Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Difficult Yoga/Difficult Yogis (Building From the Ground Up, Part Two)


The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.
Donald Barthelme

...my 84 year old mom and I have our own little yoga ritual...goes kinda like this:


Mom: I’m so stiff!

me: Y’know what’d really help with that, mom?

Mom [anticipating, correctly, that I’m gonna say yoga]: Shut up.


...then, such an attitude isn't exactly unique within my family...I'm one of a long line of difficult people...and, while there are lots of reasons I practice yoga, because family members pestered me to is quite certainly not one of them....so, as it's turned out...call it karma or the luck of the draw, as you will...somehow, at some point, I went from too difficult to practice yoga to becoming a difficult yogi...

Whatever it is you are craving at the moment, to be driven by such impulses means that, on a deep level, you don’t believe that you are whole as you are.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

...ultimately, if all ya can do is have arguments in your head no matter how many asanas and attempts at meditative states, what can ya do but have arguments in your head?....it used to be when I was in a crappy mood in yoga class I felt like that was a problem...since, y’know, all these serious yoga types were so mellow and peaceful, filling up with bliss like wealthy SUV owners at the gas pump...halfway between yoga studio and astral plane...positive energy bouncing off 'em like beads of slobber from a Saint Bernard’s gooey lips...even if none of it landed on me....now, however, having become somewhat of a serious yoga type myself, instead of becoming like them, I’ve realized they’re not so different from myself...and if I’m feeling crappy practicing yoga, then I can practice practicing yoga feeling crappy...

8 comments:

berenice said...

love your post Dr. Jay, as usual... i was one of those attempting yogis who was waiting to feel inspired or fine to practice yoga, i am a migraine sufferer too, i realized i benefit most from asanas when i feel the worse, and so many times i have felt at the studio like you, like a piece of hell midst all those heavenly looking yogis... like you too, i have realized no matter how bliss yogis look, all are carrying some level of internal war in the head, in spite of the relaxed smiles, now i have learned to go and pay respect to my body and soul, when i am feeling the worst about it, works most of the time

never thought a Adho Mukha Svanasana (hey!! i used the proper name for downward facing dog) could bring me back to life... now i go outside my little cottage and start bending like a dog at the first sign of headache, my neighbors thing i am weird, but i am among those who smile with bliss now ;)

and oh yeah! i've been on both your mom side and your side, i beg most co-workers to do yoga, but sometimes i catch myself avoiding a practice 'cause of laziness, procrastination, or other lame excuses...

DaisyDeadhead said...

I MUST read Jon Kabat-Zinn; every quote of his that I run across seems to be speaking directly to me on some very deep level.... hmmmm...

Meredith LeBlanc said...

The Doctor is in! Thank you!

Yoga doesn't change us, it's changes how we view us.

the walking man said...

So if you're in a moment in time and can't quite re-acquire that state beyond physical then wait. I am of a mind that once you know something or somewhere exists then you know it is attainable again and is right around the corner. In the mean time at least you stay limber.

sukipoet said...

I met Jon Kabat-Zinn once when my novel was published. We both were in a book talk on Cape Cod where he lived for a time and may still have a home. I read his first book too. Nice man.

Chuckled at the dialogue between you and your Mom.

Thanks for your comment. The Cloutie Well is popular in Ireland and England. Certain well sites are designated St. someone's well, could be any one of a zillion St's we have never heard of often, and then people start coming to tie cloths/rags/imitation body parts, etc onto a nearby bush or tree as a sort of prayer for healing. You can find videos of some of them on Youtube. I found out about them via someone's blog and got interested.

We have this gorgeous(to me) old well here on the farm, flat to the ground and ancient looking. So I hung a piece of canvas out there as a kind of prayer flag and blogmates began sending me strips of cloth to hang too.

earthtoholly said...

Don't get me started on difficult family, although conditions within mine have improved considerably (on the sibling front). I've found, too, that it's hard getting my mother to try something that may help her...though, in her case, I seriously don't think she wants improvement. Hope your mom eventually gives in on the yoga...although I do like her back-talk!

When life gives you crappy, make crappyade. Okay, that didn't work like the lemon thing, did it? :o/

Apprentice of Life said...

Hi Dr. Jay... I totally agree with your line that if you feely crappy, then practice yoga feeling crappy! :) What else is there to do... In my humble opinion I even feel that these changes in mood are all part of the mix anyway!?

LauraX said...

"and if I’m feeling crappy practicing yoga, then I can practice practicing yoga feeling crappy..." YES...oh too weird...I typed Yes...looked down at the word verification and it is "yesse"...this is getting way to magic eight ball now...what is up with your comment space?