fluke.

You know what? I think I will just defy everyone's expectations of me and see how LONG I can be stuck in Supta Kurmasana (well, really Garba Pindasana and Kukkutasana, since somewhere along the line my teacher took pity on my aching back and let me roll around on it). Wouldn't that be funny? Like, see if I can break a record for the longest sticking point, even after being able to bind in the pose?

To that end, I specifically make no point of pausing in between Kukkutasana and backbends. No wistful looking around the room...no "is it time yet?"...no puppy dog eyes...none of it.

I mean, the longer I stay here in Primary Series Purgatory, the longer my license to complain extends. And I have one of those. A license to complain, I mean. Well, actually, officially, it is called a "Kvetch Club Card", and all Jewish children receive one the moment they wake their parents up in the middle of the night for the very first time. And to be honest, it's not actually a "license" because that would imply a "right" to "kvetch" (for all the non-yids out there, "bitch and moan"), whereas kvetching is not merely a right amongst my people. Rather, it is a duty, and whenever a Jew kvetches, it is considered to be no less than a mitzvah, and another angel gets her wings. Oh, wait, scratch that last part. No angels. But lots of "yichus and nachus". And brisket and kugel and kasha varnishkas too.

Anyway, enough about that. Tomorrow I teach Led Primary at 10:30 a.m. I know it's a holiday weekend, but could someone PLEASE come? I give really deep Marichyasana adjustments because I know what it is like to struggle in those damn poses. And likewise, I bind the hands nice and tight in Supta K, for the same reason. There's a moon day next week, after all, so get that extra practice in....

And just in case anyone is interested, for the next few months, I am going to be teaching a Led Standing Poses class on Fridays at noon at the shala. They call it "Hot Lunch" because it's lunchtime, and it's HOT (you have to say it like Paris). We just plow through the Standing Poses and then take rest. Perfect for people like Cody (if only he lived in New York) who wish for a little something "less" on Fridays, but for whom "Only Primary" is actually "more".

YC

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What does it all meme?

And how does one pronounce it?

And why does no one want my eight random factoids?

I never liked tag anyway. All that "You're it" and "Now YOU'RE it", which is so silly, really, because everyone knows that I am, in fact, it.

Whatever. Once, I was a Thinking Blogger. Now I'm the girl without a prom date.

Sigh.

YC

Yoga Chickie....Now, with yoga!

Yes, seven obsessive television-related posts later, yoga chickie is back to talking incessantly about yoga. Please pardon the capitalization errors - it's the berry; doesn't cooperate so well with my stubby fingers. Speaking of stubby fingers, I am thinking, and I've been mulling it for quite some time, that my finger length to wrist ration is problematic when it comes to any sort of wrist binding that requires a good grip. So, not any of the postures up through janu sirsa c. But after that, I feel like it's hard to work a really comfortable grip around my (oversized? At least for my petiteness) wrists. It's not preventing a wrist bind, so this isn't just me being a pissy, lazy, not-working-hard-enough whiner. It's just that I feel as if I would be a bit more comfy if my fingers were longer and my wrists more birdboned. Nothing - can do about that, I know. But it has occured to me that perhaps it would behoove me to get one of those golf-grip exercise balls, where you squeeze the ball to improve hand strengh?

Certainly, hand strength would serve me well in....drumroll please...supta kurmasana. For the fourth day in a row, I got totally bound - hands, ankles, and since today I was in the hands of one vedic-chanting new zealander (scheduling issues today...I missed being at shala x, but I got to see Boodiba, who can vouch for my orange cynthia steffe dress , which no less than 10 strangers have told me is gorgeous, and I've only been wearing it for three hours...), I got the "attempted dwi pada liftup" treatment. Was not to be today, not that it's even on my current agenda. He did have me re-tithibasana, this time with legs high up on shoulders, feet pointed high and butt hanging low, and get out of it through bakasana (ie, proper exit out of supta k).

I finished ALL of Primary in 60 minutes, including backbends and finishing. That's right - it can be done....probably shouldn't be, but it can nevertheless.

I feel soooo good today, despite a little cold. Yesterday I lost my wallet, but I found it. I also lost a diamond bracelet. Found that too. I'm feeling lucky!

Yc

Lost - Season Finale - The Looking Glass - Summary of Long Synopsis

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In case you didn't want to read the whole six-part live blog, and you DO want to know what happened on Lost - The Looking Glass, here it is in a reader's digest form:

Most of the Losties remove themselves from the camp to escape the Others, who are coming to kidnap the women and kill any men who get in the way of their plans, and to use the Radio Tower to make contact with the boat that Naomi supposedly has waiting for her some 18 miles off the Island shore. Three of the Losties -Jin, Sayid and Bernard stay behind to set a trap for the Others. They will each shoot at a tent full of dynamite when the Others go to take whomever they think is inside. The plan goes off just fine for the first two shots - Sayid and Bernard. But Jin is intercepted, and the Others who do not die in the two blasts take all three of these Losties hostage. Meanwhile, Charlie is taken hostage by the warrior girls in the Looking Glass Hatch. They rough him up, but he doesn't care, as he has resigned himself to dying anyway; he should have been dead by now already, so it's all gravy, even getting beaten up. The girls figure out that Charlie is there to turn off the signal jamp that the Looking Glass maintains to keep the island off of radar and satellite communication, and they contact Ben, who sends Mikhael to put a stop to Charlie's plan. Mikhael is pissed off because Ben never told him or anyone else (other than the girls in the hatch) about the signal jam. It's quite a deception, really, considering everyone thought they had some freedom of choice in staying or going. Mikhael shoots at a just-waking-up-on-the-outrigger-Desmond, who swims into the Looking Glass and finds Charlie alive.

In the midst of all of this action, we have Jack flashbacks, which right away seem to be flash-forwards. Technology seems to be a bit forward of where it is today (his teeny tiny razor phone, for example), and Jack has a major beard. Jack's in a bad way. He travels on an Oceanic flight (guess they stayed in business) and gets cut off by the stewardess. He seems to live at an airport hotel. One night, he goes to kill himself on a bridge, causing a major accident. He saves the accident victims, but finds himself a persona non gratis at his hospital. He mentions his dad, but no one else seems to acknowledge whether his dad is alive or dead. The ambiguity could be telling. Jack drives into a harsh part of town and into a funeral parlour that seems to cater to a black clientele. No one attended the viewing (there was no funeral) for whomever is in the coffin, and Jack looks sad and conflicted as he runs his hands over the box.

Back on the Island, an inexperienced-in-terror-situations-Bernard spills the beans when Jin's life is threatened by the Others, and he tells the Others exactly where Jack is going and how Juliet betrayed the Others by telling of their ambush and kidnap plans. The Others, including Tom Friendly and Ryan Price - two of the few who are still alive - tell Ben of Jack's plans, and Ben sets out, with Alex, to stop them. By talking to them. Yes, Ben thinks he can manipulate the Losties into not trying to be rescued.

Meanwhile Juliet and Sawyer have left the group and have headed back to the camp - there is concern for the shooters because only two of the three shots were heard. Sawyer wouldn't let Kate go with him (because he wants to protect her). Juliet kisses Jack goodbye on the lips. And then Jack tells Kate that he loves...Kate. Confusing. Thus, Juliet and Sawyer are not there when Ben arrives with Alex to stop the Losties from proceeding. Ben meets privately with Jack, demanding the satellite phone from him. He threatens to have Tom and Ryan kill Sayid, Jin and Bernard if he won't. Three shots are heard. Jack looks shaken. But he believes he has done what he has to do. Then he beats the crap out of Ben, takes him hostage, and they all proceed up to the Tower. Alex and Rousseau are introduced by Ben (in a moment of, Iguess, human decency) as mother and daughter, and they look exactly alike and they totally bond in their badassness and hatred of Ben.

Makes me wonder why she didn't tell the Losties the truth about Ben when she bought him to them in the days when he called himself "Henry Gale". Maybe she should have considered telling the truth? Eh, communication isn't really in much supply on this Island.

Back at the camp, while all of this is going on, Juliet and Sawyer arrive in time to see Hurley, who Sawyer totally dissed and wouldn't allow him to come with him back to camp with him and Juliet, driving the Work Man Van towards Tom and Ryan. He MOWS down Ryan. Tom surrenders. Sawyer shoots him anyway. "For taking the boy off the raft." Wow. HARSH. I kinda like it, even if it is gratuitous violence. He redeems himself by telling Hurley, who has said, "Dude, he surrendered," "He was lyin'." They make contact with the Losties on the way to the Radio Tower, who still don't have a signal, and give the good and unexpected news that the three gun-firing Losties are SAFE!

But why no signal? Seems that there's been another sort of ambush in the Looking Glass. Mikhael shoots at the girls, on orders from Ben, although one survives briefly. Desmond shoots at Mikhael, although he dies briefly. Charlie tells Desmond not to kill the blonde girl because she knows how to un-jam the signal - turns out it is NOT about flicking a yellow switch, but about playing "Good Vibrations" on a type-pad keyboard. Hmmmm. That worked out well, considering Charlie's musical talents. The blonde girl dies right after spilling that tidbit. And Charlie sets about playing the song on the type-pad. As soon as he does, PENNY comes into view on a screen. She hears Desmond in the background and is thrilled. She does not know anything about any Naomi or any boat that any Naomi might have been on. Charlie knows, then, that Naomi is not who she said she was. Nevertheless, when Mikhael rises up from the dead for a second (third?) time since we've met him, he has a hand grenade, which he uses to blow through the window of the hatch in which Charlie is talking on screen to Penny. Charlie has a choice. He can swim out along with Desmond, or he can shut Desmond out and die alone, as Desmond prophesized was the prerequisite for saving the Losties and getting them rescued.

He chooses to die a hopeful hero, maintaining his faith in the prophesy Desmond layed out, even though some of the details were wrong. Before he goes, he writes on his palm on his trustee sharpee pen, "The Boat Is Not Penny's" or something to that effect. His death is horrible and sad, although it seems peaceful to watch.

Still, Penny now knows that Flight 815 had survivors and that Desmond is with them. She may even be able to see their coordinates. So, this may led to their rescue...

which....

....turns out to definitely have happened.....

The Jack flashbacks were DEFINITELY flashforwards. We find this out when he begs a certain someone for a meeting, and this certain someone, after much cajoling acquiesces. That certain someone is....KATE. Kate arrives, nicely coiffed, nicely made up, looking healthy with full, rosy cheeks, driving a Volvo (family car, no?). Jack is tormented, telling her, "We need to get back to the island." She says no. He begs her. She leaves.

But whatever rescue happens for the Losties probably doesn't happen the way they thought it would when they met Naomi, since she is not who she said she was. Of course, at the point in time when the signal gets unjammed and Charlie meets his watery death, the only ones who know this are Charlie and Desmond. Jack and his group make contact with Naomi's boat, despite that Locke appears (having been coaxed out of putting himself out of his misery by a Walt apparition...real or imagined....who says that Locke has more work to do and can't die yet) and throws a knife into Naomi's back and threatens Jack with a similar fate if he makes contact with the outside world.

Why do Locke and Ben not want to make contact with the outside world? Ben told Alex in an earlier scene, "Because I said so," or something like that. Not really good information, that. "Because Jacob wants it this way," he told Mikhael. Again, that doesn't really satisfy any need to know.

In the end, Jack is told by "Naomi's boat" or whoever they are, that help is on the way.

We shall see.

YC

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Live Lost Blog...Final Edition

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Jack and company reach the Radio tower. It looks like any radio tower you might see in anytown USA. Inside the tower, you can hear Rousseau's message, 16 years running. She explains to Alex that she recorded this three days before Alex was born. And then she turns it off. Naomi has the phone, and she is looking for a signal. But she can't get one in the tower. She walks outside.

She's getting something.

Ben tries to stop Jack. "Making this call is the beginning of the end," he says. "You don't know what you're doing!"

And then Naomi falls down dead. LOCKE!!!! Alive, walking and throwing knives!

Once again, the question, "John, what did you do?"

"Stay away from the phone," he warns Jack.

Ben tells Locke to shoot Jack, to do what he needs to do to stop Jack.

"I WILL kill you if I have to," Locke says.

Everyone stares on in horror at the standoff. But Locke can't shoot Jack. Instead he lets go of the gun and says, "Jack, you're not supposed to do this."

Jack makes contact with Naomi's boat. Sit tight, they tell Jack. Ben looks defeated. Honestly, it sounds like the button-pushing guy played by Clancy Brown. But it remains to be seen....

In the real world, Bearded Jack is sitting in a hovel, on the floor, drinking himself into stupidity. He makes another phone call. He begs the person who answers not to hang up. "I know what you said, I just need to see you. Please."

The person agrees to see him.

And it turns out...the person is.....

OH MY GOD!

It's Kate.

She's all cleaned up. She looks fresh. She says she saw him on the news. She tells him he looks terrible. Then she asks him why he called her. He shows her the obituary - the piece of newspaper. He was hoping she would go to the funeral. She says, "Why would I go to the funeral?"

He tells her he's been flying a lot. Using the "golden passes" they gave them. Oceanic, he means. Why, Kate wants to know. Because he wants it to crash, he explains. He only cares about crashing. He prays to get back!!! To the island!

"I'm sick of lying. We made a mistake."

"I've got to go. He's going to be wondering where I am."

"We were not supposed to leave."

"Yes we were. Goodbye Jack."

"We have to go back, Kate."

She gets in the car and drives away.

"WE HAVE TO GO BACK" he screams to no one.

Jeeeeeeezus.

YC

Lost Live Blogging, catvari, exhale jump back....

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One half hour to go, which means, I'm guessing, less than 20 minutes of actual story.

Bearded Jack is stealing Oxycodone from a hospital pharmacy. I think Oxycodone is Percoset. I would have gone for the Hydrocodone, which is Vicodin. Ah well, he's caught anyway. The young doctor who wouldn't let him perform surgery on the bridge-acciden-woman walks in on him and says, "Why don't you return your calls?" and "We need to talk." Turns out that she got into the accident because she saw JACK about to jump off the bridge! It's all Jack's fault! Everything is all Jack's fault...

"Do you know how many years I worked at this hospital? Do you know anything about me? Do you know what I've been through?" Jack asks him, slurring his words. He again, talks about his father, as if he's alive. Young doctor just shakes his head in disgust or disdain or some other similar d-word.

And back on the Island, the Losties walk. They continue to walk, and Ben is covered in blood. Hurley walkies them, "Attention Others. We got you, dudes." Jack then learns that Bernard, Jin and Sayid are all still alive. YAY!! Everyone smiles and is happy. EVEN BEN! Bad acting? Or more mysteries?

"What about Cholley?" Claire asks.

"Don't worry, I'm sure he's fine," Hurley says. He's so lying.

Cut to Charlie and Des in the Looking Glass. I think Charlie is pumped about meeting his destiny. I think that's really cool. He starts playing the keyboard like it's a piano and plays "Good Vibrations"...the machine is responsive. And...its....PENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He tells her that he's a survivor of Flight 815, and she doesn't seem surprised. She says who she is. She hears that Desmond is with Charlie. But here's the thing: Penny has no idea about any boat. She doesn't know who Naomi is. Charlie looks upset. Pan to where Mickey's body was supposed to be, and we see that he is gone....he has a hand grenade.....Charlie sees it too...he's right outside the window....Charlie closes the hatch, effectively drowning himself and saving Desmond. Charlie is so brave. I feel lke crying. SUCH a good actor, that Dominic Monawhateverhisname is. Painful to watch. He's writing something to Desmond with a sharpee: Not Penny's Boat.

And then he crosses himself. And dies. I am thinking that he had to have believed he was not dying in vain...or he wouldn't have done it. He would have escaped with Desmond. He must "believe".

I am HATING Naomi right now. She does tell Claire that Charlie cleared the signal and just got them rescued.

And commercial. 15 minutes left.

YC

Lost Live Blogging, part III

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Mickey puys his eye patch on. Phew. That was gross. He grills the Rambo Girls about why they are keeping this secret about the jammed signal. The girls really have no answers other than "we do what we're told, and if we don't have faith in that, then what else is there." Scary stuff. Then he shoots them. The blonde one, the one who wasn't on that show, Windfall, lives. Desmond shoot Mickey with a dart gun (I think), but Charlie tells Des not to kill the blonde because "we need her." For the code, I guess. Apparently, the flooding of the Looking Glass is not going to unjam the code. At least that's what the blonde girl said before she got shot.

Back at the standoff in Dodge City, Ben asks Jack for a minute of his time. To talk. Jack promtply steals his walkie.

Back in the real world, Jack is being told by a pharmacist that he can't have any more of those good, good pills. And then...he says... he has a prescription from his FATHER, Christian Shepherd...who must not be dead, or may not be dead, yet, or whatever...my head hurts.

Back on the Island, Ben tells Jack that Naomi is not who she says she is. She's a representative of some people who have been trying to find the Island. She's "one of the bad guys," Ben says. I'm not so sure he's lying. But he does lie a lot. So, who knows? He further tells Jack that if they contact Naomi's boat, everyone on the island will be killed. Ben tries to get Jack to wrest the phone from Naomi. He says no. Ben asks for his walkie back - because there is something he wants Jack to hear, which is that the Losties who stayed behind are being held hostage. Ben instructs his people to kill the three guys if Jack won't bring the phone to him. And we hear three gunshots through the walkie.

Jack throws Ben to the ground and beats him but good. He then takes the walkie and talks to Tom Friendly and tells him that he's going to the Radio tower and get his people rescued. And when he finishes with that, he is going to find him. And kill him.

Back at the Looking Glass, Charlie tells Blonde Bonnie that she's already a dead duck, but now she has the opportunity to screw with Ben. She doesn't hesitate, and gives Charlie the code. Turns out it' a song - "Good Vibrations". Good thing Charlie's a musician, eh? Charlie is appropriately freaked out at the circularity of it all.

And we have a Rousseau/Alex meeting! Ben actually admits it - "This is your mother," he says. Wow, they kind of look alike. Rosseau is gentle and sweet with Alex, maternally touching her face, offering to help Alex tie Ben up. It's quite sweet. Jack drinks a Dharma water, and Kate tries to get him to tell what he knows. Jack tells Kate that Ben had Jin, Sayid and Bernard killed. He feels responsible. He should. But who could blame him. Why didn't you just kill him, Kate asks. "Because I want him to see it, I want him to see us leave the island, to know he failed. THEN I'll kill him," Jack answers.

Oh, check it out! Sayid, Jin and Bernard are alive! It was a fake shooting - they shot into the sand, those crazy Others. I do wonder why - why not kill more people? No answers here, of course.

We see that Juliet and Sawyer are hiding in the bushes and watch as HURLEY! BECOMES. A. HERO!!!!! He rides into the clearing where the Others are holding Sayid, Jin and Bernard in Roger Work Man's Van and mows down Ryan! How ironic! Meanwhile, Tom's still alive, and Juliet has her gun on him. He surrenders. He literally says, "I surrender."

That's when Sawyer shoots him in the heart. "That's for taking the kid off the raft," Sawyer says.

"Dude," he surrendered, Hurley says.

"I didn't believe him," Sawyer replies.

Commercial.

Lost Live Blogging, part II

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Back on the Island, Jack tells Kate that Sawyer was only trying to protect her not letting her go with him back to the camp. "That's why I asked you not come back for me." "Why you sticking up for Sawyer? He'd never do it for you," Kate asks. "Because I love you," Jack says.

Because I love you!!!!!

Back in the real world, Jack's listening to some headbanger band and takes out the piece of newspaper again. He takes out a very very very modern-looking phone and tries to make a phone call. Then he walks into an empty funeral home in a black neighborhood. There was no funeral, actually, it turns out, only a viewing, and no one showed up. Jack tells him that the deceased was neither friend nor family and says he doesn't want to see inside the coffin. He does, however, stand beside the coffin and pop another pill. Wonder who is in the coffin. I guess we'll find out in Season 19. Oh wait, there won't be a Season 19.

Back on the Island, Jack asks Rousseau when the last time she was at the Radio Tower. Yada yada yada, she says she isn't leaving the island because it's her home now. Filler.....because.... Oh SHIT!!!! Wouldja look at that! It's Ben an Alex!!!!!

Four words NO man ever wants to hear: "We need to talk."

Nice touch, Ben.

See you after the next commercial.

YC

Live Lost Blogging

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First few minutes take place on a plane. Jack has a full beard. This seems VERY POST-Island to me...could it be a flash forward?? On the plane, the flight attendant cuts him off from drinking. He dejectedly looks over at a newspaper and sees something - a small article or an obituary or perhaps a wedding announcement (I am going with obituary because it makes him cry and it makes him call someone when he is off the plane and driving on a bridge). He is about to jump off the bridge - when an accident on the bridge catches his attention....

Back on the Island...Sayid makes Jack promise not to turn back from the trek to the Radio Tower if he does not hear the three shots go off (which would indicate that the plan had not gone off properly). Rousseau looks longingly at Baby Aaron, being held by Hurley. Hurley tells Claire that Charlie will be fine, and don't worry. Juliet, Namoi, Kate and all the rest prepare to, and set off on their, trek to the radio tower. Sun's hair has gotten very long. Must be the pregnancy. Sayid, Jin and Bernard stay back at the camp to carry out the plan - the tents are rigged with dynamite, thanks to Rousseau's efforts, and the three men will shoot at them from hideouts in the bushes, in order to make the dynamite blow, when the Others go in to steal the women (who, of course, are not there, because they've all gone with Jack to the Radio Tower to try to contact Naomi's ship).

I am SOOOOOO not buying that Naomi is telling the truth about her ship, her mission and her story about the Losties being dead, by the way.

OK, back from commercial. The Losties are walking. Dramatic music plays in the background. Naomi approaches Jack to ask him what he did before he "became Moses". Then she aks him if Juliet can be trusted. She asks this right in front of Juliet. Then she shows Jack how to use the satellite phone.

Meanwhile, Charlie is tied to a chair in the Looking Glass and being beaten up by two hot girls dressed like Linda Hamilton in Terminator II. They want to know where he came from, how he got there. He mocks them. They say, "He's one of THEM", and go to call Ben. They tell Ben that they have Charlie. They tell Ben that Juliet is a turncoat. Ben instructs Mikhael to go the Looking Glass. Mikhael says, "I thought it was flooded." "I lied," Ben says.

Ben tries to reach Ryan - one of the Others who is on the kidnapping mission. Ryan has turned off his walkie, however. The Other reach the camp. The Losties With Guns and Ammo take aim and wait for the right moment.

BOOM! Bye bye bad people. Hard to tell who went down. But, oh crap! Ryan smashes Jin with the butt of his rifle and takes him hostage. And Friendly is still alive. And only guns went off. The Losties on their way to the Radio Tower take dismal note of the absense of the third shot.

As we go to commercial, it occurs to me that some of these Losties may not be entirely disappointed at the notion that their rescue might not happen....

Back to the future (?) again. Jack is getting stitches in the hospital. Apparently he saved the people who had the accident on the bridge. Jack's ex-wife, Julie Bowen, shows up in the emergency room. She asks what happened, if he's okay. He says, yeah, I'm fine. He wants to know why she came, and she says she is still his emergency contact. She asks why he as driving around at 2 a.m. He looks teary-eyed and doesn't answer. He asks for a ride home. She says she doesn't think it would be appropriate. She is crying. And pregnant. HUGELY pregnant. More evidence of this being the future.

Again, the Island: The Losties on their trek are worried about the lack of a third shot. Rose is beside herself. Naomi takes note that there is still no satellite signal. The warrior chicks talk to Charlie. He tells them exactly why he's there. They tell him that he can't succeed if he doesn't know "the code". He reveals that it won't matter because when he flicks the switch, the Looking Glass will flood, and....he'll drown. They are not happy to hear that he is on a suicide mission. They look bummed. Friendly and Ryan contact Ben and he is bumming. He knows that Juliet betrayed them. Ben gives instructions to kill Jin if these guys won't talk. Bernard, who is a Dentist, and NOT Rambo, spills the whole story - enraging Ben at Juliet, at Karl, at Alex.

Back from commercial - Eyeliner Alpert is telling Ben that the Others are full of questions. Ben tells Alex that he is going to find Jack and the Losties. Alex says she wants to come. Ben freaks her out by saying, "Of course you do. You want to see Karl, don't you." She goes to get her pack. Ben tells Eyeliner that he's going to find the Losties and talk them out of leaving the island.

Kate and Sawyer have what can only be described as a lovers' spat. It starts when she says she wants to go back for Jin, Sayid and Dentist-Not-Rambo. He snarks, "It's always someone you have to go back for isn't it." Heh!! Kate lets that one go by and gets to the big picture: seems that ever since he spent that night with Locke, he's been withdrawn. What happened that night, she wants to know. As if he would eve tell. As is typical of Kate, when she has nothing left to say, she says something she shouldn't in a last-ditch effort to manipulate: she tells Sawyer that he might want to consider the fact that she could be pregnant. It isn't clear to me at this moment what bug got up Sawyer's ass. But it does not escape Kate's notice that he has ceased calling her Freckles and is calling her "Kate".

Oh, check it out! Des wakes up on the outrigger to the sound of Mikhael shooting at him from the shore. He dives into the water and finds Charlie, who tells him to hide. The Terminator II Girls demand to know who he is talking to. He says, no one - I'm just singing. Then he proceeds to sing, "You all everybody." Guess they don't have that CD on the island.

Another commercial. Jeez.

20 minutes left to the first hour. So far, no one we care about is dead. I am sure that will change shortly...

OK, here we are. Back to the future. Jack with his Abe Lincoln beard is popping pills and looking at the chart of the woman whose life he saved. When a young doctor walks in and says, "Scus me?" Jack says he is there to do the surgery on the woman's broken back. The doctor says, "sorry, we'll take it from here." Jack leaves.

Back on the island, Sawyer tells Jack that he is going back to the beach. Kate wants to go too. Sawyer says no way, Jose. Juliet offers to go. That seems to be okay with everyone. Kate looks on as Jack and Juliet KISS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEW. I am not happy about that. Neither is Kate from the "I smell onions dipped in shit" look on her face.

Meanwhile, at the Looking Glass, charlie is annoying the crap out of the Blonde Linda Hamilton by singing really badly. Mikhael swims up, and now Charlie begins to mock all of them, saying, essentially, why did Ben lie to you? Why did Ben jam the signal from the Island? Ben say "Everything I did, I did for the Island. I did it because Jacob told me to." Oh, and Mikhael is not wearing his eye patch. It's kind of gross. Ben apologizes for lying and asks Mikhael to kill Charlie, Greta and Bonnie - to get rid of the whole problem, to avoid anyone else knowing about the signal being jammed. Mikhael knows damn well that Ben could be double-crossing him and having HIM killed as well; after all, he too knows about the signal being jammed.

And...commercial break. That was less than nine minutes of Lost between commercials.

Back from break, Juliet and Sawyer have some good love-hate going on as they trek back to camp. Turns out..surprise..she lied about having access to guns. Why are you going back, really, Sawyer asks her. Karma, she answers..and then turns the question back to him. He doesn't answer. Hurley brings up the rear, asking to be included in the adventure. Sawyer says no in a very mean way, and Hurley looks soooo sad. Oh yeah, and Sawyer asks her if she has slept with Jack yet, and she says, "No, have you?"

Alex and Ben have what SHOULD be a very enlightening conversation. She asks him why he tried to brainwash Karl. He says, "I didn't want him to get you pregnant." Fair enough. We understand that now. He didn't want her to die like everyone else who gets preggers on the Island. Then she asks him why he won't just let the Losties LEAVE the damn Island. And just hen we think we are going to get some answers, he says, "Because I can't."

Next we see Locke find a gun in the mass grave. He's about to kill himself when...Walt appears and tells him to put the gun down and get out of the ditch. Instead of asking, "Walt, what are you doing here?" Locke asks, "Why?" as in "Why should I get out of the ditch?" Walt says, "Because you still have work to do." Locke smiles like the wack job that he is.

I am not even going to ask the obvious question: is this real? Or is it Memorex? I mean, a hallucination?

And that is the first hour of the Finale. Next hour, up next.

YC

The elephant in the room

Another bound Supta K. Maybe it won't be newsworthy soon. That would be cool. I see people around me moving on, getting new poses, getting dropbacks, people who can't bind in Mari D without help or who don't have a really solid forward bend but can manage to bind in everything because of longer arms. I start to wonder - what's up with that? I keep wondering. I try to do my practice and stay out of eveyone else's. But I really want to finish Primary and enjoy those easy, back and forth, rolling on your back poses that come after Baddha Konasana. Also, wouldn't it be nice to be given poses that DID NOT present a challenge to me? It's NEVER happened yet. Even Navasana, I had to learn to press up in between. And even in BujaP, I had to learn and am still learning to come down slowly, rather than crashing onto the top of my head.

I'm tempted to chant to Ganesha. What would God say though? I had lunch recently with a very longtime friend of mine who lost her husband in the World Trade Center on 9-11, and she says that she and God are on a time-out, and have been for the past six years. I suppose I have cause to have taken a break from the deity myself, but I haven't yet. Perhaps it would not be bad to stray to the worshipping of a multi-armed elephant God for a brief time based on my good behavior heretofore?

YC

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another Bound Supta K!

Two days in a row. A record, as Sir said.

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!


Meanwhile, other than Supta K and the asanas themslves, my practice has sucked the past two days. A well, can' have everything.

YC

Monday, May 21, 2007

whine, whine, whine

Did the finger bind with ankles crossed today in Supta K. I'm guessing that I am at a point in my practice where this is going to happen once or twice a week and then after awhile, more often until, hopefully, I'll be binding regardless of whether I am tight or stiff or sweaty or not sweaty or whatever. That's how it finally is with Mari C and Mari D. I can always do them - no matter how crappy I feel. It's just part of my practice now, like Ardha Baddha and Janu Sirsa and Tirianga.

Sometimes I think about what I am doing in practice versus what other people are doing, and I feel so lame. Like, how can I even be tired after practicing 2/3 of Primary? How can I not be ready to go run five miles? I guess I am getting a bit antsy about getting through the rest of Primary. I just want to do it already. I want the whole Chikitsa. Not just 2/3 of the Chikitsa. Therapy you know? Would I leave 2/3 of the way into my 45 minute hour with my shrink? No. I would not. So, why do I have to leave 2/3 of the way into my 50 minute hour of Primary?

I am getting very impatient. VERY. I feel annoyed when I see new students come into the Shala, unable to bind in Mari D, unable to cross ankles in Supta K and unable to get arms through in Garba Pindasana and then, nevertheless, practice all the way up to Setu Bandasana.

Why not me? WHY WHY WHY?

Obviously, I just feel like whining like a two year old today.

YC

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Oucth, I bith mah tong!

Okay, so I have a small problem with bubble gum. Specifically, Double Bubble bubble gum. You know...the soft, intensely sweet chunks of gum heaven that they sell for 99 cents per bag at stores like CVS and Rite-Aid. I didn't think it was a big deal. I would use it as a way to take the edge off of my desire to eat at night. The sugar would soothe me. Little did I know that it would one day lead to...

AIIIIYYYEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was chomping away on the sofa watching a DVD of Jennifer Garner's gigantic freak lips trying to form words in Catch and Release when suddenly I bit my tongue so hard that it drew blood, and lots of it. It was so painful, that I literally fell on the floor. My children, after initially thinking I was playing "Pretend To Faint", were terrified. I, myself, was terrified that I had actually bitten off a chunk of flesh. My hand shaking, I put a finger in my mouth to determine whether my tongue was still intact. Instead of finding a chunk missing, I felt a huge lump, which turned out to be a hematoma.

My tongue is now swollen to twice its size, at least on the one side, the side which got chomped, which side is also black and blue all along its length. I look like a freakin' Chow Chow.

And I had to have my friend Lalala teach the class I was supposed to teach tonight since I can't even "Om" without wincing in pain.

Go ahead. Laugh.

YC

Friday, May 18, 2007

The headless headstand

For the incredulous of yesterday's post, tis true, I can do this. I have strength. So, for me, this took no "yoga" at all. For me, at present, all of the yoga is in surrendering and letting my teacher adjust my ankles into position in Supta Kurmasana.

"Do nothing," he said to me today.

"Meaning...?" I asked, my face smooshed against the floor, legs over shoulders, hands clasped behind my back.

"Don't do anything. Don't even point your toes."

"Oh, I know that's what you meant. I just mean, I don't know the meaning of 'do nothing'."

And with that, another day went by with me sailing easily, smoothly, delightfully even, through Primary all the way up to Supta K, straight-legged jump throughs, calm even breath, Bounty-free, even Mysore-rug free, only to stop dead in my tracks immediately thereafter (well, after a nice, looooooooong hands on cheeks Garba Pindasana followed by 13 or so rolls with my fingers glued to the top of my head...because why do 9 rolls when no one says I can't do 13, 14 or even 15 if I feel it's what my back needs to relax between Supta K and backbends...). If I don't learn to surrender soon, I am going to go old and grey before I get to do a "legal" Baddha Konasana at Shala X. Damn yoga. Damn life lessons. Damn. Damn. Damn. Not that I don't love it. But, damn.

Anyone have any 'ludes?

YC

she laksmi, she really laksmi!

Well, maybe. Mainly, I just really wanted to write that because I keep saying I to myself whenever I see that squirrel cage blog, and what with it being crazy crazy friday and all, when ashanga yogis practice only primary series, or as I refer to it, just another day where I stop at garba pindasana and wish that my teacher would see fit to graduate me to finishing all of primary, damnit.

Was that really all one sentence? Are my reading comprehension scores really dropping into the negative integers, even as my "works and plays well with others" quotient is going through the roof? Have I really lost my touch when it comes to inciting those delectable blog wars that send everyone's statcounters into the, um, hundreds (!)?

Eh, I'm sitting here at Eastside Radiology waiting for my annual Bone Densimetry test. Because I am old and brittle, that's why. Some other old and brittle lady is talking in a stage-ready voice with an accent that puts Joan Rivers to shame, about some terribly appalling thing that waas on the news today. "Disgusting!" she screeches. "He's 44 years old!" she gripes. And this rant "Outrageous! And I am a Jew!" I have, seriously, no idea what she is talking about.

Good good practice today. Did not want to leave. In fact, I closed the place down at eleven a.m. And yet on Sunday, there will still be the resistence to getting to the mat. It never ever fully ceases.

YC

Thursday, May 17, 2007

all of primary and backbending too

I couldn't get myself up and out in time for shala x today, and I didn't want to practice solo again....and so I got myself to yoga sutra for greg's midmorning. I want to say it rocked, but really, *I* rocked. Maybe it was the later start time, maybe it was practicing next to guta, christopher (doing poses I have never seen in person, like leg behind the head with arms in gomukasana) and david k, all with such inspiring practices. Maybe it's just that things are changing for me for he better. But whatever, I did every posture at my deepest, INCLUDING SUPTA KURMASANA, FULLY BOUND, ANKLES CROSSED, DWI PADA LIFT (OK, I did need a little coaxing for that las part and my feet ankles sprang apart really quickly, but I really did achieve lift-off with my ankles crossed). Afer, I just continued, finished all of primary, and then soared through backbends. I think that doing setu bandasana really sets me up nicely for backbends. And today, I dropped back and stood up - not to my knees, but actally ending up standing. I think that working at the wall before doing backbends full on on my mat is really helping me to open up my backbends.

In pindasana, I grabbed wrists. In headstand, I did the final head-lift for more than fiver bresths, my head clear off my hands and my mat.

Ah....I feel so good now!!!

YC

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm at a Lost for words

Spoiler alert, if you want to call it that....

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Nothing much happened on tonight's episode, although it was entertaining. Riveting, even. But it was like eating Chinese food: an hour later, you're hungry again. Nothing got resolved. Nothing. Locke's fate remains unknown. Charlie's fate remains unkown. We learn nothing more of the Others. We delve no further into any relationships. Mainly we get flashbacks of Charlie's life that don't really tell us much; they are merely his "greatest hits" - his happiest memories, of which he is making a list in anticipation of his death. We do learn that the cable coming out of the water onto the beach leads to yet another Dharma hatch called "The Looking Glass", and some signal that the Looking Glass hatch emits prevents transmissions from the island from being heard. And we learn that Karl is still with Alex and that her allegience is to any side that doesn't include Ben AND that Karl will support Alex's allegience.

I've heard rumors that Jack is going to have a flash-forward in the season finale, that it takes place off the island, and that it involves Kate! How it is possible that the outside world believes that the plane went down in the middle of the ocean and had no survivors when people who survived the plane crash turn out to make it back to the world? I've also heard rumors that Locke's life is saved by....Walt, or some sort of Walt apparition. And I've heard rumors that Naomi dies in the season finale.

I think it's the spoilers that have got me so troubled. Maybe I shouldn't read them. But if I know what's coming, I have time to think about it before the broadcast so that as I watch, i don't get bogged down.

My eyes are closing. And I'm starting to write incherently.

Night night.

Yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yummy practice!

I was the only one in the room because, hello, it's a moon day, but I had to teach a Fundamentals Class on Prasarita Padottanasana, so I decided to practice first (and I hadn't practiced yesterday at all, glum and mopey and stuck at home as I was). And yet, I managed to generate a LOT of heat, and despite moving quite deliberately and slowly, I managed to finish my practice in 50 minutes (not counting backbends and finishing poses, which I finished in 20 minutes after the Fundamentals class).

Yummy teaching!

I adore the rhythmic nature of the Prasaritas, so teaching them is a joy. I had a student who couldn't touch his knees, let alone the floor or his toes, so it was challenging to help him while offering something to the other students who ranged from never-practiced-Ashtanga-before to Hatha Yoga Teacher to Ashtanga Teacher Trainee. It felt great though, and I am pretty sure that everyone got something good out of it.

Yummy Coconut Shake!

I have to go back to Chinatown tomorrow to pick up some more Young Coconuts. There is something about the heavenly scent of Young Coconut water that makes me sooo sooo happy. The soft, sweet, kind of slippery, rubbery Young Coconut meat is beside the point - but it does make a shake out of the thing. Otherwise, it would just be just extra-sweet and nutty coconut water.

Yummy New Dresses!

I just bought three new summery dresses because my shrink told me that lately I've been dressing as if I'm in mourning - torn black clothing. Yikes. What happened to the fashionita that I one was? I don't know, but I want to bring a little of her back, and not just on Saturday nights when have a black tie bar mitvah or the like. Today, I wore an ice-blue shift-dress by J. Crew with a v-front and thin straps. It's a teeny bit big on me, so I'm wearing a slip under it. I feel so sophisticated wearing a slip! There's also a orange floaty, many-pleated empire-waisted strapless Cynthia Steffe with loooong streamer-like sashes that you can tie however you like. And finally a rose-colored eyelet constructed strapless with a small folded "cuff" at the top seam. Very pretty. Very summer. Very yum.

And now I must take my little Tae Kwon Do-er to his class.

YC

Bye bye Eye-in

Ian Ziering has left the dance floor (I don't watch Dancing with The Stars, but I like to read about it on Television Without Pity dot com) . I only mention this because he went to my high school and we hung out with the same crowd, and I don't mean at the Peach Pit with Brenda and Brandon and Dylan and Donna "DonnaMartinGraduates" Martin. Hell, Ian and I were already pushing 30 when he first stepped into the hallowed halls of Pretend Beverly Hills High School.

The last time I saw Ian (pronounced Eye-In, in case you didn't know but cared), it was just before 90210 got started. I was walking down West Third Street between Lafayette and Thompson, when a car started spooking me out...slowing down when I slowed down, speeding up when I sped up, and then, jeezzzzzus christ what was going on, honking madly when I ducked into Pluck U, the nearest storefront I could find to escape impending abduction. Turns out it was Ian cruising around NYU-town, thought he was being funny. Haha. Ah, the high-school shenanigans of those of their mid-twenties....

My high school did grow-up quite its fair share of celebs. We also had Scott Wolf, two years younger than me. I didnt know him well, but I went to my junior prom with his brother. And his other brother is out there in Hollywood too, although not quite the star that Scott is/was./

And then there's me. Not a celeb. But I do like to watch them.

YC

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Change is hard

As excited as I am to move to my new house and start a whole new and hopefully wonderful chapter of my life, I felt a twinge of sadness when I opened a letter this morning that came from our soon-to-be-former synagogue. It began: "We are pleased to notify you that Brian's bar mitzvah celebration has been scheduled for April 10, 2010."

Suddenly, I am filled with feelings of regret. All of the ways that I might have participated in the synagogue come rushing to mind. Ever since my favorite cantor left the congregation, I have been in a mild protest mode, not participating in much of anything. Now, I see the road not chosen sprawling out before me, and well, I feel at loose ends, a bit lost, a bit confused.

I know I want to move to a big house with a big yard with all of the possibilities for playing outside with my kids and cooking family dinners and having a place to store everything so that I can actually see the clothes that I might want to wear and the pots and pans that I might want to use and the photo albums that I might want to peruse. But this letter threw me for a loop.

Maybe I'm in a sad mood to begin with because I'm stuck home on this beautiful spring day. Adam is home sick. I missed practice. Citta vrittis abound. I am thinking, if I practice, I will feel somewhat better. Must do that.

YC

This was me then

"Mari A and B are my WORST postures. Mari A is okay physically, but in terms of citta vrittis, it thorws me: while I can reliably grab my wrists in Mari A, it is SO MUCH DRAMA for me to get my bent leg back behind my torso. Mari B is a nightmare for me physically and in terms of the citta vrittis: I have yet to touch my head to the floor, and I can never grab wrists unless someone comes behind me and gives me my wrists. By the time I am done with Mari B, my bent knee has slipped all the way down toward my wrapping elbow, when it had started in my armpit. It is a terrible disaster, my Mari B. My Mari C and D are much better. But this is probably only because I know that Mari B is the most reliable indicator of how Supta K will be that day."

-YC, 13 months ago

I was looking over the Ashtanga EZBoard thread on Supta Kurmasana, which I started and is now five pages long, and I was surprised to see that 13 months ago, I had written about how difficult Mari A and B were for me. I was even more surprised to see what had bothered me about Mari A. Getting the bent knee behind the torso? Wow. That is so not a issue for me anymore. I don't remember it getting better. But it did. Same with Mari B. I can reliably grab wrists in Mari A now, and in B, I can EITHER grab wrists or touch my head to the floor with hands clasped (someday, hopefully, I will be able to both at the same time).

And, as I suspected, Supta K would get better when these got better.

Did I mention that I LOVE Mari A now? B, still, not so much. But again, maybe someday I will like be as much as I like....oh my, am I about to say this?....Mari D.....

YC

Monday, May 14, 2007

Yes we are old, many of us. But for the most part, not at all fat.

Why are so many yoga teachers and serious yoga students "old", as in past their twenties (sorry Tiff, I mean Gumby or whatever!)? As far as teachers go, I know that I wouldn't particularly want to be taught by a young teacher (again, sorry Tiff). I like the wisdom and experience that comes with age in a yoga teacher. In vinyasa classes, there's a lot of philosophizing and talking about life during class. I wouldn't want to be philosophized to by someone younger and less experienced than me. In some Bikram classes I've been, too, same problem, only worse. I've heard the worst kind of drivel coming out of the mouths of some of the young Bikram teachers - stuff like, "if you do this, you will never get cancer", and even if I had never had cancer, I would still think that to be idiotic.

In Ashtanga, the teacher is very much a therapist of sorts. Maybe not a psychotherapist. I mean, there's not a lot of talking going on at all. But an Ashtanga teacher needs to read his students, to understand their needs in a very personal way, in a way that requires an abundance of skill, skill that can only be acquired over years and years of life, yoga practice and yoga teaching. I feel that Ashtanga teachers NEED to be "ripe". I wouldn't want one from "straight off the vine".

As for Ashtanga students, well, the reality is that there are many young Ashtanga students, but because it is such a demanding practice, many young people can't do what it requires. Forget staying out late. Forget partying. Forget promiscuity. Forget long gossip sessions. All of that stuff saps you of energy that you need if you are going to practice Ashtanga. Ashtanga requires a commitment of three to six days a week, and when I say three, I am being nice about it. In reality, it should be practiced every day except Saturdays and moondays. You can't do that if your energies are all dissipated by a wild, youthful lifestyle. Of course,, if you are young and committed and determined, you can have a wonderful Ashtanga practice and take advantage of all of the youth that your supple body has to offer. But I find that Ashtanga is the type of practice that you grow into. It isn't something I was ready for in my twenties. It's something many people come to later on, when other things don't work, when running gets old, when there's a hunger for something more than just lifting a dumbell and logging miles on the elliptical.

The life experience that we oldies have under our belts reinforces our commitment to the yoga and tells us what we need to know to keep going: that practice and all iIS coming, that dedication and commitment DO matter, that the body is a wonderful thing and should be honored, and a demanding physical yoga practice like Ashtanga is a rewarding way to honor it.

So, that's why we're old.

As to fatness...Ashtangis tend to be among the skinniest of all yogis. You can't look at Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and point him out as an example of fat ashtangis. Guruji is a portly man of 90 plus years. He no longer engages in the physical practice. His grandson, on the other hand, is a charismatic, supple-muscled, very slim man. His beautiful body reveals him as a devoted practitioner of Ashtanga. Look around at any shala - most people are slim. Most people are rather ageless-looking. Most people have heart-rates under 60 beats per minute and blood pressure at the low end of normal. Most people have enough muscle on their slender bodies to kick the proverbial ass of most casual gym-goers who outsize them.

I'm just saying.

YC

NUTS for young coconuts (and a Soprano's Spoiler wayyyy at the bottom)

I have a new obsession. You might call it a Young Coconut Shake. Or you might call it a Young Coconut Smoothie. Or you might call it a Young Coconut Blend. Whatever you call it, it's insanely fresh, creamy, delicious, ayurvedically balanced and only 140 calories.

I discovered them last year at Caravan of Dreams in the East Village, which is so magically delicious, I wish I could just install it in my new kitchen. I don't know what they are doing there, but they are definitely doing something right. Everything tastes strikingly fresh and bright, and I never leave there feeling anything but nourished and relaxed but energized. I was concerned though: what was I ingesting when I drank a Coconut Shake? How many coconuts went into the making of it? How many other ingredients? I asked the waitress recently what are the ingredients, and she told me simply, they take a Young Coconut (NOT to be confused with a big, brown, hairy mature coconut) and blend the meat and the water. Period.

I believed her. But I was still curious about what would happen if I tried to make it on my own. In the meantime, I have been having several shakes a week, and the husband is very annoyed at how much money I have been spending at "That Place In The Alphabet City What The Hell Are You Doing Spending Your Whole Day There Every Day Now?"

I've been trying to figure out where to get Young Coconuts so that I could try making it Coconut Shakes at home, at a fractio of the price and with the comfort of knowing exactly what is going into it. I haven't had much luck looking them up on the internet. Fresh Direct doesn't have them. I heard that I might be able to find them in Asian fruit markets. So, today, after practie, I drove down to Chinatown. Not one little fruit market that I walked into sold Young Coconut, although they did sell lots of things I've never heard of like, "Bean Threads" and well, that's the only thing I could pronounce, actually. Finally I ambled into the Dynasty Supermarket. Voila. Young Coconut, sitting there in crates, right next to the crates of the old, ugly, brown, hairy coconuts.

I scooped up as many as I could carry (alas, only three), payed for my booty and booked back uptown where I immediately hacked into one, drained the water into my Kitchenaid High Speed Blender, scooped out the soft, almost rubbery flesh and dumped that into the blender as well, and whirred the whole thing to bits.

Oh. My. God.

It was exactly what they serve me at Caravan. And even better, it only cost me a buck and a half.

There is one complication, unfortunately, and that is the messiness factor. I haven't exactly figured out how to open the coconut, clean it out and then strain the resulting whipped up blend to remove the bits of coconut shell that got in when I scraped out the skin without making a huge mess out of my kitchen. THAT being said, after I drank my magic elixer of health and happiness, I felt energized to clean my kitchen, including polishing appliances and sharpening knives.

I suppose that I could be willing to make the tradeoff of a kitchen that needs to be scrubbed in exchange for the energy to scrub it and then some.

Drink young coconuts, live long as prosper (not like Christopher Moltisano on the Sopranos....Karma's a bitch, and her name is Adriana La Cerva eh?...R.I.P.)

YC

Sunday, May 13, 2007

How to write good...satire

Every good satire possesses two key qualities. The first is "relevance". The second is "restraint".

Let's examine this, shall we?

1. RELEVANCE.

There is nothing funny about satire that has no relevance. Good satire is like a good analogy. Or rather, bad satire is like a bad analogy. It simply doesn't get its point across. For example, let's say I were to try to satirize "Yoga Chickie", the blog, not the person. I would probably start with something like:

"Today I went up to visit my new and oh so fabulous house in the country, and by country I mean suburbs, and by suburbs, I mean affluent bedroom community within an hour's drive of New York City, which is where I really wish I could live, were it not for the ridiculous private school tuitions and my, oh, dare I say it, failure to keep up with the Joneses. Afterwards, I practiced all of Primary and part of Second because, really, what business is it of anyone else's whether I practice only the poses my teacher taught me or if I practice the poses I could be practicing if I were attending, say, Jivamukti or Om classes. I almost bound in Pasasana, and by almost, I mean that I was able to bind around one leg with my heels supported by two rolled up mats, one on top of the other. I did my Kapotasana on top of a folding chair. But it felt good, and really, I simply don't see anything wrong with it."

What I would NOT write, due to lack of relevance, would be something like:

"Today I was hung over because I got so shitfaced last night with a bunch of my friends that I am not even sure how I got home, let alone how my husband reacted when he saw that I was not wearing the clothes that I had gone out in, but rather the minidress of a total stranger whom I met in the ladies room of Tenjune, which I wanted to wear because it was like, a size 00, and I just KNEW I would fit into it, and how totally psyched I was when I did. I didn't practice today, but I so wish that I did. Ah, there's always tomorrow."

See, the latter passage fails the first litmus test of a good satire, relevance, because it has nothing to do with the target (my blog) at all.

2. RESTRAINT.

Even if a satire is relevant, it might fail to be effective if it fails the "restraint" test.

If a satire goes overboard, it stops being funny. A satire could go overboard in one of two ways, either by repeating itself excessively without adding anything new and interesting. OR, through sheer exaggeration.

I would say that the "pink" bloggers who have appeared out of nowhere recently are an example of a failure of the first type of restraint (well, aside from the fact that they lack relevance). Let's just assume for the moment, for argument's sake, that there is something relevant about a purported ashtanga blog written by a purported 20-year old who makes Elle Woods (pre-Harvard) look deep and philosophical. Assuming that there were anything about such a satire that would ever resonate with actual ashtanga bloggers, there would still be the problem of excessive "look at me!" postings followed by numerous comments all written within the same two-minute period by purportedly different people. Such lack of restraint creates an inescapable aura of inauthenticity. And wthout authenticity, a "spell" of sorts is broken; disbelief can no longer be suspended. And without that suspension of disbelief, the satire, purported satire, that is, ceases to be relevant. Do not pass go, do not collect twenty Google ad cents.

An example of a failure of the second type of restraint - of going overboard through sheer exaggeration would be Bad Lady. Damn, but wasn't she funny as all hel when she started (assuming she is a she)! She passed the threshhold test of relevance right out of the gate when she told us that she was an ashtangi but didn't observe moon days, didn't follow the sequence and was on meds but didn't always take them. It was freakin' brilliant!! It hit us right on the nose as ashtangis, as people who are flawed and real, as people who are working at being spiritual and devotional, but people who are, nevertheless, real people who live in the real world. Bravo, Bad Lady.

But then....oy. Bad Lady went overboard with the whole "Flatsie came to visit and she wears a sarong that looks like a sanitary napkin and gave my boyfriend a blowjob while I sat in the backseat" business. And so on, with the result being that the more outrageous Bad Lady became, the less relevant was was (is).I guess it always comes back to relevance. Ultimately, the failure of a satire will be a failure of it to be relevant. A good satire will sing and sting (and will often fail miserably at the practice of ahimsa) because of is relevance. On the other hand, a poorly executed satire will leave people wondering, "the hell?"

YC

The Husband Put Me Into SUPTA KURMASANA!!!

Happy Mother's Day to me, indeed!!!

I got into Kurmasana, flattened myself all the way out with my legs as high up on my shoulders as possible, and then I told him exactly what to do.

First, I told him to externally rotate my calves to bring my feet up in front of my head, soles facing inward and slightly down. He couldn't follow that, no surprise, so I just did it myself.

Next, I told him to press my left shoulder down under my left leg as he took my left hand and brought it up behind my back. He couldn't really follow that either, at least as far as pressing down the arm. He did manage to bring my left hand behind my back. Same with my right.

Then, I told him to press my elbows in towards each other. He did a fine job of that, and I found fingers and THEN I found my hands and I swear, it was almost effortless. They just stuck. Solidly bound!!

Finally, I told him to come around and cross my ankles. Um. Nope. That was as far as he was going to go.

So, I did it myself.

Yep. Well, actually, not ankles. But big toes, okay? BIG TOES CROSSED, all by myself!

I guess all of the work I am doing at the shala is really paying off. Now, how to bring this sort of ease with me into the shala. Probably won't happen for a long time because I remember a similar thing going on with the Marichyasanas. I would get it at home but couldn't replicate the ease and calm in the shala for a loooong time to come.

I am so happy because this means that my practice won't be decimated by moving up to the country and not having a teacher most, or at least many, days of the week. If I can actually get someone to just press my elbows towards each other, I can do all of Primary....and work on my backbends next.

YC

Saturday, May 12, 2007

How to write good

When I was in college, I taught writing to students for whom English was a second language. It was highly rewarding because I felt I could make a difference. Of course, it is easy to improve something that is mediocre at the outset. It is much harder to improve something that is good already, to take it to the next level.

Some people tell me that I am a good writer. I sometimes wonder what makes a good writer good - what makes a good writer write well - what it is about good writing that makes it identifiable as such.

The most obvious characteristic of good writing is clear communication. If you can't understand what a writer is saying, then it's pretty much a non-starter. Thinking through what it is that you are trying to say would be a good start. Then saying it simply and clearly would be the next step. Good grammar and good spelling help. You can fancy things up later in the editing process. But starting out with a clear sketch and then filling in the color and brightening up the lines comes later.

An engaging voice is also a characteristic of good writing. But you can't manufacture that. I have noticed that people who are good mimics tend to also have interesting writing voices. I suppose that they hear the voices of other writers in their heads and find a way to recreate it, without outright stealing it. A voice that tries too hard to "be" a voice inevitably sounds forced, fake, uncomfortably "manufactured". Whenever I read what seems to me to be a manufactured voice, I cringe.

Writing for laughes is probably the most difficult kind of writing there is. I find that the writing that makes me laugh out loud is the writing that understates the humor. Broad humor in writing is as unfunny to me as broad humor in the movies. I enjoyed There's Something About Mary. But I much prefer Spinal Tap. The Onion is far better for a laugh than the Sunday Comics. Frank Zappa, and even Warren Devon, were much funnier than Weird Al.

Writing for shock value is not as difficult as writing for laughs, but it is challenging nevertheless. Like humor, shock is best served understated. Too much, and it can be offputting. But too little, and well, so what? You just try again another time. It's best not to beat people over the head with it. And derivative is never shocking. Shocking is only shocking when it's original.

By contrast, writing in earnest is quite easy. It requires nothing but the words to pour forth in a manner that is understandable by the reader. In the end, straightforward writing is probably the most effective when it comes to conveying humor, shock value or any emotion, for that matter. For me, good, straightforward writing is so enjoyable that when I find it, I will sometimes read it even if the subject matter does not interest me. I read it to savor the writing, to hopefully absorb some of the voice into my own, to take lessons from a complicated art, simply expressed.

YC

Friday, May 11, 2007

One Thousand Posts

As I signed into Blogger today, I saw that Yoga Chickie is up to 999 posts. That would make this one number 1,000.

I guess that's a lot.

Anyway, had a delightful day today. Practice is feeling great, despite that I am forcing myself to take extra special care not to allow any hip work to spill into my knees. Janu Sirsasana C, which I find to be such an interesting pose, may have been the tweak-factor for me. I really, really like going vertical with my "stiletto-ing" foot. Well, today, on the right side, I simply wouldn't allow myself to go there because as soon as I tried to, I felt a sensation in my knee. Usually, I come into the pose by lifting my calf up to horizontal and loosening up the hip a bit. Today, I just put my foot down and concentrated on opening up my lower back by pressing my arch into the inner thigh of the other leg.

Best Supta Kurmasana ever today, I think, although it's all starting to blur together, and it's not like it's ever going to be particularly momentous for me. I think that over time, it's just going to soften and get easier. More sukkha, less stira. Today's trick: binding with my index and middle fingers hooked, rather than with clasped hands. For me, clasped hands feels tense, and I've noticed that some people bind with their fingers pretty nicely. So, today, although Sir brought my hands into the overlap position where clasping is fairly easy, I backed off, and hooked fingers instead. I think he was surprised. And then I think he was surprised again at how well it worked. Later, I was hanging around the shala because I was teaching the Led Standing Series class at noon, and Sir was there doing shala stuff, and I mentioned the finger bind and how it felt better for me. He said that the important thing was that I committed to it.

Interesting. I suppose that there is the possibility that I have been intentionally letting my clasp slip these past few weeks. I was injured in, I think it was March, after all, and ever since then, I have been somewhat fearful of Supta K. The fear has been dissipating. Perhaps it's as simple as that?

Wow, I sure have a lot of competing theories about Supta K. Every day, I have a new idea about it. One day, perhaps, I will look back and say, "what was the big deal anyway?"

That certainly seems implausible at the present time.

I felt really good about the Led Standing class I taught. I just felt very present. And my adjustments felt like they made sense, except for one, where I tried to help one of my regular students get her head down in Prasarita Pado B on the theory that she usually gets her head down in it. Learning experience. Just like MY body is different every day, everyone ELSE'S body is different every day. The only way this student was getting her head down was if she completely leaned against me, practically knocking me over. Luckily, I am strong like a bull! Next time, no one gets adjusted in that pose unless they are REALLY close.

Oh, almost forgot...after practice, but before the Led Standing class, I had the opporunity to adjust Lori in Supta K (she started her practice even later than I did, and even she can't get Sir to stay in the room after 10 a.m.!). And she was kind enough to let me do it like three times. I always feel really confident about helping people to bind, whether Mari A, C or D. I know, literally, ALL the tricks, and I use them all. So, the arms are always pretty easy for me when adjust someone into Supa K. But getting those ankles to cross is heavy lifting even on the most supple of students. Or so I thought, until today. What I came to realize in working with Lori is that by the time I get to the point where it FEELS like heavy lifting, the student is probably as far as they should go anyway. Ahhhh. It was a very comforting realization and makes me look forward to helping people in Supta K, rather than dreading it.

After the Led Standing, I realized I had several hours before I had to pick my kids up from their afternoon activities. And I also realized that I had a bathing suit with me.....lightbulb.....the Baths! I shvitzed and had Platza - which included a scary chiropractic adjustment or two (thank goodness they felt good, but I was really nervous when the dude started pressing on my back) and then schvitzed some more and then showered and went up to the roof deck and sunbathed, reading the Times Arts Section. Too many people were smoking up there though, so I got out of there and ambled over to Caravan of Dreams, where I enjoyed a Young Coconut Shake (just the meat of the coconut and the water, whirled together...yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm) and a stir fry. I wish I could eat every meal at Caravan. I am seriously obsessed with it. It's like magic food. It never fails to make me feel nourished and happy and healthy.

Then, finally, back uptown to pick up my kids. We stopped at a CVS and took our blood pressure and heart rate at one of those little machines they have in pharmacies. My blood pressure: 102 over 60. My heart rate: 56. Who says that Ashtanga is not cardio?!

YC

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Invisibility

One more thing - about the creepy whispers in the jungle (I'm talking about Lost, of course)? I think that Jacob isn't the only one who is capable of invisibility.

YC

Locke = Jacob!?!?





Based on these screencaps from The Man Behind the Curtain, don't they look exactly alike? I am still going with the theory that the island exists in the past. Maybe in a Terminator-like twist, Jacob sent for Locke to make Jacob's existence possible? Also, I highly doubt that Ben would have brought Locke to Jacob if he totally didn't want to. Ben is a con-man, just like Sawyer, and the Big Con or whatever it's called was explained in a Sawyer flashback to be "getting the mark to ask you to do something and getting the mark to think that it was his own idea". Locke blew up the submarine for Ben on the same type of con. Now, he has been brought to Jacob by Ben, who makes it seem to Locke like it's Locke's idea.

I have no idea what the significance of any of that is. I just had to download it.

YC

Meat

I didn't intend to stop eating meat. I don't call myself a vegetarian. And yet I find myself increasingly unwilling to eat meat. For dinner lately, I've been enjoying homemade rice and lentils (with fennel seeds, cracked pepper and liberal sprinklings of turmeric), or homemade seitan masala (well, the masala wasn't homemade, but I did cook it up with the seitan) or that spinach with cheese dish that I forget the name of that I get from Amy's Organics. When it comes time to decide what I will nourish myself with, more and more, I find myself choosing the non-meat options. Even when we order in sushi, I find myself eating only the rice, or even ordering Udon in vegetable broth instead.

It's not that I don't like meat. It's not that I am not tempted by it, at least on some level, when I smell the steak I'm grilling for my kids. But when it comes down to it, I find myself not wanting to put it into my digestive system because I find myself imagining how long it's going to be stuck there, how I'm going to feel "off" tomorrow and not be quite sure why, vaguely blaming the meat, but not really certain of it.

My mom expressed concern recently that perhaps I am using my Ashtanga to burn calories, that it's just another form of eating disorder. But really, it's the other way around. I eat for the purpose of supporting my yoga practice.

Right now, at least, that's the way it is. But I have no rules in mind. I think that's why I'm liking the way I'm eating. No rules. Just mindful of cause and effect.

YC

It might be true what they say...

about summer being the time when you can make leaps and bounds in your practice.

Exhibit A: Tanja told me that she learned to grab her own ankles in backbends while in the heat of India, but was able to carry forward the kinesthetic memory into her practice on the not-as-hot East Coast.

Exhibit B: Everyone says so. There's got to be something to it when EVERYONE says it's true. Much as I hate to admit it.

Exhibit C: My practice is feeling looser, softer, stronger. I am now able to get a strong bind in every Marichyasana (wrist in A and B, touching wrist with a finger in C and D) no matter how sweaty I am, no matter how slippery my hands, my skin, my mat. Backbends no longer make me want to cry in pain - backpain, that is. And the lower back opens up significantly faster each day, which I take note of as I jump forward in Surya Namaskar. I like to jump forward with my thighs pressed up against my belly, my knees smooshed against my chest. It makes for nicer jump-throughs once I get to the seated poses.

Exhibit D: Supta Kurmasana is getting there. I find that my understanding of it is getting distilled down too, gradually, from a kind of chaotic flailing of limbs wherever they would go and a wing and a prayer that Sir could somehow contain all of the chaos, both physically and metaphorically (metaphorically, as in, not fully understanding what the pose is really about and reaching and grasping for answers when the only real answers can come with practice), to something far more contained and simple. The hands bind. The feet are managing to cross. The hands stay bound, although they begin to slip. Sir said, "Keep your hands together," three times, which is to say that he must believe that I am in control of this hand slippage, which is to say that it must be true. Nevertheless, in this great distilling down, I have come to the conclusion that there are two things that must happen for Supta Kurmasana to stop being a struggle for me, and they are, at the very core, physical:

1. My arms must get longer.

2. My femur bones must rotate more freely in my hip sockets.

Don't laugh at number 1. Obviously, I've got the arms I've got, and they are never going to grow longer, per se. However, as tendons get looser, as muscles get stretched, as joints move more freely, the effect is a greater wingspan. Simply put, I must increase my wingspan. When I began practicing, binding in Ardha Baddha was a ridiculous joke. It seemed impossible. Imagine how Baddha Padmasana seemed? Ha! But my arms "got longer", and now binding on a lotus-leg's foot is child's play for me. Back as late as 2004, Marichyasana A was something I could only do after a very hot bath, and if I rolled onto my binding arm's shoulder to force the forearm to move across my back. Now, I can wrist bind. So, my arms got longer, in a way. Same with B, C and D. You can always think of a whole host of reasons why your anatomy is not suitable to a particular pose - but there is always another way around it. If you're too fat, then you have to be extra flexible. If your arms are too short, you might have to lose some fat. If your shins don't take your binding knee up high enough, then you're going to have to be a much deeper twister than some in order to make Mari C and D happen. Etcetera, ad nauseum.

So, yeah, I am muscular. But so is Madonna, who in fact, makes me look like a short, fat cream-puff. And she is way past Supta K, from what I can see. And yeah, so, my shoulders are broader than my hips. But so it is with most men I see at the shala who are doing just fine in Supta K. If I have to work with arms that are a bit muscle-bound and shoulders that are a bit broad when it comes to flinging the legs up and over them in a way that doesn't create a force of energy pressing outward onto my attempting-to-stay-bound-arms, then I simply need to increase my wingspan and reduce the amount of effort it takes to keep my legs pointing upward from behind my shoulders.

Ergo, the two factors: "longer" arms and "softer" hips.

When the thigh-bones rotate smoothly and easily like a well-oiled ball-in-socket, then the bringing of my ankles together in Supta K won't be so forced, so abrupt, so tense, such that my legs will no longer be desperate to unravel themselves, such that my thighs will stop placing so much pressure on my arms. At that point, the shoulders will be free-er of the legs pressing down on them, and the arms will have the effect of being "longer". At the same time, as I work towards lengthening my arms, there will be more room for the legs to be moved into the proper position for the pose, less disturbance of the arms when the legs move.

Longer arms. Softer hips.

How does one do that?

The first is easy - Prasrarita Pado C. Loooooooooooong arms. Hanging from playground equipment. Looooooooooooong arms. Doing baseball-warmups - swinging the arms around and around and around. This feels quite good. If more people did this as they aged, there would be far less "frozen shoulder" around. (aside: how can people let themselves not move their bodies, not stretch??? I can't make it through a single day without stretching!).

The second - I'm thinking Karna Pidasana, really pressing the knees to the floor, really pressing the knees against the ears at the same time. I'm thinking of staying there for a bit and then moving into Yoga Nidrasana, attempting to bind, but not making an issue out of it, since the hips are the thing here. I'm thinking ankle-to-knee pose. I'm thinking Hanumanasana with the chest to the floor right next to the front leg (making it really a half Kurmasana). I'm thinking leg swings - like what I remember from dance classes when i was a kid.

Ideas welcome.

YC

Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

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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