July 26, 2008

Did it.

Sweat a little.

Not loving the temperature at the Upper East Side Icebox. The Good Doc fully denies that this perception of coldness that I have is the actual reality. Instead, it’s “put your chin to your chest and fully exhale.”

Also, I am no longer allowed to pick up my back heel in any standing poses, not even to get INTO the pose. This is not much of a problem, you would think, except in Parvritta Parsvakonasana – that twisted mofo of a standing pose which I can STILL barely get myself into, even now, even picking my back heel up and putting my back knee on the floor and cranking. Funny thing is, when I make the effort to get into the pose without the aforementioned cheat (which I had no idea was a cheat until now), it makes my back crack in a very satisfying manner. Who knew?

For all the other standing poses, it simply takes concentration and awareness to keep my back heel from picking up.

Funny that the Good Doc would see me as a Kapha when I am so the OPPOSITE of grounded. I can’t even keep my feet from flying off the floor.


Pasasana is mine, the Return of Tzippy and Ric and Paint Cans

July 25, 2008

I know this sounds like old news. But I can now reliably bind it with no rolled-up mat, no wall, no assistance…at home…in the afternoon. OK, so that is not the same as binding it in front of the teacher at some ungodly early hour. But it is how things get going for me. It always happens this way.


Today, I didn’t go anywhere or do anything much except for prepare 28 cans of old, useless paint for disposal according to the Town of North Castle’s ridiculous rules for disposal of paints. I had to open every can and mix what was left in the can with kitty litter and leave the whole mess curbside. 28 cans of paint, some of which were rusty and 10 years old. I HATE the former owners of my house. HATE. Actually, hate is not a strong enough word for people that leave you with 28 cans of VOC-emitting paints that have absolutely zero relationship to the walls in the house they sold you. There were paints for cars, for the garage floor, for a white house with black shutters, when our house is yellow with green shutters. There was paint for a bar – we have no bar. There was paint for a pretty pink girl’s bedroom. We have no girl’s bedroom. These people should have disposed of their own f-ing paint.


I’m pissed. Almost as pissed as I was when some crazy lady egged my car the other day, which I have not written about because the story is racially charged, and I don’t want to get into all of that. Suffice it to say that it was a minor hate crime, against me, unprovoked, unless you count, “Lady, you’re going to need to move your car” as a provocation when it pertains to the fact that someone double parked in front of my car, rendering me a prisoner until she saw fit to move her car.


After covering myself in paint, turpentine and lots and lots of VOC’s, I noticed that a package had arrived in the interim. How did I not see this? I don’t know. But the package was for me! Yay! And it was from my friend, Erica, who used to be behind the short-lived but wildly successful Tzippy and Ric label, which was sold at, among other places, Searle (a high-end chain of boutiques in NYC), and is now behind the wildly successful Sticars, which makes really cool magnets for cars. Sticars are in Target, if you want to go get some. My car is currently plastered with peace signs and whimsical creatures that I can liken only to Uggly Dolls.

So, the package.

I ripped it open, and inside…a touch of nirvana. At least 10 cashmere sweaters…too many, I lost count…in my size, from Tzippy and Ric’s remaining inventory. It was like opening a treasure chest. Only there were no pirates with eye patches. It was just me and cashmere. Blue, pink, purple, eggshell…gorgeous v-necks in the lightest, most elegant cashmere with extra long, flared sleeves – sexy and feminine; Debpc will know what I am talking about, and if she is reading this, then she too will reap the benefits as I will send her one! Deb? You there?

What a happy surprise. I am wearing a pale purple one now. Very my style. I like to wear Capezio wrap sweaters, and these are like the high end version of that.

So happy!

Tomorrow, Primary. I must remember how much I look forward to Primary. Must. Remember.


Disappointment of the day

July 24, 2008

Brad and Angie did not DO IT to make those two new babies. Despite non-infertility (apparently, this is a problem specific to the very very wealthy alone), they went the IVF route. Nothing like the need for instantaneous gratification. I’m surprised that they didn’t find some way to make them come out six months early, fully formed.


Best. Practice. Ever.

July 23, 2008

Got my left leg to stay behind my head for the first time! Yay! Probably won’t be repeating that feat anytime soon since it came after a lot of warming up the hips, which I was able to do only because the Good Doc had already left. Which brings me to the fact that it was also the GRUMPIEST. Practice. Ever.

When I got off the train this morning in Harlem, I decided to hop into a cab, thinking that it would get me to practice faster. Unfortunately, my driver just got his license yesterday, it seems. He took me down a wrong one-way street such that we ended up heading uptown on First Avenue when we should have been heading downtown on York, the end result being that I had to walk 10 blocks and an avenue to practice. I arrived with a mere 65 minutes to get all the way to Eka Pada.

Not that I couldn’t have split. But don’t like to split. I need my Supta K now more than ever, because after 10 breaths in the pose, I now push up to a full Dwi Pada, hands in prayer, five breaths, then press up for five breaths, then Titthibasana for five breaths. It all adds up to a better Eka Pada. Hopefully. I mean, even the Good Doc told me it would. He’s the one who told me to do it in the first place. That an 108 breaths in Shoulderstand, Halasana, Headstand and Padmasana.

Anyway, I was disgruntled and muttering to myself as I walked those 10 long blocks and one avenue, thinking, “This isn’t working, I can’t keep doing this.” When I arrived at the studio I was about to tear the girl at the desk a new asshole about how my credit card had been charged twice in one month for my shala fees when the GD came out to ask for a first aid kit. Long story short, someone had taken a nose dive in Bujapidasana. Not my problem. What WAS my problem was the fact that it was downright WINDY in the practice room. I grumbled my way through Surya Namaskar A, sweating and shivering at the same time (heat from the inside, meeting cold on the outside…blech. This isn’t SUPPOSED to be a gym, you know).

Then I paused between salutations, marched over to the thermostat and simply shut it off.

You could hear it spin to a stop. You could hear the wind die down. You could see dust particles landing. Someone said “Thank you.” And someone else exhorted me: “Lauren!” But GD was still with Buja Roadkill, so he couldn’t stop me. HA!

In my anger and annoyance and general disgruntledness, I somehow managed to have this amazing practice. Light, floaty, bhandas, bendy, the works.

I found a way to stop worrying and learn to love the bomb, so to speak. I realized that the blessing inherent in the GD’s leaving the room at 9 a.m. crossed with my inability to get there before 7:45 adds up to the thing I love the most: Ashtanga Criminality.

Yes, I engaged in some major criminality today. After everyone left, it was just me and EVP, and together, we did all of Second. HAHAHAHAHAHA! And we rocked it. The Seven Headstands! All of it. Well, not Karandavasana. I did a Tripod Headstand/Lotus Legs Lowered to the Arms thing, what is it, Urdhva Kukutasana? Whatever. Who cares?

I feel great! And now I have the will to practice in the Upper East Side Icebox once again!


How to Look, Sound and Act Just LIke a Real Live Yogi

July 21, 2008

At the risk of ruffling some feathers, I give you my latest on the Huffington Post: How to Look, Sound and Act Just Like a Real Live Yogi. Just bear in mind that I too am a Real Live Yogi. Just like you.


stiffness is not in the mind

July 21, 2008

It is in my body.

A wise man once said, “No good six-day-week goes unpunished.”

And so it is. I had a raucous six-day practice week last week, and then yesterday the mat seemed like an alien being, laying on my back porch, taunting me with its quiet invitation to practice, knowing I would never take it. Knowing that my body looked bent and felt worse. And by bent, i don’t mean in the bendy way. I mean, gnarled.

Instead of practicing, I transplanted some flowers into my back garden beds, dahlias that were overgrowing their pots, petunias that had gone leggy and needed a boxwood to climb or ar least a nice bed of soil to stretch out on, sunflowers that are too thirsty to live anymore in containers on the steps. I like my perennials so much better. Except for my beloved zinnias, I hereby vow to never waste my time on annuals and tender bulbs again. What a colasal waste of time.

Live and learn.

Ah. But those zinnias. Last year, I bought a small pot of them and watched them go steroidal over the course of the summer. This year, I wised up: what idiot can’t grow an annual from seed? I mean, seriously, annuals are intended to grow from seed, to sprout, bloom, set more seed and die all in a summer. If that is not a virtual Darwinian guarantee of success, then I don’t know what is.

My zinnias are just zipping and zooming, approaching three feet tall with multiple blooming shoots and bright pink flowers. I loves me my zinnias.

Also loving my Limelight hydrangea which seems to glow in the moonlight, my blue campanula and my pink petite bee balm, as well as my dwarf shastas. None of these will require replanting next year. All are perennial and will simply pop up again when it’s time.

Winning the Most Appreciated award is my one little hosta, which I did not plant. The previous owners must have – silly them, deer regard hostas the way my children regard pop tarts: irresistable and easy to get their grubby little hands on. But this particular hosta popped up this year in a small previously neglected bed by my outside dining room table, which bed I have planted with the equivalent of liver and onions as far as the deer are concerned: butterfly bush, foxglove, jacob’s ladder, flowering dogwood and pee-gee hydrangea. So the deer have been passing it by, and yesterday, lo and behold, the Miracle Hosta had bloomed: one tall purple lily-like shoot.

Look at me diverting attention from my piss-poor practice. I struggled through the whole thing. It was a mess of vrittis and cringes and whomping myself through my legs in jump throughs. No grace, no sweetness, no twist to the spine. I mean, I DID everything, yeah, but it felt like the first year again. Bound, but muscling myself in. Even now, my lower back aches.

I did my own Kapo, and then I went into the other room to finish with my friend, EVP. Not her real initials, but she knows who she is…we did a lot of chatting, and I did a lot of criminal R and D. I mean, the ashtanga was obviously not happening, so why not stretch and pave the way to better days in the future?

And i hope tomorrow is one of those. Better days in the future, that is.

Here’s hoping.


Shake it up

July 14, 2008

I am so so so not loving Kapotasana. Funny because I love all of Second Series up to that point, and I love it after that, right up to Eka Pada, despite that I cannot hold my leg behind my head by myself.

It just really sucks to be so inept, so strangely inept at something, disproportionately inept compared to how I am at the rest of what I do in terms of asana. Yeah, my driste could use work, so I won’t say “in terms of yoga” because that would open up a whole can o’ worms. So, let’s leave it at “asana”.

Today, the Good Doctor tried to shake my back into submission, which strangely enough, seems to make some sort of intuitive sense. It’s like my back is desperate to crack and just simply refuses. I did manage to touch both pinky toes at the same time after a lot of fighting and struggling and shaking and, jeeezus, why do I do this? This must sound INSANE to anyone who doesn’t practice Ashtanga. I can just imagine someone from Om reading this and going, “WHY would anyone ever want to be YANKED into a yoga pose?”

I don’t know why. I just do.

Even when I say I’m hating it.

I had ZERO intention of practicing Second Series today, and I still did it. When I got past Setu Bhandasana, I just wanted to keep going. This, despite that I told my friend, S, as we walked in, that I was ONLY going to practice Primary. ONLY. As if. S, if you’re reading this, you should never believe me when I say I am only practicing Primary. Even if I want it to be true, it just cannot be. Given the choice, I think I will always press on.

Meanwhile, I am totally uninspired for this week’s Huffington Post. I might have to skip it entirely, which is fine. I have no output requirement. But I do like the feeling of accomplishment of writing an actual essay and seeing it published by someone other than myself.

Any ideas? I’m taking requests.



(crickets chirping)