Saturday, December 31, 2011

I laughed, I cried... Happy New Year.

December 31

I have the desire just now – as I often do – to go to the Oxford English Dictionary and search the roots and the variations of the words surrounding singularity. single. single mother. alone. lone. lonely. one.
I was taught that any manifestation of the feeling of loneliness is, in fact, simply a result of the human condition. I think that I am working in my life to combat that belief. I think I didn’t learn, conversely about the state of being together…

This morning, this was what I was thinking about. About being alone. About trying to do the things in my life without the support of a partner. How, I am trying to learn, feeling loved and wanting to be loved and supported by a partner in life are not mutually exclusive – and are not wrong. How difficult it is to be both bonded and boundaried with children. How hard the holidays can be. How hard it can be to sleep alone.

So I went to yoga.

I have said here before – I lived alone a lot. I grew up an only child with a single parent in the middle of acres and acres of woods and substance. So I need alone time. I feel very claustrophobic in crowds. I need independence and space. Lately, though, I feel like I have had enough.

Yoga, today, was crazy. You couldn’t wait for class without bumping into someone. Sweet teacher always says, don’t say sorry – say good morning. But she is vacationing on the beach or three weeks. There were so many people. Mats were two inches apart. I had to laugh – be careful what you wish for… the teacher is one I have practiced with for many years, though not closely… she said, in a few minutes, you will be utterly alone. We practice alone, together.

And so we did.

Today, for the first time in yoga – or the first time in a long time, as I can’t imagine I really haven’t felt this way before – I was brought to tears. I could not balance. Not for a second. There was no tree inside me at all… I had to sit on the floor, instead.

It’s a funny thing about New Years, right, sometimes it seems entirely fabricated – time is a constant flow… there is no space for break… sometimes it seems organic and natural – of course I am off kilter – so many things to look back on – so many things to look forward to…

Mostly it feels irrelevant. I cannot balance at this moment. I cannot be anywhere but here.
And tomorrow…
well, it will be a New Year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


December 15

I was glad to come to the mat this morning. I kept my sweater on for a while. It’s pitch dark and cold – I lit a candle in front of me. I still struggle to chant, but I love being near a flame…

All I wanted to do was put my forehead to the floor.

I stayed in child’s pose for a long time. The ground. The day will be filled with my control… doctors and teachers and lawyers … personalities and struggle.

I thought about that balance of sometimes needing the opposite of what comes immediately – and so I did a back bend series. Heart open. I love the feeling of falling backward. Of letting go and letting gravity come, like a partner...

Then pigeon for a while. The ground.

I have a friend, her daughter is struggling – isn’t this brilliant: she took her to a weight bench – let her pile hand weights one on top of the other to visualize the weight inside her. Brilliant. Grounding. During the day, the daughter had lunch with her teacher.  Heart open. The daughter told the teacher, you can call my mommy and tell her to take ten pounds off.

I thought about putting my feet in the air. And I put my head back to the floor, instead.

Monday, December 12, 2011


December 12

This morning I’m thinking about sequencing. I was thinking about it on the mat – about how I’m not sure what to do…I’m not even sure what I did this morning – I know there was a little movement and a little twisting… I didn’t want to go upside down, I didn’t want to bend backwards. In part because I don’t feel like I really understand how to warm up those parts – and how to build the practice.

Afterwards I picked up a book my mother brought me – by Gary Krafstow, “Yoga for Wellness.” He’ll have something to tell me about building a sequence…

“A well conceived sequence is the key to an effective practice. Such a sequence has the qualities of order, harmony, efficiency throughout … so if you study and apply the principles… you will find your practices becoming progressively more elegant, refined and relevant to your changing needs and interests…”

oh, that’s all…
it’s right – I go in fits and starts and have a hard time knowing where to begin. I don’t want to do some of the things I love to do because I know that I am not clear on how to prepair…

This weekend I was standing in a field, on a hill, overlooking Boston –
a friend and I were talking – in what order do we do the things that we need to do…
home, love, career, art…
actually, buying a bed was in there, too
love, home, bed, career,
or should it be bed, home, love
or home, career, love

“In preparing for a particular posture it is helpful to progressively warm up the body by using similar postures that work in the same direction…”


It seems like it should get easier, but I am always at the beginning.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Inner Mat...

December 9

I didn’t practice every day this week. It’s true. I admit it.
Funny how it all works… Last week I gave away my mat – to someone who needed it more than me – to someone I want to have it, and who having it means a lot to me…

but it’s funny, for the week it took until my (new fancy SO much prettier and cushier consumeristic) mat came, I felt adrift.

I think that’s a good thing, in one way. Not, in another.
I think it means I am finding a home on my mat.
I think it also means I’m not quite carrying the mat to my life enough… no inner mat.

I get hung up on place, on grounding. On the meaning and connection of things to places in my life – to people. This is well documented, and well founded in my history.

And I’m having trouble with time and space again. How do I start? How do I listen? What do I need from or for the practice today.

So today I spread out my new home…

I have so much to do today. Silly, fancy, fun, holiday, frivolous, so so much to do.
I am achy – and I thought maybe I should do a bunch of moving, warming, waking…
but I thought about the book, and the idea that sometimes it is not counter that you need.

I was feeling unfocused. I am finding I have to build up my strength to be able to find restoration. After a lot of years of not breathing, not resting, not enjoying…

So I stood on my head in the middle of the room.
And, right there – with no wall and no waiver – I took a really deep breath.

Monday, December 5, 2011

All sorts of breaks.

December 5

The other day I was working with a yoga teacher who focuses on breath – focuses on personal practice. I was a bit of an onlooker – but it was important for me to be thinking about this deep connection to the practice.

At the end, I asked him about Warrior. My knee has been tweaking in the pose, and I thought maybe it was just a little out of allignment.

I told him about my hip injury. I told him I couldn’t square or turn, still. For a year I couldn’t rotate at all.

He asked me what happened when I didn’t go as deeply into the pose. He didn't need to say what came next... 

Your body is strong. And your body holds the memory of the pose. So you have to back off intentionally.

Of course. Sigh.

This morning I am wanting what was there before. There was a freedom. A comfort. A love -- I remember...

Impossible, of course. The memory of the pre-injury. All sorts of things break at once.

Instead of acknowledging the grief I would rather try to put myself back in the old position.

We learn, of course. With every new adjustment. About ourselves – far more strength than before.