please explain

This is not even a post just two quick questions. First what is the deal with these leggings that cover your heels?

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And second,  When you bring a mala into your practice space to use for sitting practice or japa, it is no longer  just a piece of jewelry/or decorating accessory, right? So place it  around your wrist or on top of your blanket/sweatshirt/or maybe on a nearby ledge, and give it the same attention/honor that you give to the other items on the altar/puja table.

 

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February Recommendations

I used to do this consistently with my first blog and I am thinking I’m going to bring it back. I, with the help of Marie Kondo’s first book cleaned out about 100 books of myself help book collection (that day was a cannot stop laughing day btw). So now I have room to replenish. My first item is from the both loved and hated Elizabeth Gilbert. I am team Elizabeth, along with team Martha Beck, and team Anne Lamott.  Due to a synchronicity I know I’ll read this twice:

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If you loved Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge (not Olive herself but the book) you will love this one. Added benefit: therapy for your beef with your mama.

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And finally, I caved in, and joining every housewife in Fairfield County and Tribeca by readying this. Signora Ferrante, we need more books.

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And for last, a way to learn to love vegan not just because it’s good for you. Made my first meal which you already know if you follow me on social media. I love Mark Bittman and I think he is on to something here.

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Oh, and  today I was reminded that silence is best in the Mysore room. One of the sweetest people I know made a  quiet  sympathetic comment to a new practitioner who was next to her, after a difficult pose, and she almost got her head bitten off. We were all so rattled, nobody knew what to do or where to look. So shhhh okay? That Nadi Shodana is no joke.

Cabin Fever Musings

I went out to a beautiful dinner party last Saturday which was the coldest night of the year and had the grandest time. This however is not my usual recent  behavior. I  have noticed that in the past three years, the urge to hibernate along with the squirrels, the bears, and the garden, grows stronger. Interesting side effect is that when you do go out you have a lot to say and people seem to enjoy it. I gave my dinner table mates my ideas on Facebook, blog, and twitter manners, and they and I were both shocked an entertained by the amount of head space I have dedicated to such matters. I nice young man even suggested I should share widely, so I will here. These are musings, thoughts, suggestions, NOT judgments, edicts, orders okay?

When your friends leave Facebook, it is a good idea to remove delete them form your list. Why? because if they decide to return, you have given them the option to include you back,  by sending a request, otherwise they might be stuck with the same people who were driving them crazy and trying to avoid. You are helping them and also yourself by knowing where you stand.

If a blog you follow goes private and you did not get a message about it, it is safe to assume that this privacy includes privacy from you. You can go ahead and make a request, but that is really forcing the bloggers hand and /or you might not enjoy the lack of response.

Even though nobody does this anymore, it is nice to thank the person who shares a post or a tweet you really enjoy by mentioning them. It is silly to pretend that you pluck all this stuff from the web ether without anyone else contributing to your procrastinating edification.

Twitter is most dangerous to your peace of mind when you follow people who use it to provoke and  or to release frustration. Which is a valid use for twitter in my opinion, but i suggest that you do not respond to subject matter that even though it informs and even might enlighten you, does not constitute an invitation to support or to correct. The idiotic heart button is enough to express your support if you follow people active on for example blacktwitter, or a spat between  Lindy West vs Patton Oswalt. And realdonaldtrump is not going to read your tweet and his trolls will.

Finally, do not flood anyone on your feed to like causes, or businesses, or whatever it is to like unless it has personal significance to both of us. I feel the Bern but I am not going to like and flood my entire feed with everything you ask me to like.

I  am however very grateful when someone shares the name of a good book,  or a good place to eat or visit. I notice people don’t do enough of that.

In a previous blog this would go under the rant category which was my most popular btw.

Reversing Conditioning

This is the second winter that keeps me away from driving to the shala sometimes 3 out of the six practice days. It is actually a combo of insomnia and possible bad driving conditions for the toy/tuna can car I drive.  A beneficial side effect of these circumstances is that I have fortified a solo home practice that has revealed many insights. The most important one for me has been the slow dissolving of the preoccupation of being observed. Lets not kid ourselves, we all were told since we were toddlers (specially if you were a girl toddler) how cute/adorable/sweet/funny/silly/yummy we looked. Then in school it was the teacher pointing out look at so and so sitting up straight and paying attention/see how she started her work right away? and we start craving parental, teacher, peer, and total stranger attention in order to be valued. Now all of a sudden you show up at yoga class and are told never mind how you look, or if you are doing it right, just go inward. How long do you think it will take to unravel all of the prior instructions to submit your performance to constant evaluation hoping for approval or at least a passing grade allowing you to move along?? My first 4 years of practice were mortifying in the sense of having to battle thoughts of I hope my teacher realizes I am trying, I wonder if she thinks I’m not trying,  maybe I really am not trying as hard as I should. That chain was sometimes interrupted with I feel like I don’t belong here but I will not cower, I wonder if I look ridiculous, I hope this stupid tank top does not ride up, and that chain gets interrupted by look a new student, I hope she sees that if I can handle this then anyone can really do ashtanga, I wonder if teacher saw that I could bind/head touched floor, oh no she is too close and I’m really sweating today. By having to cobble up the discipline of practicing alone some of the time I was able to shush a lot of that chatter and spend some time inside with no other visitors. Many times I think that we squander effort and stamina by leaking energy into the preoccupation with being gazed at. It is a misdirection of energy. This is not to say that yoga instagramers/youtubers/and periscopers are spilling their energy or prana, in fact these people might be the very ones who can forget about being observed while they are performing an asana and really go inside themselves. What I do know is that I am not that fortunate.  Of course I need my teacher to guide and instruct me, what I don’t need is wanting her approval and acceptance in order to appreciate my practice.

Householding

Glad I am able to post, since I for some careless reason paid twice for my new domain, could not contact a human at WordPress, and had to involve amex. WordPress was going to freeze my site for 75 days or let me post if I gave them $20 for disputing the extra fee. So I did, and I managed to save 6 of the dollars I double fee I paid them. Customer service is no longer a concept.  Here is what I have been wondering lately: I know yoga is not a religion but if you do it long enough, it does become a spiritual practice that permeates most aspects of our daily lives and therefore affects the lives of those who live with us. I look longingly at spouses who practice together and wonder how it worked out. We did try together for about three months, but he could only come to class on weekends and it fell by the wayside since his workday starts around 6 AM visiting the sites he is managing. I can’t even imagine what it would take to have an 8 limb practice raising a family with school age children. I know people say Guruji, Sharath, and many senior teachers are householders, but they have an Amma, a Shruti, a Saraswati, a family member that holds the fort. So back to all about me, I know a lot of  yearly Mysore visitors have supportive spouses who hold the fort for a month or longer while they are away. I am already paranoid about wanting to attend some workshop AND go back to India. I feel like I am hogging most of our discretionary budget which for most of our lives together, we have spent it on things we both enjoy and want to participate in.  I wonder if it was easy flow from the beginning for the Mysore student frequent traveler, or it got easier with time.