Shore leave

What a fabulously glorious day…

While I do love my yoga practice and even the repetitiveness of the Ashtanga practice in particular, today being my first day of deliberate and willful Shala Truancy, I felt as if I were on shore leave from active service, or, even, dare I say it, on my first day of prison furlough. I know that makes it sound as if I had been desperate to get the hell out of Shala X and do my own thang. And maybe that is even accurate. But what it doesn’t mean is that I don’t feel committed to my practice. Which is to say that I am still 100 percent committed. Like I said to Susan recently, what would be the alternative anyway? IS there any alternative?

So, my plan today was to take care of a number of pressing errands and chores, namely, and in this order:

  • Drop Adam off at camp bus (Brian is still away at his five-day sleepaway camp).
  • Take Lewis to the dog run for a nice long walk, run, wrestling match.
  • Come home to make phone calls, the most important of which was to get a definitive answer from Immigration Services regarding whether passports are needed to get into and out of Canada by car (the answer is YES, unless you have your ORIGINAL birth certificate and driver’s license). This presents some challenges for the Husband and I, believe it or not, since, gasp, we both let our passports expire last month! Stupid, stupid, stupid. But not a problem that can’t be solved by throwing a little money at it (for an extra fee, you can get your US passport renewed in three business days).
  • Walk down Third Avenue to Ricky’s to pick up some Devachan products.
  • Proceed down Third Avenue to the nearest eyeglass store to have my sunglasses fixed. For free! Yay! One of the side thingies broke off. Damn Fendi sunglasses; the sunglasses I picked up off the street for ten bucks are just fine, although they aren’t “fabulous”. Which makes me wonder, how did the Dolce and Gabbanas work out for Gregg? Still in good working order, I hope.
  • Make a sharp right and head toward Madison Avenue to the Chopard store to have the clasp on my watch fixed. Said clasp would not close, rendering said watch unwearable. I was quicky ushered into a private room to consult with the “Repair Department”. My “Repair Consultant” left the room for long enough for me to read the entire Chopard brochure and then came back, sat down in her comfy chair, smiled benignly and informed me that it would cost me $550 to fix the clasp. That is not a typo. FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS. The stainless freakin’ steel clasp. After confirming that I had not heard her wrong, I stood up, gathered my things and said, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t justify spending that much money on a steel clasp.” I wasn’t attempting to bargain with her. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. Yada yada yada, she fixed the clasp HERSELF. For free. Hmmm. I thanked her, but I did not feel thankful; I felt disgusted. What kind of a scam are they running over there anyhow?
  • Next it was due West toward Fifth Avenue to catch the downtown bus to Union Square for a stop at Paragon Sports for my favorite mat, the good ole Tapas Original. I have no idea where else they sell this particular mat other than Hugger Mugger online and private-labeled at Bikram and, of course, Paragon. For out-of-towners, Paragon is like the biggest sporting goods store ever. Or at least by NYC standards. So, downtown I went. N.B. The plan was to pick up the mat and then head uptown to do my self-practice, expected time of arrival at the Yoga Chickie home base: 2 p.m.
  • I got off of the bus at 13th and Fifth and headed East again towards Broadway (for anyone who cares, Broadway runs diagonally across Manhattan’s grid pattern of Avenues and Streets, such that uptown, it runs West of Fifth Avenue and downtown, it runs East of Fifth). When I got to Broadway and 13th, I realized I stood at the crossroads of Bikram, Om, Jivamukti and the Shala house. I felt giddy. Turn right, a there was Om and the Shala house. Turn left, and in one building, there was Bikram and the brand spanking new Jivamukti studio. There I was, a kid in a candy store, a frat boy at a bachelor party, a Long Island girl at Bloomingdales with daddy’s charge card….I was blinded by desire. What would it hurt, I asked myself, to just walk into the new Jivamukti flagship, just to see what they did with the space, just to pick up a schedule, which would probably end up in the garbage, but still….yada yada yada, I ended up taking the 2:00 p.m. class. But first, I had to high-tail it six blocks up to Paragon to pick up not only my new mat but ALSO some yoga clothes (Exhibit A to the Defense’s case that this was NOT a premeditated act of Ashtangacide). Unfortunately, the price of yoga clothing at Paragon is off the hook, so the best deal was to puchase a UNITARD! You know, two for the price of one. Oy. I had to have looked like an escapee from a dance recital. Or else a high school wrestler. Either way…oy.
  • Class was fine. Lots of ecstatic chanting to start with, which made me feel weird and spacey. Then some very very wacky pranayama – a combination of Nadi Shodanam (alternate nostril breathing), Kappalabhati (short, sharp exhalations) and Kumbakha (breath retention). I couldn’t explain it if I tried. Suffice it to say, I am quite sure that if I were indeed a prisoner, I would now be provoked to commit some serious acts of mayhem. The dharma talk was something about the root chakra. I really didn’t listen. I really didn’t care, in all honesty. And then we were vinyasa-ing. Pretty similar to the classes I teach. In fact, virtually indistinguishable. Which is to say, I prefer Ashtanga. The problem I have with vinyasa is that it does not have enough vinyasa. Hmmm…I just realized how ridiculous that sounds. But it’s true. We did about seven or eight Surya A’s, then two or three Surya B’s (which included Warrior II, which I really, really don’t like, as I find the transition to be quite awkward, and I never teach it that way), and then for the rest of the time, we were either moving from pose to pose. But there were no vinyasas in between, or precious few. Maybe one or two here or there. I missed my vinyasas. THAT said, I LOVED the fact that we “flipped” our dogs, that we squatted for what must have been two full minutes, that we practiced Bakasana and Ardha Matsyandrasana (with a bind if we wanted to), that she invited us into Laghu Vajrasana from Ustrasana, that we practiced Salabasana, Dhanurasana, Eka Pada Urdvha Dhanurasana, that anyone who wanted to could drop back. Wow, I sound a bit fixated on backbending. I’ll just observe that and let it go. After class, I felt compelled to do a few of my Primary Series poses though…still had the energy to do so due to the lack of vinyasas. I covered Mari C, Mari D, Bhujapidasana and Kurmasana.
  • Finally came home, met Adam at the bus, went back to the dog run for another hour, and now, here I sit. I am one tired cookie.

I am looking forward to practicing quietly at home tomorrow morning…with Sharath…and without Bhagavan Das (if you have ever taken a class at Jivamukti, then you will know exactly what I am talking about), thank you very much.

YC

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4 Responses to Shore leave

  1. dani says:

    oh. miss…you breaka my heart. from the bronx. my grandmother sold her house and moved to the catholic charities bldgs down by the con-ed plant (12th and ave C)(circa ’72). jest hearing your tales of eating at vaselka and taking the bus to union sq….aaahhh….memories. now trapped in west coast suburbia and much stifled. i want to thank you for the clip of swenson which led to some silents of iyengar and krisnamacharya. i did, indeed, apply them directly to my head…

  2. yoga chickie says:

    You know how people write “lol” but it’s mostly just a nicety? Well, I was REALLY lol (“rlol”) reading that comment!

  3. Andrea says:

    Where/when are you coming to Canada?

    –A

  4. Cody Pomeray says:

    aahhh…that’s so funny about the lack of vinyasas in a vinyasa class. It’s like a big production building from half sals to As to Bs, but then they sort of peter out once the postures start.

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