Friday, January 18, 2013


RR introduced me to the concept of time retarded-ness (a lovely double entendre isn't it?), which is certainly one of my personal character traits.  It has been far too long since I've had a chance to contribute to my blog, and the pressure created by my written constipation imparts a measurable increase in my craving to contribute.  Life has simply not slowed down enough for me tow write.  From an alternate perspective, I just have not made space to write, it hasn't been enough of a priority since I haven't managed to find time for all of the workouts I'd have liked to fit in and for whatever reason I place workouts on a higher rung than writing.  I will say that there has been no absence of desire to write and that makes me feel good.  Knowing that my interest has not waned helps confirm my original intention of starting this blog, the point was to force myself to reflect, and in so doing, to awaken my soul to parts of me which might otherwise have a tendency to lie dormant.  There was never any timeline, never any expectations, just a commitment to avoid being so buried in life that I forgot to check in and ask myself "how is it going?"  Today, that answer seems to be that while I may take a lot longer than everyone else, as I have with my yoga teaching intention, eventually I seem reach the same finish line, whether by persistence, stubbornness, ignorance, or basic survival.

As I sit, on a plane heading to Honolulu to crew and pace for Brian Recore at HURT, I finally have a spare moment to send my internal monologue into written words.  Spurred by recent conversation with Miss Sonja about friends who are trying to have kids, other friends who are pregnant and expecting, friends going through breakups, science and statistics and anecdotal stories surrounding the experience of pregnancy, the subject of marriage, and the magic of creating life, a myriad of thoughts run through my head.  The more I contemplate, the more it seems that my perspective tends to boil down to what I as an individual tend to like and dislike, what I approve and disapprove, far more than what I can justify or explain.  Call this gut reaction, or personal preference, it's a matter of taste instead of black and white, right and wrong.  This is probably excruciatingly obvious to anyone else, but I guess from my side I've tried to make sense of it and understand in what ways I may have cloudy vision, in what ways I may be closed minded.  I ask myself why I am not worried about a 31 year old friend who has not yet conceived but has been trying to do so and I have no real answer, no scientific study, just a gut feel that everything will work out well in the end.  Compare that to another friend going through a breakup at roughly the same age, who will certainly bounce back stronger than ever and yet who I feel a certain empathy for, most likely because of my own personal experiences with a similar situation.  I know I can never be pregnant and perhaps that is why I struggle to fully understand the fear of having all of the plumbing and yet still not being able to get the system to do the job it was designed to do.  Perhaps my summers working labor and delivery and my rudimentary knowledge of population growth make me slightly more pragmatic about childbirth.  I'm honestly not sure, and I'm just as amused by my perspective as Miss Sonja seems to be.

If I am to reflect a bit, I would say one of the bigger shifts in my attitude over the past 5 years is how I seem to have embraced non attachment, specifically with respect to deadlines.  I was raised by a father, heavily influenced by his own father, who incessantly repeated "pay now or pay later".  Shall I say he pounded this down my throat as a child?  It wouldn't be a tremendous embellishment to do so.  The guidance was to always take advantage of the plethora of opportunities I have been given, don't wait, don't be lazy, accomplish, achieve, hit the mark, pay the bill, set myself up for a better tomorrow.  Watching Lance's interview last night I felt that a lot of what he had to say, whether calculated, heartfelt, or likely somewhere in between, had to do with his own tendencies to do the same.  Lance seemed to have recently understood exactly how dangerous across-the-board application of ruthlessness can be, and how valuable a few critical judgement calls might have been.  Think for a moment how absurd it might be to theme a yoga class around "pay now or pay later" and you have some idea of just one of the very valid exceptions to this rule.

I submitted my audition application this week, the beginning of the "tryout" process for CorePower.  I know more than I probably should about how it works, having discussed it with various friends, most of whom have made it through, some of whom have not.  I am amused at how I feel about this.  Part of me is nervous, not so much about speaking in front of people I have not met yet, nor of being judged, but simple nervousness about the perhaps 1 in 100 possibility that I don't give the best that I have to give on that day.  This is the healthy dose of nervousness, the kind which precedes a race of importance, and it serves as a barometer that I am moving in a direction which suits me, it serves as reinforcement that I care and it is almost always a good thing to care.  In addition to this nervousness, I also feel a fairly healthy dose of non attachment to the outcome, and this is an emotion that is relatively new to me.  If I make it through, I will be thrilled.  If it is not yet my time to teach, I don' think I will be disappointed.  I have decided to audition, I have decided to offer myself, in my current capacity, to guide others through their 60 minute moving meditation and if I am not yet deemed ready, that is completely fine with me.  It has taken me a year longer to reach this point than most of my peers and yet I feel no shame.  I firmly believe my practice continues to evolve as does my teaching and for that I am truly grateful.  Interestingly, the primary motivator to audition is that the one class I have been most involved in, the free karma class on Sunday afternoons, is reserved for the next round of teacher trainers going through their second round of training.  In essence, I have overstayed my welcome in the minor league and it is time to check in and see if I am ready for some big boy yoga pants.  The karma class was conceived as a bridge to the audition and eventually a permanent place on the schedule, not as the semi-permanent home which is how I treated it.

I am actually a little surprised at how much I have enjoyed being a part of the Sunday afternoon karma classes.  Perhaps it is the timeslot, or maybe the low expectations I carry into a free class?  There is an element of satisfaction in seeing some of the same faces on a weekly basis, of watching smiles head out the door and feeling that I have somehow contributed in a positive way.  Despite only having one sibling, I exhibit the pleaser mentality of a middle child in that my greatest happiness tends to come from contributing to the happiness of others around me.  In that capacity yoga serves me quite well, both as student and as teacher.

Another surprise I've unearthed is that I'm not getting bored, my practice feels just as dynamic as my running and on any given day I'd really prefer to make time for both.  There is a certain satisfaction waiting for me within the small details of my practice.  The daily work towards alignment fascinates me even if the progress seems infinitesimal.  I haven't gotten bored of teaching either, with every passing week I embrace the opportunity to throw a playlist together, pick out a theme, and attempt to create harmony in honor of those who have done so for me and as a celebration of our collective ability to breathe life into the otherwise empty space of the studio.  Part of the reason I took my sweet time getting my final done, turning in my hours, and submitting my application was to make sure that I did not burn out, to make sure that this was something I still wanted to do, and it seems to me that it is, it seems to me that I do.

Will I ever be good?  I doubt it.  I am not very good at most things I do and yoga has not slipped into any semblance of proficiency while I wasn't looking.  I'm not really shooting for good, I don't think that is going to by my schtick.  I see myself more as a "Rudy" type, someone who will inspire others despite my own shortcomings and very visible mistakes.  I probably won't ever be the guy who remembers to tell a new student that it's OK to drop a knee in side plank, just as Rudy doesn't get to spike the ball in the end zone (sorry for the spoiler.)  I come to my mat to celebrate my own intensity and enthusiasm and to share that with others in every way that I can.  I come to class to bring "it" in all forms and to then to give away all of "that" to everyone else.

In that light, do I think I have a place teaching a little bit of yoga once or twice a week?  Yes, yes I do.  I think this precisely because I know that when I give all of myself, others tend to take notice and want to join in the fun.

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