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Yosemite

The drive to Fresno wasn’t as brutal as I was warned it could be. Flat, yes, and lots of bugs, but nothing a few good podcasts and a quick carwash couldn’t resolve. I was en route to the airport to sweep up a member of the wedding party to zip up to Yosemite.

How could I go to Yosemite without seeing a waterfall? I had a few hours off of bridesmaid duties in the morning, so I ventured to the park proper by myself on Saturday morning, my Mini and I making good time through the woods until my gas light went off. Could I make it to the parking lot and out of the park with 60 miles’ worth of gas available? I wasn’t going to risk it, so I whiteknuckled it outside the park for some incredibly expensive fuel, and scooted back in, only 45 minutes behind. I made it to the tippy top of  Vernal Fall (just the one), me and about 300 other people gaping at the inevitability of gravity.

It was the first time in half a decade three of my girlfriends and I had been in the same place at the same time, for no other reason than life in general. We gathered the night before the wedding in the bride’s suite, her little daughter sneaking around, wanting attention past her bedtime, plotting how she could insert herself into the dynamic of four girlfriends who have known each other longer than she’s been alive. She crawled into her mother’s lap and said simply, “Growing pains,” and her mother began to massage her little brown legs. The little girl looked at our faces with big brown eyes while our words flew over her head. What were we even discussing? I recall struggling not to curse while little brown ears were about.

Scorpion Practice

My new apartment is close enough to my daily errands that I ride my bike more often than not. Cruising around town has introduced me to the phenomena known as street harassment. No one likes that guy, but it’s easy enough to ignore. I wore the pants I wear in this practice riding my bike to teach this evening and got three wolf whistles, one “Hey girl,” and one “Ay dios mio.” A guy in a Davy Crockett raccoon hat let me know that he didn’t “want to bother [me], but that [I am] gorgeous.” Additionally: “Have a nice day!” I don’t document this to suggest anything about beauty, but more to say if you’re going be that guy, hollering at a stranger, the raccoon hat comment had me smiling for three blocks, and the others were staunchly ignored.

My forearm scorpion is getting there! This is the first time I’ve seen how far way my toes are from my forehead – sigh.

Love love love

I’ve been meditating to the intention of love: often thought of as something that is given and received, my little epiphany after this last bout with heartbreak has been that I have all the love I need, already. I’ve been suggesting it for months in my yoga classes without living it myself: “Let yourself be supported. You have everything that you need.*” I need the repetition of a mantra to get it through a thick skull and a superthick superego.

Viranhadrasana 3

*imagine in a super serene yoga voice. One of my favorite side effects of teaching is that I am forced to be calm, relaxed, poised, serene, for 90 minutes, even when the rest of my day has been anything but. Did I mention I didn’t get laid off but instead was promoted? And that I sold my house? It’s been crazy times.

 

 

Arm Balance Flow

The beauty, the purpose, of yoga:
like breath, it is always there.
Through dead’s-man-curve transition,
debilitating heartbreak,
impossible loss;
Through stagnant pause,
unadulterated joy,
kismet union:
there is breath.
There is practice.
All is coming.

 

 

Every winter, I think I have killed everything, and every spring, my yard comes back to life like nothing happened.

On a related note, I sneezed thirty-one times in a row on Sunday afternoon.

On Being Laid Off

FreedomThere’s no such thing as a wrong decision. Things just don’t always work out the way I expect.

I was offered a new position at my company after my department was dissolved due to a recent acquisition. The job was sold to me as “customers will call in and yell at you.” It would be a stepping stone to a sales position, if that’s where I wanted to go. That’s where the money is.

I took a few worrisome days and sleepless nights, negotiated here and there, but I had made the decision the instant they handed me the offer letter: I want out of corporate life.

I spoke to my dad about it, framing it as a choice between a very clear path and an opaque path.

“Which is which?” he asked.

“The corporate job, that’s the clear path.”

“No, it’s not.” He’s right; working for other people is never a clear path. Who’s to say when the next round of lay-offs will be?

The CEO called me to talk me into the job, but I don’t want a life wherein my day is dictated by the few people who are actually making money worthy of the stress.

So I chose freedom.

Almost instantly, the depression that’s been hounding me for the past several weeks, the illness that’s been keeping me home “sick” from work at least once a week, began to lift. I could sleep. I could wake up and look forward to my day.

So what now?

I’ve spent the past three years building up my yoga teaching reputation, and the yoga community in Santa Barbara is beautifully supportive and exploding right now; two more studios are opening this month in an already saturated market. There is no dearth of opportunity there.

I’m looking into various education opportunities, now that I have the luxury of time: massage school? Buddhism studies? Physical therapy?

I don’t have to make a decision now, but even if I did, it would be the right one.

“Partner” Yoga

Twice this week, I’ve set up to record a practice and………..forgotten to hit “record.” Twice! Ah well. Squeezing in a short practice between work and a celebratory dinner with friends. Inversion workshop this weekend should resolve those handstand issues. I noticed upon first watch that my hips are sticking out too far in vasisthasana – not sure how to resolve?

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