Abiding is an in-between experience. Because of that, it gets less attention. It’s not a peak event such as arriving or departing or even an intentional action such as accumulating or releasing. Lacking an obvious drama to pull you in, it is easy to miss or ignore or avoid.
But if you do place your attention on the liminal, allowing yourself to feel the threshold-space of richness of neither here nor there, you discover that this is where the magic happens. It’s when things start to cook.
A good yoga brew is made of the universal elements of heat and exertion, breath, sweaty muscles, and strong bones. In life, these same ingredients show up as tears and love, anger and fear, hope and confusion, sometimes nausea, sometimes heartbreak, sometimes joy.
“You already have everything you need to be happy.”
Bingo! All of us experience moments of insight that pop up out of nowhere. Maybe it was a matter of time and practice…drip, drip, drip, the bucket fills. Or maybe something more ordinary like boredom or exhaustion or jet lag slows us down long enough to notice.
What I wanted had been there all along, but I was too busy creating my own dukha to notice it. I see that tendency in my students too. They might be sitting nicely in a pose but the space between their eyebrows has a deep crease that tells me they are in pain. When I ask them about it, it’s almost like I woke them up out of a nap. A typical reply might be, “Oh yeah, this position always kills me. It’s been like that for years. I just don’t have good shoulders.”
I am writing this letter because it felt strange to leave without saying goodbye. I want you to know that it is not because of anything you did or did not do, but simply because it is time to move on.
I will always carry a part of you with me wherever I go. I have only the greatest respect for you and I have been forever changed by knowing you.
I hope that you will not be angry with me, although I accept that you will need to deal with this in your own way. You may not even notice that I am gone. I still can’t help but hope that you are sending me off with a happy heart and wishes for safe travels.
i am running not quite as early as i want again today. but at least i did a pretty thorough vocal warm-up beforehand. maybe it is something about the Robot Immigrants coming to the Armory today and meeting with them after, but my warm-up was similar to the ones we do in our process. usually i do yoga because my body tweaks out a little sitting on that stool in one position for so long, but yoga hasn’t quite been solving that in its entirety. although i am building my core back up so that i can sustain the position (and minimize the pain and damage to my body), i realized from the last Event that i needed to work out my articulators a little more to maintain the extended verbal space that i am filling. so my warm-up today actually became a combination of both physical stretching and releasing, and voice warming and exercising.
i have been thinking a lot lately about co-existence. this summer has brought a lot of odd changes to my life and apartment. once a solitary yoga haven where i could write, eat, and create in a void, it is now going to be occupied by a series of other bodies and voices. Toshi will come and live for a time, as will my European artist friends, Zdenka (with her creative partner) and Lorenzo. after three years of living alone (and loving it), this is a big change to my now-quiet lifestyle.
when i try to “be straight,” i find myself locking into a position rather than fluidly remaining upright.
the key is to release into whatever pose or position i find myself in—straight, crooked, warped and everything in between. because when i think about holding myself straight, that’s exactly what i do: i hold. i hold tension, i hold my breath, and i hold myself in a position that is either not straight at all or else it quickly devolves from straightness because it is not fluid with the movement of my breath.
this morning i did yoga outside in the 90 degree heat, bugs swirling all around, sweat profusely dripping off my body…
it was glorious. i practiced for so long, zoning in on my breath, on my center, and moving so slowly that i could gauge where either of them were at most given times. i began to imagine what it would be like doing Suzuki in Toga, based off Tina Mitchell’s description the other night while we were training. the heat, the bugs, the bright and blinding stage lights, having only what one needs to survive. i have never been more ready for something that challenges me so fiercely. i felt a light emanating out from my center and reaching around the world—a battle cry of release into the unknown.
i arrived at Villa Gitana and almost immediately proceeded to do yoga. i haven’t done yoga (at least not in the traditional sense and certainly not as my normal daily practice) since i got to Southeast Asia…
my body was in pain from all the traveling, all the surfing and moto biking, from both running around and laying around, and everything in between without much attention being placed on conscious stretching and breathing.
it was really difficult at first. i felt so off balance. my recurring pain on the left side of my neck and back was throbbing. and my new wrist pain in my right wrist (from surfing? from moto? from typing?) was crying out.