I miss my kids. But I love my quiet, quiet house. And I love the fact that I no longer follow Ze Rules, whereby I spent my seven weeks of quiet last summer waking at dawn and railroading it into the city where I had my arms yanked halfway out of their sockets and my triceps stretched to the point of feeling that same burning, ripping feeling that I felt when I was giving birth to my first child, unmedicated.
This summer, I awaken at Whatever The Fuck Time I Awaken. It’s a lovely time to wake up, let me tell you. And I exercise in Whatever The Fuck Way I Wish To, which means running as many as six miles at a time without worrying about the tightness it might bring to my hammies and quads, or taking to the trails at the nearby nature preserve, or taking a Bikram class, or doing whatever portion of the Ashtanga series’ that I am able with a broken hand. And at the end of the day, I experience this wonderful thing called “Not Being Ridiculously Tired at a Ridiculously Early Hour”, which means that I can do wonderful things like…see friends (for lunch in Bedford, for dinner in the meat packing district)! go to the theater (Hair)! watch a stupidly long movie (Benjamin Button)! stay out til 2 a.m. (after dinner in the meat packing district)! sleep in my friend’s townhouse in Manhattan (after staying out til 2 a.m.)! sleep late and meander over to a diner for some scrambled eggs, toast and coffee and the walk five or six miles around the city without worrying about the tightness of my hips or whether the food will make my twists nauseating!
I do admit that abandoning Ze Rules leaves me feeling, at times, a bit adrift. But it’s a good kind of adrift. I see friends I hadn’t seen in years. I do things I never would have dared to do.
And yet: the world has not cratered.
My jeans still fit, are maybe even a bit looser, perhaps due to more intense cardio and less anaerobic yoga. My heartrate is still in the low 50’s. My skin is soft and smooth and clear. My demeanor is calm. I do not feel this intense desire to spend my days strategizing how I will get my toes in Kapotasana and talking about it incessantly.
Sure, I feel a bit like a leper in the Ashtanga world. My former Ashtanga friends no longer call or write. And sometimes I am haunted by then notion of having given so much power to my teachers over my body and my happiness…and by the realization that those who I perceived to have had all of the answers, whose minds I would have paid beaucoup bucks to unlock and understand, were as clueless as I was and as arbitrary and at times capricious as anyone.
But this is what happens when you extricate yourself from a cult.
And it seems worth it to me to be my own master right now.