Sunday, October 12, 2008


My yoga teacher hurt her back, which sucks...for couple of reasons...I mean, she’s feeling better, that's cool...but there’s still something disturbing about it...downright ominous, in fact...specifically: yoga teachers aren’t supposed to hurt their backs...I mean, if she can hurt her back after all these years of dedicated practice loosening up and strengthening and eliminating tension throughout body, mind, and spirit, what does that say about my chances of being perfectly healthy for the rest of my life? It’s like when this other yoga teacher I knew broke up with his wife...and she was a yoga teacher herself, for chrissake...I mean, shouldn’t theirs have been the perfect Tantric union? Could it be, somehow, that these kinds of expectations are, in fact, nothing but a lot of incredibly stupid bullshit?

Well, obviously...

There is no safe place.
Anne Sexton

Same as it ever was.
Same as it ever was.

Same as it ever was.
Same as it ever was....

David Byrne

...but it’s natural, too, as we struggle to amass as much money and stuff as possible, subsuming all to the overarching need for financial security, so we’ll never have to worry about money again...similar to the endless development and stockpiling of ever more advanced weaponry and the sending of so many soldiers to “rid the world of evil”...even as rights dissolve away without a fight and prisons grow to the point that 1 in 142 Americans is incarcerated...all to make us completely from all that, once disease, injury, poverty, and the dangers of terrorists, hostile governments, and criminals have all been vanquished, we’ll all live happily ever after...

but that's never gonna happen, is it?

Trying to get lasting security teaches us a lot, because if we never try to do it, we never notice that it can’t be done.
Pema Chodron

Shit happens
popular American expression

I went for a hike on Friday with my dog friend Bella. The high point of the hike for her...and the low point for me...was when she decided to roll in shit. Actually, correct that—the low point for me was trying to get some of it off, using dry leaves and creek water, so she wouldn't get it on the car upholstery, and ending up with it all over my hands. And, yet, through it all, she was so utterly nonplussed, so thoroughly oblivious to how any of this could possibly be a problem, that I couldn’t stop laughing. I was gonna have to deal with I’ll always have to deal with shit in one way or what else was there to do?


Anonymous said...

Reading at 4:00 am because worries about shit that happens is making it hard to go back to sleep. Thanks for the laugh.

Lydia said...

Reminds me of when my yoga teacher (I must return to class, I must return to class) bungled her knee and she couldn't do much on the floor. She told us that "aging is a humbling experience" then went on to quietly praise the tantric union that is her long-run marriage. One out of two isn't so bad...
I remember Bella's photo. I like her. Our Old English Sheepdog rolled in shit a few months ago. She was very in the moment when I touched her and she bit my wrist. There must be a moral to the story but it's lost on me.

Christa said...

Had to laugh when reading about you wiping shit off your dog, Bella.

I totally visualized the moment and I don't even know you.

Keep the laughs coming.

Anonymous said...

Our dog Lucy's thing is to find a dead squirrel in the backyard and then run from us---just happened yesterday. She didn't smell like shit, per se, but she did have some wicked rotting squirrel breath. Lucy says 'hey!' to Bella.

Anonymous said...

I just fell in love with your blog! It began with this Yoga teacher post and was clinched when I read, "(the kind of doctor who, in case of emergency, can explain Faulkner while you die) "

Thank you for commenting on Recovering from Abuse, so I could find and enjoy your work.
Consider it fav'd, followed, bookmarked, etc.

P.S. Were you still laughing when you had to clean the car?

Unknown said...

There are no yoga teachers, no doctors, no politicians, no Buddhist monks... God only made human beings. The only thing we'll ever succeed or fail is to be or not to be a decent human being.

footiam said...

My yoga teacher has a weak heart, or so I heard. That is worse, no?

Anonymous said...

She/you could get a dodgy back or get hit by a truck... life is random! Being into yoga won't save you...Mwuhahahaha.


RiverPoet said...

A substitute yoga teacher I had came into class wearing a back brace. Not exactly the kind of thing to inspire confidence, but she was very good. The body is a strange and faulty machine.

As to your dog, I had a Samoyed who used to catch birds in the back yard and then flatten them with her body, rubbing them as she slid nose to tail. The stench was horrible, and all we could do was bathe her (which took hours, with drying the double undercoat and all), but still - you win! I never had one roll in shit before!

Peace - D

Anonymous said...

Traces of you and Bella hair on the back seat of the prius, peanut shells under the porch swing and only the slightest smell of shit on her coat. thank you for taking such exquisite care of her.

to all of Dr. Jay's readers who are falling in love him and his brilliant blogging, here's a newsflash: Dr. Jay is a gem and Bella is in mourning for him now that I've returned home. He even put the sheets in the washing machine before he left!

Hey Dr. Jay - how come no one has you on a leash?

Linda-Sama said...

I've had a back issue for a year now, and I'm a yoga teacher. yoga teachers get hurt. who the hell said we're supposed to be invincible?!?

Read "Waking" by Matthew Sanford. He's in a wheelchair and teaches yoga. what an inspiration! he became a teacher AFTER he lost the use of his legs.

Kelly said...

I had a good laugh about your dog rolling in shit story. Yeah, I figured a yoga instructor wouldn't have back trouble either. Go figure. The desire to accumalate more and more mass killing weaponry is about as inhuman as grabbing up more and more money just to fill up the endless void in one's soul. So cold. So futile. Why engage in it?

Anonymous said...

"Too often the Western mind first simplifies a complex idea in order to grasp it, and then misidentifies that simplification with the original"
~Hart de Fouw & Robert Svoboda, Light on Life

Its convenient to assume the 'snap shot' we see of other people is all there is. So, the "generally" buff and fit yoga teacher is suddenly hurt. What the!?!?

Yeah. Bullshit.

Its part of human nature but then the challenge is to always ask - Is that all there is?

Usually the answer is - nope!

I'm glad you had fun hanging with your dog friend and that she introduced you to such an earthy past-time as rolling in shit and not seeing what the big deal was.

Namaste :)

Gutsy Living said...

Funny I should find your blog with a yoga teacher who hurt her back. I had just finished telling a friend that the only 4 times in my life I've tried yoga, I've ended up with back problems for a week, and I'm very fit. Used to be a personal trainer and workout 6 times/week with weights. Why does yoga not agree with me?

Anonymous said...

Are you ready for another award? I hope so, because I've given you the Uber Amazing Blog Award. Congratulations!

Daisy said...

I can top that one... back in 1983 (yes, I am ancient), my first AA sponsor got DRUNK.

Sent me into existential panic, but I (haha) eventually recovered!

Christine Vyrnon said...

Having experienced both scenarios with yoga teachers, and having experienced injuries myself, it is always educational to see people embrace their humanity. It's fascinating to watch how people respond to "shit happens" moments.

I think the real teacher always is the internal one, and the external teachers are merely there to remind us of the internal teacher. And just as everyone is human, isn't everyone our teachers?

Anonymous said...

What a great post. Your yoga teacher hurting her back is (I think) like the guy at the bank who wanted to be my 'financial adviser.' After our first (only) meeting, he asked me to buy him lottery tickets at the deli down the street. . . because he had to work late that night.

He actually did. No lie. I've never told anyone. (He wanted to be my adviser because I had $125 in my checking account at the time and he WANTED it.)

Anonymous said...

true. that seems like one of those things that isn't supposed to happen. :O

Gypsy at Heart said...

Nothing but roll in it Jay. Nothing. but. roll. in. it.

I'll never repeat this again to anyone but, the exercise can have a liberating effect.

Anonymous said...

i completely agree we just have to be plain simple

Lana Gramlich said...

I can sympathize about the dog & I wonder what the HELL makes them DO that! Years ago my dog rolled in a pile of horse shit. Fortunately we were near a mountain stream, so I threw his ass in.

Anonymous said...

Ahh yes - finally getting to it - whatever IT is. Bella knew the teacher when she saw it: The shit is the guru! Embrace it and be present to every sticky smelly unsavory moment. Thanks for finding me.
the laughing yogini

Hanna said...

Oh my, if I went to yoga and my yoga teacher broke her back, I would also be kinda suspicous. xD
I love your quotes.
Shit happens. There are so much shit happening. All we can and need to do is to cope with it.
Ps. Thanks for the comment on my blog. :)