President Obama did NOT flub the Oath of Office…

January 22, 2009

I am getting kind of bugged out by the number of people that seem to think that Obama messed up when it was Justice Roberts who made it SEEM that way. I can’t presume to understand Roberts’ motives, but believing as I do that there is really no such thing as an “accident”, I have to wonder: was Roberts’ rushing through the 35 words – making it difficult for Obama to know when he was supposed to jump in, for example, at his own NAME – and mangling the order of those words, really, a reflection on his distaste for the newly elected Democrat?

I’m just saying.


4 Miles

January 20, 2009

In 45 minutes, ALL hills. Not just rolling hills like in Central Park. Damn, I miss Central Park at times like this. On the other hand, I HATED running TO Central Park only to have to run IN Central Park.

No yoga today – that would be insane, and I am trying to stay on the right side of that whole insanity thing. Probably won’t do anything but stretch because that is not insane.

Then tomorrow, jury’s out over whether it will be Hot Vinyasa at the place in Cross River or my own practice at home.

As for bygones, I did my my entire practice in full yesterday, without any stops for R&D. I didn’t have a great Kapo, but damn, did I have an awesome Supta K – the husband gave me an AWESOME assist. I told him to pull my arms UP, as if he were trying to lift me up by them. I wish I could get that assist every day.

The day before, Primary. The day before, ran.

The day before, practiced up to Kapotasana.

The day before, personal moon day, also known as my body saying, “PLEASE!! GIVE ME SOME REST!”

Thinking about it, I should probably do the Hot Vinyasa tomorrow, then my full practice at Val’s on Thursday. Friday, I don’t know. I’m losing track of how many days a week I am getting to my various poses. I kind of care, but I kind of don’t.

All I know is this, and I kept thinking it as I was sweating in my Hot Chilly’s and my fleece today on the frigid back hills of Bedford between St. Mary’s Church, which is only open once a month and only then in the summer, and Hopp Ground Road: this is only going to get better. And that goes for the yoga too. Whatever I am doing now, in 15 degrees, is only going to feel better come March…and the good will last all the way until at least October.

If it weren’t for the antique houses with the shutters that can actually close, perched precariously close to the road (because when they were built, the road was made of dirt, and the primary mode of transportation was walking and horseback riding, so who needed a long and winding driveway? Who needed a driveway at all?) and the one-room schoolhouses and the signs that proclaim that this town was settled as early as 1673 (which is really big here in this country, not so much elsewhere, I know), and the many, many ponds and streams, and the freakish, unidentifiable gray furry beast feeding on someone’s rhodedendron, the surrealistic quiet, and the amazingly dense darkness when the moon is new…I’d pack it up and move to someplace warm. This much I know.


Turn, turn, turn

January 18, 2009

If you haven’t already given up on regular updates from me on my practice, or on anything else, for that matter, I think that I am stating the obvious when I say: I haven’t been writing much here lately. And less and less as time goes on.

It makes sense really, when you consider the reason why I blogged in the first place, which was to record my progress in the practice of Ashtanga. When I began my Ashtanga practice, I had so much work to do. I had to get cardiovascularly fit enough to not be passing out by the time I got to Marichyasana C. I had to get my twists flexible enough to bind in Marichyasana C, and then D. I had to my hips and chest open enough to bind in Supta Kurmasana. There were hands to get to the floor in Prasarita Padotannasana C. There were reverse prayers to wiggle into in Purvatanasana. There was the still-not-quite-readily available Parivritta Parsvakonasana. There was jumping through. There was jumping back. There were backbends. There was breathing through the nose, even. It was a new lover, and there was so much to explore.

But the Primary Series, including backbends, contains the whole of yoga practice within it. Everything else is just, in my opinion at least, taking that practice and multiplying it exponentially. Pasasana is just a combination of Mari A and Mari C, or at the very least, a twist on steroids. Supta Kurmasana is the seed for all leg behind head poses. Backbends are backbends, whether on the feet or on the knees. Arm balances are just bandhas and balance.

So, I’m bored.

At least for te most part. I mean, working on my backbends still holds my interest, but frankly, over time I have discovered a truth that I wish I did not know: that I can do a backbend by warming up my backbend. There is no need for all of the stuff that comes before in the Ashtanga practice. I could lay on my bed with weights in my hand and then do a bunch of progressively more challenging backbends and work up to the same Kapotasana that I would be able to do if I went from Surya Namaskar A all the way through Primary and halfway through Second.

I didn’t set out to “crack the code” and find the shortcuts. But I did anyway. I discovered the shortcuts, and now I feel jaded. I no longer feel the urgency to practice with any sort of intensity. Heat – tapas – escapes me. I find myself going to Hot Vinyasa classes in order to practice in the heat generated outside of myself. When I go to the CT Shala, I feel the love of the practice again, but I only go once a week, partly because it is just so ridiculous to travel for a half hour each way when my practice is waiting for me on my own mat, and partly because when I practice in front of a teacher, I can’t use my “narrow hallway” and straps and other nifty R&D methods that I have been actually having fun discovering here in my very own house. (That must be obvious to anyone reading this blog, since the only thing I have blogged about in the past week is exactly THAT – my Kapotasana bag of tricks.)

I’ve been fighting this feeling for a while now, but I think I’m no longer in love with the yoga. I like it very much. I respect it. I want to be friends with it. But I can no longer see it exclusively. I’m not looking for the next great love of my life, but I think that the reality is that I will probably find it, and then there will be a period of great struggle, as I attempt to keep the yoga in my life, but I find myself helpless as I watch it drift away. I don’t want that to happen. But I know myself. I’ve seen myself do this before. It’s practically inevitable.

To wit: I used to run long distances. And by run, I mean “run”. Not jogging. I once did an 18.6 mile race in 8:10 pace. I loved it. I was kind of good at it. I never thought I would stop. And then gradually, over time, I lost the love for it. And I quit. And I have since then heard myself say, “I can’t even imagine running a mile now”. Then there was the figure skating. And then the long distance biking. Then Bikram. Then Jivamukti. Oh, and going way back to pre-running, there was step aerobics. All of these activities were intense loves of mine. I couldn’t imagine life without them, and then one day, my life existed fully without them.

I can only surmise, based on history, my history, my very very consistent history, that one day, maybe not too long from now, my Ashtanga practice will go the way of marathon running and Bikram yoga and step aerobics.

Yesterday, I ran four miles in 15 degree weather, on the hilly roads of my Bedford neighborhood. The husband thought I was crazy as I layered on the clothing that would insulate me from the ridiculous Canadian cold fron that has settled in here. But as my feet connected with the ground and bounced back up again, I felt pure joy. As I meandered past antique farm houses that usually I drive by too quickly to notice, I felt a pull. I wanted to go farther and farther. But I contained myself because I didn’t want to wake up hobbled today.

Of course, I came home and did some yoga poses to stretch out my quads and hamstrings. But I want to add running (jogging) to the mix again. I’ve already done it twice this week. And I am looking forward to going again. I also want to keep up with the yoga.

Wouldn’t it be a miracle, a real show of character evolution, if I could manage somehow to keep up BOTH, rather than having to choose one over the other?


Kapo in the hall…now with belts!

January 16, 2009

If there were ever any doubt, I think it can now be safely said that I have no vanity (left). I’m wearing paint spattered yoga pants, my hair is looking particularly grizzled, my skin looks like I’ve spent all my life in Antarctica, and the light hits me just so….(just so that I look like death warmed over). Still, I wanted to post this because, wow, if you have a hallway in your house that is just wide enough to accomodate your shins, feet, hands and forearms, then you too can strap yourself into Kapotasana (or almost…because although my hands technically reach my feet in this video, my death grip on the belts interferes with my ability to actually lengthen my fingers to touch my toes).

Enjoy responsibly. (In other words, don’t try this at home unless you are certain that your rotator cuffs can handle it.)


Narrow hallway as prop:

January 14, 2009

The left side is my bad side, but this will give the general idea of how I am using a narrow hallway to encourage myself to bend smaller (although my armpits obviously need to stretch deeper, and my upper back could use some more curve as well. Still, progress is progress, even if it is slooooooooooooooow.


Today’s public service announcement…

January 13, 2009

courtesy of LOVE this new toy (the Obamicon cam, not the boobs!)


Nip/Tuck Going Where No TV Show Has Gone Before….Male Breast Cancer, Mastectomy and Reconstruction

January 9, 2009

Wow. Wow. I don’t know what to say other than that. I DVR’d Nip/Tuck and saw that the alpha-est of alpha males, the leadingest of leading men, the sexed-up thinly-veiled pansexual icon, Christian Troy has gotten diagnosed with breast cancer. Stage II, to boot. He had a mastectomy, and they showed it. Not sure why the nipple was spared, but alright, it’s a start. He’s going to have a DIEP-flap reconstruction, which means, I believe it is going to be pad of tissue taken from, most likely his belly, but possibly his buttocks or his back, and implanted where his breast tissue used to be.

Just don’t let him die. Please.