Forgive me, father, for I have failed to hit send.

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.



4 Responses to Forgive me, father, for I have failed to hit send.

  1. YogaSpy says:

    Backbends? Simple answer: they make us feel alive!

    In the big scheme, our endeavors and efforts are short-lived and subjective (they matter only to us and those close to us). But we do them anyway. In Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, he frequently muses on aging. He makes an analogy something like this: his hours spent training, running, and racing feels as if he’s pouring water in a pot that has a tiny hole in it: no matter what he does, the pot will someday be empty. That is life, but we must keep pouring what we have into it while we can.

    I wrote recently on observing kids who can’t touch their toes (see and find the Gumby picture). Those kids need to be pouring more into the pot;-)

    Thanks for posting,
    Yoga Spy

  2. Hi, Lauren.

    I can certainly relate to your comments about writing. Unlike some people, I don’t feel I have an unlimited amount of good stuff I can spew out every day. A great blog or a new poem is a gift that comes to me once in awhile.

    That’s why I’ve chosen to structure my own site as an “e-book and blog”. It disturbs me the way even the best blogger’s best stuff, like yours for example, gets buried quickly and automatically just by the passage of time. Sure, there’s an index and perhaps even a “favorites” box, but how many readers pay any attention to them. I’m a very dedicated blog reader, and even I have hardly ever gone back and read my favorite bloggers’ past blogs.

    The exception is when past blogs are linked to in current blogs. And therein lies one great solution to your problem–when you have no new material, simply bring your favorite blogs from the past. Plug them right into you blog stream. Call them “Blogs from the Past” right in the heading. Then just copy them in without comment, or perhaps you have some background or new commentary.

    But you don’t need to add anything. A high percentage of your readers will have never seen it. And those who have will likely love seeing it again. I have used this to great effect on my Yoga Journal Community blog and I haven’t received any complaints yet.

    Often the second coming of the blog generates more discussion than the first. People write stuff like “I’m so glad you reminded me of that blog. It’s so relevant to what’s going on right now in my life”, or “I’m so glad you blogged this again because I missed it the first time around.”

    There are many variations on this idea. Collect blogs on a theme, add a little introduction and either copy excerpt, or link to the originals if they are too long.

    I’d like to see all my favorite bloggers do this so I can see all their best writing without having wade through their archives, even if they do have new material all the time.

    Most of my current blogs start as comments on someone else’s site. For example, I’ve been wanting to write a blog just like what I’m writing right here for bloggers. I would have had trouble writing it well out of the blue. But in the context of spewing out uninvited advice to you it just flows! That recent article of mine on Elephant first appeared as two separate comments on Linda-Sama’s and Roseanne’s blogs:

    “First It Was Yobo, Now It’s Ratra (Radical Traditional) Yoga”

    Whenever I write a comment I save it in an ongoing text file. Right now I’ve got almost 100 pages of stuff, a lot of which I can reach into for blog material if I ever want it. It’s too hard to remember and find what I wrote on comments if I don’t save it this way.

    That enough for now. I hope this is useful in some way. By the way, since I grew up as an ultra-traditional Catholic, taught almost entirely by nuns through 8th grade, I understand you opening about confession far better than I want to.

    Bob Weisenberg

  3. bindifry says:

    guruji says we do backbends simply cause
    “they are good for us”
    after all of that forward bending, you have to counter pose.
    i don’t think we have to do full backbends. just some postures that will take us in the other direction. ustrasana with some bridge is just fine for many peeps.

  4. Jamie says:

    I strive towards backbends and arm balances because they are the most challenging — and I always like to have a goal to work towards : )

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