It’s been three weeks since my last
confession post. And I still have nothing of any use or interest at all to say. But I know that there are people who “follow” this blog, and for want of anything better to do, when I google myself, I can see that there are people who have blogrolled me. And so, I feel it is my duty to say something, anything. Because maybe that’s enough. To just say something. Anything. Because maybe that something/anything that I say will touch someone in a way that I can’t begin to perceive. Probably not. But you never know. I mean, some of my most linked-to and commented-on pieces have been ones which I wrote while sitting on the toilet. Or wrote while half asleep at 4 o’clock in the morning when the Ambien stopped working.
Lady Gaga has said (and I am attempting to paraphrase here) that if a song doesn’t flow out of her, if it’s a struggle to get it down and complete it in one go, then usually, she’ll just toss it. That makes sense to me. I’ve found that anything I’ve written that is worth reading has literally written itself. Almost no pause between the impulse to write and the fingers. Thought interrupts only long enough to grasp at grammar.
Unfortunately, this means that I do quite the bit of writing-and-deleting. If I start to write something, and it becomes a struggle, I hit delete and shut the laptop. The Lady Gaga Process. If only I had her grasp of the commercial. If only I had her guts.
Yoga: what is there to say? I’ve been doing it, and quite a lot lately. I know, because I have been keeping a record of such things, not on the internet as I did starting in 2005, but on paper. Blasphemy to the Ashtanga Blogging world order, I know. In order to keep the chaos in my house to a minimum, I have been keeping a daily chart of “Stuff We Gotta Do” (that’s what is at the top of the chart). See, my kids’ daily homework is the easy part; things get complicated by their long-term school projects, their musical instruments, Brian’s bar mitzvah preparation, my dog’s need for actual walks, my own need for regular exercise. None of this stuff seems to ever really lodge firmly in my brain, and things that aren’t checked daily by an outside person, say a teacher, have a way of falling off of the radar screen. Basically, if I don’t see it on paper, it ceases to exist.
So, on the “Stuff We Gotta Do” chart, there’s a space each day of the week for “Mom’s Work Out”. That’s what I call it, yes, indeed. My “work out”. On many days, I will scrawl in the space, “yoga, 60 minutes, LBH plus BB” [meaning that I did leg-behind-head work as well as backbends] and 45 minute walk in Babcock with Lewis”. Yes, I consider walking my dog a “work-out”. I’ll be 44 in a month. It IS a work-out to walk briskly with my hound in the woods. Some days, it’s, “teach yoga 60 minutes, walk Lewis 60 minutes Mianus River), and on those days, I will have done yoga – since I have a couple of private students now who wish for me to practice along with them rather than talking them through it – but not as vigorously as I would if I were simply practicing myself. Once in a while, perhaps even today, I will scribble “5 mile hike with Lewis at MR Gorge” and make no mention of yoga. And only very rarely is there nothing in the space.
I can tell from looking back at the last few weeks (I’ve been saving each week’s page) that I’ve been doing a LOT of yoga. In that yoga, I have been doing a lot of lunges and a lot of hip-openers, and I can tell that my leg-behind-head poses are slowly, slowly softening up. Right now, I am still essentially where I was in the summer of 2008 – I can get the legs behind the head, but I can’t really keep them there without using the other hand. But what has changed is that the sensation in my soft tissues is less rubber-band-springy, and more soft and spongy.
Recently, I have gotten the full use of my Urdhva Dhanurasana back. I’ve begun dropping back and standing up again. And it feels no different from how it felt…ever. One of my students asked me, “WHY? WHY must I do this?” I told her that it is good for the spine to bend it in both directions, that it will add years of youthfulness to her perception of her life, that it will theoretically open up some emotions for her as she opens up her front body, although frankly, I am not sure that this is true, even though a lot of people claim it to be so, and even though in the first two years or so of practicing yoga, I sometimes experienced anger and/or anxiety after doing a lot of backbends.
But, honestly, why DO we have to do backbends?
And now, before I change my mind, I will hit “send”. Or Publish, actually.