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Archive for February, 2012

Goodbye New York

7 Years is a long relationship. I grew up in this city, and now I am moving on.  I am taking with me so many tools to move me through the next phases of my life.  I loved New York, and look forward to all the memories that lay ahead.

I had my first Bikram yoga class in Hyannis, MA, but I began my yoga journey in Brooklyn, NY.  The studio is small, old, carpeted, and poetically diverse.  Choosing to become certified to teach Bikram yoga is not poetic or inspiring to me, it is just the next natural step.  It has been my next step for many years.  Being able to take the step is the beauty of it all.

Goodbye to each and every apartment I lived in, whether 1 week, or 3 years.

Goodbye to Robin and Erin, who I think are the coolest Bikram teachers around.

Goodbye to Breezy Point, Chumley’s, Wall Street, and the West Village.

Goodbye to waitressing, writing, acting, and all the things we do for our art.

Goodbye to jobs I hated and jobs I loved.

Goodbye to brunch with friends.

Goodbye to roommates, old and new, and to those I will see again soon.

Goodbye to Franklin Avenue, Prospect Park, Eastern Parkway, and to the streets and the people that made my neighborhood my home.

Harry, take care of yourself.  Mr. & Mrs. Pak, thank you for being so kind. I don’t care about any of my ruined dry cleaning, short hems, or stained shirts. Thank you for accepting all of my packages and thank you for your garden every year.

Goodbye Breuklin, Bruekelen, Brooklyn Coffee Shop. Your lattes are very good 88% of the time, but it was playing cards on the weekends with my Sweets that I enjoyed the most.

Goodbye to new friends I have made, from all walks of life. I am moving away, but we will stay friends.  Or you will have to find a polite way to tell me to stop harrassing you.

Goodbye to all the fun I have had with my Sweets here in NY, we will visit again soon.

Goodbye to the subway, and all the kids who are selling candy. Not for no basketball team, but to make some extra money and do something positive with their spare time….

Goodbye and see you soon!

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That’s a new one…

I just did Bikram with Chris Farley on LSD.

I’m talking toe-touches, lunges, full body swing-stretches… before class started.

I am SO going to miss New York.

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Honor Your Practice

The teachers remind you of this at the end of each class.  Honor your practice. You know how I do this? I lie down in whatever position I friggin feel like, usually knees up, arms spread out to the side, huffing, and wiping sweat from everywhere, thanking god that it is fucking over. And then I pick up my mat, and I get the fuck out.

I am not an angry yogi, but have you ever been to Bikram? At the end of the class, right after the last breathing exercise, you are encouraged to stay in the room- the same room you just didn’t die in- for more time, to honor your practice. You’ve just finished a 90 minute class making sure that you were suffering in a completely still manner, zenfully working through blurred vision, nausea, and diziness, and maintaining the posture of someone who does not feel as though they’re about to have cardiac arrest.

For me, it is not until later that I have the capacity to reflect on the whole experience in a more zen and peaceful way. I have come to terms with where I am at in my practice. Precisely between killing the teacher, and having an awesome class. The teacher suggests a mindful breath and to take the 15 minute Savasana to honor your practice. My honoring comes about 10-20 minutes after I have left the room, changed, and had some cold water. I’m working on moving these positive feelings up a bit and see if I can’t get some of that good energy into the room with me on a more consistent basis. I think it’s working.

I used to work very hard through most of the floor series trying not to give the teacher dirty looks. Over time, I find I’m not so consumed with these impulses. It is not on a regular basis that I am scrutinizing all the things that irritate me about the teachers, other students, my mat or towel, my shorts. It seems as though 110 degrees will bring some dominant parts of your personality forward. I suggest you not ignore this. They might be characteristics to take note of.

If you are the person who approaches every class with a joyful enthusiasm, a clear mind, and good spirits; good for you. If you’re like me, and love Bikram yoga because it means that you are digging deep and getting through the tough stuff; then try staying in the room for just one more second. I’m going to try this too.

In short: I’ve met me. I am the worst. I can’t wait to be a yoga teacher and meet all the others just like me. Hate me, love me, but I will give you your Bikram yoga! I am going to look for those dirty looks, smile at you, and then maybe open the door a crack. Oh, and of course I will suggest that you stay put for a few extra minutes, to honor your practice.

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