Union Strike

under cover

Yoga is fucking hard.  No, seriously.

My body feels bruised.  A little bit.  All.  Over.  Muscles feel like scallopini pounded thin by pointy, metal meat tenderizers.   Joints like the rickety hinges of old, wooden gates.   Strange imbalances of compensations and emotional blockages and dairy farts and misalignments that only come to your attention when your livelihood and your passion requires you to hone an internal awareness to such a degree that you can almost hear your fingernails grow.

It’s a little bit ridiculous.

So I decided to take a couple days off.  Having seen two days off in a row on the schedule, I took advantage.  Flipped the sign “Gone Camping” and started packing my gear.  And for the entire two days that I planned to spend in the woods, none of my planned activities included a yoga mat, or a measured breath or a fresh-pressed juice.  I planned to eat.  A lot.  I planned to drink wine. A lot.  (Which, I suppose, is fresh-pressed juice.)  I wasn’t sure if I would walk or swim or read and write, but one thing I knew:  I didn’t even want to think about yoga for two, whole days.

It’s a delicate balance we have to strike.   In order to teach, you have to practice.  In order to practice you have to take care of yourself.  In order to take care of yourself, you have to eat well (and practice).  In order to eat well, (or eat at all) you have to teach.  The serpent that swallows his own tail.

Most days, yoga feels like family.  All of that good stuff like unconditional love, hard-edged truths, calling out your bullshit, support and acceptance, rivalry, fighting and even, dysfunction.  But sometimes you gotta just take time off.  Taking days off because you know its always there for you.  Hell, taking months off because you know…..it’s always there for you.

We have to be smart enough to take the time to nurse the aching wrists and the tender shoulders.   To rest our S.I. joints, quavering quads and pinched psoas.  Perhaps more importantly, to do something else so that you stay a well-rounded individual and don’t become a total yoga geek.  Like read a book that wasn’t written by a guru whose name you can’t pronounce and that doesn’t include an inspiring quote in every other sentence.

I was going to go alone.  Just me, my dog, a rental car and an open road.   But having roommates out of town for weeks now, and not a lot of people to hang out with recently, alone was something I wasn’t looking forward to.  So, I invited my friend and her eighteen-month old son to join me.

A one-hour road trip turned into three.  A weeklong heat wave decided to take a quick turn towards monsoon season.  My tent leaked.  I had dreams that it had been washed in a flash flood into the next campsite down the way.  The bugs were insane.  I heavily doused myself in deet.  But my eighteen-month companion was using a natural bug repellent that was like a straw-house fending off the Big Bad Wolf.

Needless to say.  Two days and two nights turned into a 24-hour period that mostly included singing the Itsy-Bitsy-Spider in a car.

And after I had unloaded the car, washed off the deet and put the campfire-smelling clothes in the wash, I gratefully unrolled my yoga mat in my living room.

Because that’s the great thing about family:  it’s just always there for you.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mare
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 04:22:03

    Xoxo once again you words inspire me to think just a bit more!


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