Yin and Yang, Yoga Style

One week, one yoga studio. Two Bikram teachers, two very different styles.

One gave us some great quotes to ponder as we were struggling for breath down on the mat between asanas.

For when you’re working towards a goal: I am comfortable with my plan. I am at peace with my power. I achieve my dreams and outcomes with ease.

To stay out of needless drama: I am a lighthouse, not a lifeboat. I do not rescue, but instead help others to find their own way to shore, guiding them by my example.

She spoke two others that were quite beautiful, Marianne Williamson as quoted by Nelson Mandela at his inauguration, The Guest House by 13th century Sufi poet Rumi.

It made the trying to breathe and not fall out of savasana better.

The other one offered us this eloquent advice in the final part of Half Moon with Pada-Hastasana:

PRETEND LIKE YOU’VE GOT A FLASHLIGHT IN YOUR BUTT AND YOU’RE TRYING TO LIGHT THE CEILING!

He also made us sing Happy Birthday to one of the students during Triangle pose. Twice.

triangle
Photo credit: the amazing Kristen Lamb, via WANA commons

I love both those teachers. I love that even with it always being the same 26 postures, you never know what’s going to happen. I dig opposites. Learning how to comfortable with uncertainty is why I keep coming back.

I’m never going to go into that second set of Triangle now thinking that I can’t breathe and have to fall out, knowing that I can actually sing Happy frickin’ Birthday while holding the pose.

I’m also never going to go into hands-to-feet pose without picturing the entire class…um, lighting up the ceiling.

For Bikram Yoga Etiquette, check out this post on Joy is so Yellow.

Namasté.

One & Done Sunday #20

Welcome to One & Done Sunday. One picture, and five links that are worth your time.

Here’s your picture:

It’s a total geek shot of my Superstar console. The question people always asked when they saw it was, “Why does it have so many colors?”. Looking at it from this angle, it kinda looks like the venue we performed in in Berlin last year. There’s a very Euro-techno feel to it. Plus, it’s dusty.

Earlier this month, we played our final performance of Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. It was bittersweet, as I guess these things always are. I’m better for having this opportunity to work with such talented–and nice, being that they’re largely Canadian and if they’re not nice enough they get kicked out of their country– people.

There was a party afterwards. I’m not big on parties and went to a yoga class instead, planning to swing by the party on my way home.

When I walked into the locker room it was nearly empty because I was running late and made it just in time. Something caught my eye: a prosthetic full leg, from just below the hip, on the floor against the wall.

Because the natural state of my mind is to be small and boxy, I couldn’t imagine anyone who actually needed that prosthetic would be down in the hot room to do yoga. My first thought was that it was some sort of prop, a possibility since this midtown yoga studio caters to a lot of performers.

They say yoga expands your mind.

I went downstairs and set up my mat. I looked to the right of me and there was the woman to whom the prosthetic belonged. She was tall, strong, and determined and there to do Bikram. I was humbled and inspired. I could not in good conscience sit out of a single pose that class.

It was an immediate and complete shift in my perspective.

I wished that I felt confident enough to speak to her after class, but I didn’t. I didn’t have confidence in finding the words to convey what I felt without those words being condescending, insensitive, or disrespectful. But in my eyes she was a goddamn rock star.

I don’t know if I’ll see her again or not, but the memory remains. I’m grateful for it.

The next day when I was extra sore from the extra effort I put out in that class, I thought of that badass woman and smiled.

Namasté.

Here are your links:

I just came across this post this morning and it filled my soul. Not much makes me happier than when one of my kids likes my music (and props to this kid for being a RUSH fan!): Pretty Girls Make Gravy: The Day She Discovered Led Zeppelin.

When your kid has to write an apology letter on the last day of school. Sh*t my 6-year-old-says: Apology Letter

Maybe some are staged, but I prefer to believe they’re not. 21 Pictures that will restore your faith in humanity

Get schooled on heavy metal: LA Weekly (thanks Deathrow Dan for the link).

This entire blog is worth reading, so I’m linking to the home page: An Athlete’s Journey Through Breast Cancer

Happy Sunday.

When a towel is not a towel

I have a yoga towel. Nothing special- a fairly thick beach towel that I bought at Costco for fifteen bucks a few years ago. I store it in my closet, away from the family towels, so that I always have it when I go to yoga in town.

It covers my yoga mat perfectly.

It has pineapples on it.

The kids all know it’s my yoga towel. I try to take care of the washing of it but sometimes it gets mixed in with the regular towels. They know if it comes through the wash they’re supposed to put it in our bedroom instead of the linen closet. This actually happens sometimes, depending on which kid finds it, how much they care, and whether or not they’re currently pissed off at me.

A while back, while frantically searching for my towel to take to class, I found it. In the kids’ bathroom. With muddy dog prints all over it.

At least, I hope that was mud.

So I grabbed another towel. It was a thin, innocuous-looking beach towel. A bit girly for my taste- kind of looked like there might be butterflies on it, but I thought, what the hell.

A towel is a towel, right? If I’m worried about my damn towel in yoga class I clearly have more serious issues.

And I did, in fact, have more serious issues, as I discovered when I got to class and flung the towel out over my mat.

Namaste.