A Spiritual Journey, Taken in a Cluttered Station Wagon

Crushing Disappointment in the Mighty March 30, 2010

Filed under: Adventures of a Spaz,Asana Practice — Elaine @ 11:40 pm

Sometimes, we hold other wise folk up, we make small idols of them, respecting their judgment, their wisdom, their discretion…even though we have never met them in our “real” lives. When they inevitably fail to meet our high expectations, it as if a child in our hearts has left us…weeping in sadness and desolation. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about, my loyal readers….


Sigh. It’s a dark day in my Reality-TV cave, kidlets. Only time and an exceptional single malt (neat) will soothe my inner pain.

The Fabulous Miss Carrie did some great hip openers today. (Full disclosure: I am a sucker for hip work. I don’t know why, but I looooove hip openers, the more intense and longer held the better. I’m sure that some of you who are better versed in chakras and meridians could explain the deeper reasons for this. I suspect that maybe it’s like “The SPAZ will find extra SPAZZINESS released from the hip joints…..”) She adapted them from some Yin work she’s been doing lately, which, I must say is an area I want to further explore. This is the most understandable explanation of Yin Yoga I’ve ever seen:

There are some great Yoga videos available on YouTube. As I move forward, I’ll make it a point to share the ones that resonate with me. I know we all respond to different explanations, but it’s nice to get a reference that cuts through the plethora of “Hot Babes doing Down Dog” videos out there. I swear, it’s enough to make me believe that our buddy Ogden (see previous post) is real.


I think my shoulders know a juicy secret…. March 28, 2010

Filed under: Adventures of a Spaz,Asana Practice — Elaine @ 6:47 pm

I mean, why else would they insist on sneaking up to my ears every time I try to maintain a difficult asana?    Clearly, they have something interesting to say.


Chattering Monkeys March 27, 2010

For those who don’t know, (Oh, my!   For shame!   I bet you don’t carry your groceries in special hemp bags sewn by lesbian orphan amputees, either!) “Chattering Monkeys” is a reference to Buddhist teachings about meditation.  Apparently, our minds are like chattering monkeys, leaping from branch to branch…and, our effort in meditation is to still and calm the little simians for a moment.

Well, kittens, here’s the thing.  It isn’t just my mind.   I, myself, am one big ol’ chattering monkey.   My spazzy dorkitude knows no bounds.   And, today, well, I guess I was in rare form.   We are a bit banana-mad today, peeps, so here is a quick run-down.

Banana #1:      Great practice with Deb today, as usual a great mix of her reliable bag of tricks and some new goodies along the way. But, then we hop off this branch to the next, which notes:

Banana #2:  Did a Dancing Warrior sequence today.  “Infuse the pose with your personality,” Deb says.   Well, if the glance I got in the mirror is any guide, my personality is a flailing mass of dorky limbs.

Banana #3:  Pop Quiz!   You receive an email from a total stranger that implies that you are a bad person.   What do you do?

a.  Cry at your desk for a half an hour.

b.  Obsess for days.

c.  Ask everyone you know for their opinion.

d.  All of the above.

Banana #4:  It’s almost midnight.   Why am I still awake?


Short Attention Span Theater March 26, 2010

Filed under: Adventures of a Spaz,Asana Practice,Deep Thoughts — Elaine @ 4:12 pm

Yoga Flow with Awesome Lisa this morning…opened, as is customary,  with an invitation to dedicate our practice to an idea, a value, an individual…if you are reading this, you very likely know the drill.  “Open,” popped in to my mind, and during our warm up and breathing I could imagine my ribs expanding, allowing golden light to pour out from my heart, like through shutters.

Pretty, huh?

However, as can happen to me from time to time, I found my intention shifting over the course of the practice.   This can tend to happen to me…I’m a total Myers-Briggs ENTP, full of Big Ideas that rapidly shift once a new Big Idea arises in my mind.   This time, though, it wasn’t my crazy short-attention span that set me on a new dedication.   This time, it was the practice itself that changed my mind’s direction, and, ironically, it was my distractable nature that fell in to view.

Usually, the Yoga Flow class flows.   Not that we didn’t today, but not just at the usual clip.  Today, Awesome Lisa (who will be delighted to learn that I have embellished her name behind her back)  had us pause a bit to evaluate our technique in each of our Asanas.   Where are your shoulders?   Which areas are bearing the weight of this pose?   Are you trying to get lower or higher or deeper in a bind at the expense of the soul of the pose?

And thus, a new intention was born.  It isn’t just about jumping ahead,trying to climb the mountain “because it’s there.”   It’s about learning and absorbing along the way.  It’s about living in this moment here, in the present.    Being in the now, and all of those mindful practices that elude me on a regular basis.

Lesson learned?     Well, I hesitate to commit to having actually learned ANYTHING….But, I do have a renewed interest in an area that has been a lingering question for me for years.  The Devil is , for me, in the details.   It’s all very well and good to move on to the next stage…but, who is to say that the last stage was actually completed?   And, most confusingly, does a system of approved progression help more people to a disciplined practice, or does it distract them with structure and the desire to outdo one’s classmates?

I massively appreciated the opportunity I got in today’s practice:  that is, to explore and honor the fact that the subtleties in the simplest of poses can make the difference between an effective stretch and a useless one.   Yes, several of my “Oooh, I’m ready for the advanced variation” positions were changed back to “maybe the adaptation for beginners is more my speed,” but, then, it’s a wake-up I obviously needed.

So, instead of just “Open,” I get a dedication to one of my own weaknesses, and, as usual, it applies way, WAY beyond Yoga.   Sometimes, you need to slow down the flow of your life, take stock, and make sure your form is healthy.   Keep reaching further down in your metaphorical triangle, but don’t forget to keep your hips in one plane.

Lesson one had me hold this post overnight to check for typos.   So, you see, I can be taught!

And, now, it’s off to my yoga togs for a quick practice.   I’ll even multitask a bit and put a bottle of wine in to chill while I’m out.   So gifted.

Wonderful weekend, my friends, and stay warm.