Thursday, May 7, 2015

a selfie made from found objects and reflected light


I have spent the past 10 years doing yoga and embraced my place in the labor industry as penance for not being better, stronger, more capable, more brilliant - the pain in my belly and thighs, my shoulders and my spine as lashes on my physical body to punish spirit for all the things it could not make my body do, its lack of control on the physical plane. For my feelings of helplessness and powerlessness that I have carried since a small child growing up in dangerous and unhealthy circumstances. For all of the times I could not speak up for myself. Because I deserved the pain. Because it was the only time I could feel anything.

Of course I didn't want to share any of this with anyone.

Watching one of my best friends sinking into Half Pigeon yesterday during dialogue practice, something changed. Looking at her body, and talking about the discomfort triggered inside of the hip, feeling my own experience inside of someone else's body - I realized that it was gift being given. That moving the body into places where it feels a lot, whether Half Pigeon or Chair Pose - is an act of love. Is a cry for freedom from the constraints of our daily lives, of joints from flesh. That breath IS the language with which we comfort and communicate importance to the body, since the words we think inside of our thoughts have little to offer to this conversation, the most important conversation we will ever have. The freedom and power of allowing the body a safe haven to feel, to grow, to explore its boundaries is something that society and the education system rob us of on a daily basis - and every single person in the room with me is committing an act of revolution.

I understood what it means to pray for the first time yesterday. How a yoga practice can be so much more than a battle. It's a song. Its a story that we are constantly rewriting, and for once I get to be the hero, instead of the villain.

I see my place, finally. I'm a Liberator leading bodies (safely) to war against the accepted, the expected, the required. My task is to empower our fullest expression as an act of love, which is inextricable from the nature of revolution, whose ideal battle ground is the field of consciousness.

Last night's class, there was no nervousness. My dialogue is strong because I know why I walk into the studio. I know what story I want to tell, even if it is told through the tone of my voice and the touch of my fingertips. That bodies may hear what minds cannot, and that bodies respond because I am giving them a stage on which to sing their own songs, and a captive audience to let them know they are being heard.

I think this is what it feels like to be in love.

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."

Friday, May 1, 2015

and the blues came walking like a man

“We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.”



"Arjuna is overcome with self-doubt about the righteousness of the war against his own kith and kin. He is distraught at the thought of having to fight with his friends and family. It was then that Krishna took charge and explained the necessity and inevitability of the war to Arjuna."

Krishna could have cut to the chase and just handed Arjuna a mirror. I bet everyone would have disappeared from the field of consciousness in a flash, and he would have been left alone with himself.

Having Johnny as my tandem partner made the gap I felt I had to bridge between myself and everyone else almost non existent. Its easy to compare myself to the giggly, high pitched, little yoga girls in my classes, and within the ranks of yoga in general, and see all the ways in which I lack femininity and softness... there's a roughness and rawness about him that I wanted to rub up against like a cat, because it felt so familiar. It may have been the first time I've felt like I was on level ground since I handed in my tt deposit. The first time I could put my back down. Respond with something other than the chip on my shoulder. Problem solve like I was on a jobsite. Remember with the knowledge inside of my bones that I was there to do a job, and I was going to finish it. 

And its nice to have someone call me out. As much as I feel constrained by my circumstances, there are other issues I thought I had effectively dealt with that have finally rubbed me to the point of chafing. There resides a dragon I fight on a daily basis. Its name is Commitment. I am afraid of the gravity behind committing, so I don't. Relationships naturally define, and I'm afraid of being put in a box I don't believe I belong in. After my previous tandem, I saw what I become when I don't allow myself to commit fully to a task. And for some reason the notes I got in my first two tandems about really effectively building from ground up have evaporated, even as my relationship to time gets a lot stronger. Where did those words go?

I will be a poet someday. But I realized, watching my class filled with beginners that if I can't help them build the buildings, there is nowhere for the poetry to live inside of. The pendulum found something else to give it momentum. Things I thought I had strong were not there when I needed them. I still made it to the end. Nothing exploded.

The mundane is profound too. Repeating cues is valuable. The work is happening inside of their bodies, and I have to accept that I am not responsible for their experience, I'm just drawing the outline. I can be true to the yoga and true to myself at the same time because I believe in what I'm participating in.

The yoga is enough.
Because if you're gonna come up short
On a request like magic beans
You better be sure
The first part of that meal
Means something