Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Pen Pal

Hop scotch is making a comeback, and I have a new pen pal.
Writing to pen pals is better than writing in my journal. I am not so self-centred or whiney.
My new pen pal just started practicing Ashtanga Yoga. Before that, she was practicing a style of yoga that didn’t make her body sexy enough. Although she has only been doing Ashtanga for two weeks, she says that her butt has already began to disappear. She worries that soon her rear end will be completely flat. And her arms are so “stupidly weak” that chaturanga is impossible. Well, she is quite a hoot. 
Me in Chaturanga, some time ago...

I miss Ashtanga. On Monday night, I skyped with Nobel, the Ashtanga blogger at Yoga in the Dragon’s Den. He wanted to hear about going to Mysore. We gabbed and gabbed about all the latest Ashtanga gossip, and I told him all about my trip. The exciting anticipation at the gate, Sharath’s gaze, the focus, the breathing, the sweat, the friends. It was such a wonderful and delightful time. And the Ashtanga sequence is so organized and beautiful. Nobel talked a bit about his practice and it made me miss jumpbacks and backbends. What a joy. I wished I could wake up the next day and just bust out the primary series. If only I could figure out my spine, my pelvis.

The next morning, instead of my usual geriatric routine, I did an incredibly slow version of serene and receptive Sun Salutations. Just the first kind, Surya Namaskar A. No pain. Perhaps that is my limit because yesterday, I tried Surya Namaskar B. Even with modifications, my hip got all clicky, as though it was jammed in the wrong place. As I have done so many times over the last few years, I pressed my hand against the outer edge of my left knee. The horrendous and upsetting noise erupted. Gross.
  Kino in Surya Namaskar A
I just don’t think this will go so well when I’m eighty. Or thirty-two. Oh well. Surely the path doesn’t stop here. People go on and on about the importance of committing to one system, one form. Keep dabbling and you’ll dig a lot of holes, but you’ll never hit water. Maybe we just need to make our holes a little wider.
My pen pal wanted to hear all about my spiritual achievements from last week’s three-day stint at vipassana. Something relatively sincere came out of me:
“Well, I don't know about spiritual achievements. It sounds trite and cheesy, but I think that the best thing we can hope for is radical self-love and acceptance, flat ass, stupid chaturanga and all. These practices are hard. The perfect form is deep inside you. If this perfection remains forever deep, so be it. Lift the corners of your mouth, and try to have a nice time.”
My ex-ex boyfriend Simon who jumped off a building used to say: “Deep down we’re all good people. But very very deep. On the surface, Assholes.”
These days, I am not so filled with jokes. My heart feels heavy. But love is somewhere. One of my dearest friends has a very new baby. Earlier this week I figured out how to bounce and squat him to sleep. Then I lay on my friend’s bed and he slept on my chest for twenty minutes. When I got up, my face glowed and my heart felt warm. My friend said the baby can do this because his heart has never been broken.
There are a lot of broken hearts out there. Broken hearts, missing limbs, and airplanes.
There are also a lot of babies.
The End. 
Baby Naptime Dream Adventures

Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go, by Erica J. Schmidt

The Benefits of an Ashtanga Yoga Practice, Part Two
You Cling To Things Until They Die
Lying Down Club
Yours Til Ekam Inhales



  1. I hate you and your Chaturanga and your muscular thighs. And I'm happy that your pelvis and knees hate you too.
    This week was back to school (or whatever it's called in English) and I barely survived but rest assured that I will take the time to write a thorough answer soon. It goes without saying that my fragile ashtanga practice didn't survive reality. Reality always wins, the more manically constructed system doesn't stand a chance. That's the superority of litterature against everything else: you really really can write castles in spain. What do you think of Vladimir Nabokov, by the way?

  2. Great news: I finally did one chaturanga today (sort of; it must have been a jellyfied one). I was attempting to drop not too loudly when the incredible happened: I didn't fall but rested one fraction of time suspended. Then of course I fell. I tried to do it again but nope, it was a one time thing. Naturally, the rest of my practice was humiliating, especially towards the end.