Monday, August 19, 2013


The classroom is simply the arena in which we can witness our deeply ingrained habits in all their glory.

I stumbled upon this article and couldn't stop myself from realizing how appropriate these words are for me to read.  Even down to the "Devil that you know" quote which is an old line from a co-worker.  Samskaras are very real, and nowhere are they as obvious and on display than on the mat.

We all have patterns and we all repeat ourselves.  It takes an extended period of interaction to identify these samskaras and I believe this is one reason why relationships get harder post-honeymoon, when partners begin to really see each others samskaras.  Whether the cause stems from a previous life is beyond my ability to equivocate, but the reality of our samskaras really does affect our daily lives within this physical existence and as such seems very worthy of attention.

Since this blog is all about me anyway, I'll go ahead and make this personal.  Below is a list of some of my most annoying samskaras:
  • Self depracation (for sport or sometimes just because it feels good)
  • Punctuality (despite knowing this is my issue, it surfaces almost every day for me)
  • Written and verbal discipline.  (Talk less, say more)
  • Inability to say no (fear of missing out)
  • Priorities (I think this is one area I've made progress with)
I love the mental imagery of samskaras as dirt on the mirror of the soul.  Perhaps it's the type-A in me who instantly wants to wipe any dirty mirror clear and clean.  I realized today that I've probably regressed in many of these key areas as my practice has slipped due to teaching, work, and a relationship taking up some of the space which was previously available.  I suppose that is yet another one reason why I love to practice.  The mat calms me down.  The mat helps me locate my center.  And the mat helps me identify my areas of growth, the parts of my soul which have opportunity for growth.

The beautiful thing about taking the seat of a teacher is that I've seen this in my students.  Now that I have enough experience to identify certain patterns, particularly among repeat students, I am privileged to see all of the subtleties of their practice which they may not even notice.  From camping out in the exact same spot of the room to how each pose is expressed, personalities are on display and samskaras are on the surface of those mirrors.  Watching all of that, knowing that I am not alone in my quest to transform, help me to dedicate myself to this intention.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Have you ever wondered why the big key on the right side of your keyboard sometimes says "enter" and sometimes says "return"?  This falls into the grey area of computer history, at one point in time certain operating systems had different purposes for these two keys.  Carriage return (aka return aka down and to the left) was a descendant of that same function on the typewriter which sends the cursor down one line and to the leftmost margin.  At it's heart, return is a character formatting key.  Enter, on the other hand, often appears on the number pad and is typically used to tell the little man inside the computer that you're done with your part and it's his turn to do something.  For example, I might type a bunch of numbers separated by + characters and when I press enter I'd expect to know how much they add up to.

For obvious reasons, the lines between these two keys became blurred as certain operating systems cared while others did not.  Just as some filesystems are case sensitive (flavors of Unix in particular) and others are not (VMS and Windows as examples) the confusion creates a drift towards the midline, and basic rules are formed to ensure those with rudimentary knowledge don't get too lost.

In my personal life, at this point in time, both keys seem to be quite fitting.  I've begun to run again, despite having next to no fitness to leverage, and it feels good to bring myself back into the world of hurt.  I don't want to jinx myself, I don't know how long this current effort will last, but I'd like for it to be sustainable.  I'd like to call myself a runner again.  It's a cool feeling to float across the ground.  Especially when you weight 180 lbs.

At the same time, I'm entering new territory.  Both of my roommates have moved out and I live with Miss Sonja and her dog Jack in a house that becomes increasingly ours.  It's become quite peaceful despite the endless stream of home improvement projects we've dug into together.  As I enter a bit more of a family minded lifestyle, I can't help but laugh about how different it all seems than 4 years ago, and yet how similar all at the same time.

I got one of those horrible and yet oddly beautiful emails this morning, from a good friend who recently got married and is now separating.  It's a trip when you are friends with both and there is no real blame, just two people who spent 7 years together and now are drifting apart.  The only true constant is change.

In the meantime, other friends have gotten engaged, some are recently pregnant, and my neighbors are moving away.  All sorts of change surrounds me.

In the midst of it all, I continue to attempt to strike a balance.  A balance between running and yoga, one which tightens and constricts and challenges unlike any other endeavor I know of, and the other which loosens and restores and rejuvenates, nurturing space which I've only recently become quite fond of.

Sometimes I miss my opportunities to attempt to pause and make sense of it all, life just seems to be moving far too fast.  I envy those who have created space to meditate and take life on their terms.  But I know how easy it is to assume everyone else has their s together when the reality of life is that we may drive at times but nobody is truly in total control.  I've never stopped making mistakes, so I'll never run out of learning opportunities.

For now, I think the most dramatic signal in my life is how unique each of my friendships is.  Every person in my life seems so different than anyone else.  Where I used to get frustrated when someone adhered to something other than a social norm, I now look at that with wonder and amazement as it it were a fruit I have never tasted.