100 Days of Yoga: Day 15 Dedicating the Practice

Becky, Kri, Carrie, Denise, Ashley, and Staci
As “Tri-Delts”, Catawba College, Halloween 1992

We pick up my 100 Days of Yoga project at Day 15.

I went to graduate school with a man who used to be a college quarterback.  Years before I met him he had given up running as a hobby or a sport or a need.  He did yoga and dance.  He did two hours of yoga every night at home.  He did not own a TV.  He had and probably still has a very chiseled body, and little to no understanding of half my jokes.  No TV can make you a very serious person.  So can yoga.  It’s taken me 10 years to translate what was obviously working for him into a practice I might try for myself.  And I wonder why my clients look at me so blankly sometimes.  Readiness is relative.

Frankly, I think some austerity could do me good.  Yes, I feel sure.  There is something lean and serious about the yoga body and the yoga mind.  When I am on the golf course, I think of jokes and zany movies I should write.  When I am in boxing class, I think of how I am going to annihilate every obstacle, including talking the cable people into something cheaper .  In cycle class, I think of new mixes I want to make meanwhile mentally ripping to shreds the mix of the instructor.  In yoga, I often think of the dead.

Notes from Multi-Level Hatha Yoga — Saturday, November 3, 2012

–Everyone is asking me about my yoga project.  I am either stupid for opening my big mouth or I am a genius for knowing how I work (much better with a social touch/pressure/inquiry/accountability/guilt) or I am simply lazy for taking 65 days to complete 15 classes or I am a little grasshopper who is supposed to feel all of this and doubt everything and admit to my commitment issues.

–My arms hurt.  That muscle that you use to turn doorknobs.  I could not open a jar of sundried tomatoes last week because of my weakened doorknob muscles and I found myself concocting a way out of this project that had to do with this yoga-related injury (I don’t know that for sure but I blame all the downward facing dogs turning into push ups), rationalizing that to blow out my doorknob muscles right now would be idiotic because when I am eventually alone with my 99 cats and my moped and my spooky house, I will need those muscles and I will not even be strong enough to snatch the water meter man and lock him in the basement.

–When the instructor, Gina, asked us to think of someone that we wanted to dedicate the practice to, I thought of Carrie, one of my best friends from college, who died November 2006.  Kind-of out of the blue (her death and me thinking of her today).  The class and the moment and the feeling of duty to be there changed.  Poof.  I felt better.  Like I had a purpose.  A direction.  Like yoga was a special kind-of exercise because it asked this of you or offered it to you — either way.  I know these things:  I am ungrateful and wicked and easily forget I am lucky to be alive.

–It’s good to remember her this month, the month of the anniversary of her death, and as we’re about to get into the season of lights…her favorite.

–We did “the goddess” pose.  Class 15 and we’ve never done that one yet.  I like it.

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