am not! (much. okay, maybe some)

By on Oct 26, 2012 in The Unruly Ascetic, Uncategorized

I have been accused of living in denial.  me?!no way. I am observing that ashtangis tend to be forward thinking people.  They like to plan and work toward their goals.  I suppose I fit into that category.  Maybe my goals are not as tangible as the next person’s, maybe my goal is usually more an experience than an outcome, but they are goals I work toward none the less. This week in Miami has been a little mini-mysore.  at least in that the day starts out with whispered good mornings and groaning smiles, leave-it-on-your mat practices, and then long discussions of practice and poses and how to make life fit over coffee and breakfast.  those slightly embarrassing and inadvertent displays of soul and ego that come from having the time to process the results of practice out loud, in front of another human being.  and as a result, the...

Grumpy like a crocodile

By on Oct 26, 2012 in The Unruly Ascetic, Uncategorized

Boy, did I ask for it. The suffering came back into my practice today. Getting new poses at this point feels a bit surreal.  I never really feel like I am doing the last one well enough to justify moving on to the next (or the next).  So I am not surprised that I missed the point both of the times Kino said “okay, one more.”  Not one more try, but one more pose.  In the moment of the first attempt, the first ever genuine attempt at mayurasana and nakrasana, I sank into my general m.o… to be the comic relief of the practice space.  Laughing merrily at my own quixotic attempt, I tried again when asked and then carried on to backbends and tick-tocks (which seemed almost reasonable after the silliness of balancing on my elbows and jumping on my hands). It wasn’t until after practice that I became a grumpy smurf (not my description, but one...

heartbreakage

By on Oct 24, 2012 in The Unruly Ascetic, Uncategorized

the topic of the day was suffering. well, we’re alive, neh?  which means the topic of most days is suffering. let me clarify, the topic of the day was the acceptance of suffering. Kino talked about tapas as accepting suffering that leads toward purification.  Most of us down here in my little Miami family are facing our suffering a little more directly than usual.  Accepting the pain that comes with the intermediate series as purification.  Accepting that facing that pain is the point of the second series.  Maybe (probably) there is some emotional pain. Maybe (definitely) there is some physical pain. I have been at a place with my practice lately where there has not been a lot of pain.  physical or emotional.  not to say intermediate hasn’t caused suffering in the past, change is hard, getting your leg behind your head is hard. but...

oh yeah! I have a blog!

By on Oct 24, 2012 in The Unruly Ascetic, Uncategorized

“there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun” -Chris McCandless It seems that every time I start to think about blogging again someone pops in my life to tell me that they miss my blog.  so, Mattheus, this one’s for you. Each time I think about blogging I think, I have nothing to say!  I’ll wait until I have something to say and then I’ll write.  but that doesn’t work (obviously).  anyone who knows me in a real time, real life manor knows that I have plenty to say.  not that that means I have plenty to say that is worth listening to, but hey, what bloggers do? here I am in Miami.  Kino and Tim and asana and heat and sand (and really attractive ashtangis). It feels like the end of a very long summer.  That “all american summer” that...

Opening is there.

By on Mar 9, 2012 in The Unruly Ascetic, Uncategorized

Something about the derailment of my practice last year had not really settled until recently.Something about my relationship to change had been incomplete.Something about what I expected from all this was lacking. I’m not going to go so far as to say that I think I have found any of these (some)things.  But I will risk the arrogance to say that I’ve realized a thing or two in the last few weeks. Some big idea that I was passing by obliviously, as ships do in the night (or so I am told), not realizing that the idea was even there to be missed. This is a bit funny, this missing of the point (or a point, at the very least), since I have been just as interested in this process of poses as the next aspiring ashtanga yogi(ni). Okay, let’s stop with the subtleties. Getting poses. BAM. that’s what this is about. I only got one last year and I was fine with...

Conference! (find your own balance)

By on Feb 26, 2012 in The Unruly Ascetic, Uncategorized

What kind of Mysore Blogger am I!? hardly one at all if I don’t post about conference. I have gotten different reactions from different friends about conference today.  One said she felt it was a flub, another said he thought it was spot on, others failed to mention that it even happened.  For me, it was middle of the road. Some good laughs, some dopey comments, some answered rhetorical questions (that made us all cringe at the attempt… word to the wise: don’t talk during your first month’s worth of conferences, you’ll only feel silly).  But mostly, some obvious, yet eternally valuable reminders on what the heck we’re doing here (in Mysore, in the Shala, if not in this incarnation or plane of reality on the whole). For me, the thing that stuck out was the result of a questions I had (somewhat arrogantly) scoffed at when posed to me...