S-T-R-E-T-C-H THIS!!!

I want to quit yoga camp.

Send my mom a letter and tell her to come pick me up right away.  The food sucks, the bugs are terrible and my roommate snores.

Actually, all of that is a lie.  The food is amazing, full of fiber, tropical fruits and roughage.  I finally went poo.  Everyone talks about poo here, and I love it.  And when everyone else is dealing with spiders the size of salad plates, mice and/or rats in their food stores, crabs, giant moths, mosquitoes and lizards in their cabins, my new friend and roommate are blissfully removed from it all in our beach hut.  We wake to the sun rising up from the sea, peeking out between the palm fronds, gauzy light filtering in through our mosquito nets.  The ocean breeze ensures there are no bugs and all of the really scary critters seem inclined to haunt the more densely populated areas of the camp.

She doesn’t snore and a group of us spent our day off on Tuesday walking for AN HOUR on a deserted beach, without seeing a single other person, to get to the nearby town, where we gorged ourselves on pizza, french-fries, fish with mango sauce and frozen acai berry slush topped with mangos, bananas, granola and pineapple.

I want to quit yoga camp because it’s fucking hard.  I am terrified of teaching and have convinced myself I’m gonna suck, although they made us promise not to say a single bad thing about ourselves for the entire month so technically, I’m not allowed to say that.

Shhhhhh…just between you and me.

Do you know how hard that is?  Do you realize how many times a day we berate, belittle and beat the shit out of ourselves?…a constant monkey-brain full of runny, brown poo chatter!

They just threw us into teaching and no matter how many classes I’ve taken, how well I thought I knew the poses, getting the muscle memory into words and out of my mouth is like asking a midget to take down the cookie jar.

On top of asking us to verbalize the poses, they want us to speak with confidence, to use intonation. To make our words sound like the motions: “Str-e-t-c-h your arms towards the sky, LIFT your heart, and reee-ach over your legs and touch your toes.”

—Honey, I know that I’m lookin’ down at my leg. I know that that is, in fact, a leg.   But my mouth seems to call it an elbow, so F*** your confidence and your rolling, breathy yoga voice.

Inhale.

AAAaannd….

Exhale.

To top that off. To add to the already terrifying notion of actually being a yoga instructor, the main guy, the head honcho and founder of the Moksha series, informed me that most studios see around 150 students per day.  The Montreal studio: OVER 400 PER DAY!!!

Inhale, inhale, inhale, hyperventilate, inhale.

AAaannnd…..

Exhale.

It’s just so hard to exude peace and confidence when my whole inner world seems to be transforming, rearranging….magnetically seeking North.  Magnetically seeking truth.

Who am I? Am I the person I want to be inside? Am I who I’ve been in the past? Am I a happy person, a dark person, light, funny, serious, deep, shallow, interesting?  Why don’t I know this yet and why do I seek definition?  Can I embody all of those things at once? Does identifying with those descriptions quantify good or bad?  Can I be a kind and open person who sometimes gets jealous?  A shy person who also likes to make others laugh? A generous person who sometimes gets possesive over “things”?

A very dear person to me once said that before you can be compassionate with others, you must first be compassionate with yourself.  And when the shit-storm of negative thought starts swirling around inside, I find this one of the hardest things to remember. Even harder to put into practice.

So I’m working on it. Taking it easy on myself as these questions rise up, as the frustrations bubble beneath the surface, as I wail on my inner punching-bag.

I am still learning.  I AM still learning.

So as I strive for authenticity, as I lean into truth, you might catch me speaking to palm trees; practicing teaching, telling them to re-e-e-each for the sky, teaching them yoga and trying to call my leg……..a goddamn leg!

Namaste, though.

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