I am still here in the land of wildflowers and way too much good vegan food and *distractions*. Home Ashtanga practice totally derailed. Having lots of struggles in many areas of my life, and some progress in others. Life on life’s terms? Sometimes I just forget all about that sh*t. I was doing some reading this morning during my AM quiet/meditation time that had nothing to do with yoga. It was a twelve step recovery book, and I came across this sentence: “the yoga principle of non-attachment to the fruits of labors”. What? How could I have just thrown that proverbial baby out with my bath water?
I was in Half Priced books the day before yesterday and I looked up at the Hindu section and there it was, shining like a beacon: a half-priced, used copy of Guruji! Let me tell you, that is not an easy find.
Thanks for the nudge, Universe.
Oh buddy—jackpot. Just watching this made me hurt, but sort of in a good way. While my room is warming up, I decided to check youtube for any new Kino videos to inspire me to ACTUALLY FUCKING PRACTICE in my bedroom. I have been sulking and missing my yoga room in Las Vegas. Well, welcome to reality, Sunshine. There’s no yoga room anymore! Do I want to give up my Ashtanga practice simply because I am having bratitude (Bratty Attitude) about my smaller, pared down new life? I keep mentally whining that my room’s too small, it’s too cold, I can’t breathe, I’m too tired, blah blah blah. I haven’t even tried yet.
The take home message? I have been kind of a wreck without practice. I keep waiting for the Mysore sessions to resume at the studio close to my house and they seem to have entirely disappeared. And I’m broke anyway, so it’s not like I could immediately buy a pass. I keep reading all of the Ashtanga blogs I follow with sighs of longing…just do it already!
I decided to try “hot yoga” again after almost a decade of not doing it. I went to Black Swan (a donation-based yoga studio) in Austin. I loved the whole look and feel of the studio and enjoyed the class quite a bit. I was really scared to take a hot class since I haven’t done Bikram in probably close to a decade. Interestingly, it felt a like a restorative class to me! I barely broke a sweat. I kept waiting for the endless vinyasas and there were none. Man, Ashtanga really kicks your ass. I can’t wait until I can go to some classes here in town. The schedules are still a little wonky due to the holiday. I will be glad when things get back to normal. I will definitely go to Black Swan again…very relaxing and great music.
NOTE: It’s the end of 2012 and I just realized that I left this in drafts and never published it! Man, the move to Austin really scrambled my brains.
Something cool happened in November, month 8 of my burgeoning Ashtanga practice. I suddenly was able to hold myself up and hover over my mat in chaturanga. I have no idea how this happened. It was like my body suddenly realized that I could do it and it just did with no conscious thought involved. Hmmm…I hope this happens with jump backs and jump throughs! I am now doing what I think is a half primary—up through Navasana, although many postures are pretty adjusted and prop-involved. Whenever I find myself “guarding” or stiffening up and feeling fear in certain postures (hello, Trianga) I try to just go blank and relax. Lately, the phrase “hot taffy” keeps popping into my head in certain asanas. And then I start laughing, because it makes me think of John Waters and the character Taffy from the movie Female Trouble. So wrong. I love how certain words and phrases have become part of my practice. It’s all a very interesting process.
courtesy of texasescapes.com
I have been in Texas now for two weeks and it has been difficult, thrilling, sad, beautiful, nostalgic and awesome. The trip itself was very interesting, especially the part where I drove through West Texas. I’ve never been in that part of the state and at first I found the wide open spaces to be beautiful and peaceful. After about five hours of this, I started to feel this intense and bone-deep sense of fear and panic. There. Was. Nothing. Nothing but me, my very old truck with all of my earthly possessions, scrubby creosote-esque shrubs, blue sky and rocks. All I could think about was either serial killers or breaking down and someone eventually finding my bleached bones by the side of I-10. I was startled by how intense the fear and anxiety felt; my entire body was tense and actually broke out in a cold sweat for most of the drive, which ended up taking two days. I had to stop in Fort Stockton and sleep. My cell phone also apparently hated West Texas, as it freaked out and decided to erase all of my contacts and reload itself somewhere between El Paso and Fort Stockton. I ended up having to replace my phone completely as it never seemed to recover from West Texas. Of course, this means that I will absolutely have to take a road trip to West Texas in the near future just to explore this entire phenomenon.
My life in Austin is also thus far totally free of Ashtanga. Not happy about that last part. My new living arrangement does not have my luscious yoga room, and while the house is adorable and in South Austin and my new roommate is phenomenal…I barely have room to put down my yoga mat and I find myself in a big old sulk about it. Sulking and writing run-on sentences liberally peppered with ellipses…arrrgh! There are several Mysore programs available in Austin, but all of the studio schedules have been erratic due to the holidays. I also got sick right after I moved here and no breathing = no Ashtanga. After NYE, I will go investigate a studio that has an afternoon Mysore program that happens to be right by my house. I am very resistant to the afternoon practice thing after nine months of early AM practice, but my new schedule at work is much earlier than my old one. No contempt prior to investigation! The important thing is to just fucking practice already.
In a surprise move, I am relocating to Austin, TX next week! Honestly, I have no idea how this happened. Definitely not my intention to leave Las Vegas and this all happened very suddenly. However, I am beyond thrilled to move back to Austin—it has always been my favorite place out of all of the places I’ve lived…la ciudad de mi corazon. And there’s a hell of a lot of Ashtanga and heavy metal in Austin! I found two Mysore programs already—the idea of actually being able to practice Mysore-style with a teacher is so thrilling to me.
There’s something utterly wonderful about getting rid of almost everything I own and leaving with only what fits in the back of my truck. I’m calling it Operation Lose My Shit.
With that being said, it is tough to leave Las Vegas and my family and friends here. Although Vegas has sort of been a trial by fire for me, it is also the city of my heart in a strange way. This city has been part of my transformation: catalyst, midwife, swift kick in the ass. I love this dusty, glittery, ghost-filled mystery town. Las Vegas, you are beautiful–no matter what they say.