conscious breathing · dukha · home practice · sabbatical · subtle body · yoga · yoga in Mexico · yoga retreats · yoga teaching

When the sh*t hits the fan. So to speak.

It has been a little hard to write lately, as I have been very challenged by this person I am rather close to (me).

I started a new practice some weeks ago. This particular practice sits well with my body, very well in fact. It brings me right into my subtle body in such a way that I am able to hold awareness longer than ever before, and therefore gain more in the process. It has also unleashed what I can only describe as a kind of yogic Tourette’s Syndrome, primarily the kind that includes coprolalia (saying inappropriate things at inappropriate times).

I wonder if this is normal?

Walking home with my husband this morning, bags of warm croissants in our hands, I found an image to describe this ‘thing’ I have been trying to not acknowledge. It’s like all the stuff I’ve ‘sat on’, or repressed, or let go unsaid, is burbling up and spewing out, like an overfilled, blocked-up sewage drain. I find myself in conversations with people, saying stuff I haven’t really thought out thoroughly. Or saying what I really feel even when I didn’t know that was what I was really feeling or thinking, and a lot of this stuff is coming from my dark, judgmental, opinionated side. A lot of this ‘stuff’ is stuff I didn’t even know I had stored up in there.

Ew. Yikes. Sheesh.

Should I embrace this ‘cleansing’? Should I stuff this stuff back down? Practice talking in a room all by myself so I can at least get this stuff OUT without anyone else having to hear it or me having to apologize for it or back-track afterwards? This is an odd position for me to be in. I still feel very connected to my ‘discerning’ side. But I wonder… is this yet another reason why I feel drawn to step away from teaching yoga classes at this time in my life? Do I need to do a deeper cleaning of some of the overlooked rooms in my house before I open the doors again to guests?

Luckily, I have friends and a partner who seem to be occasionally amused by what I say, and generally supportive when I crawl back to apologize or re-word my thoughts after some time in self-reflection. I will put some effort into practicing the verbal equivalent of ‘look before you leap’, noting what is about to come out, to see if needs stopping or editing, and to see if there is an underlying theme or two showing up here.

And while I might like to think oh, it’s the high altitude, or it’s because San Miguel is situated on a mountain of quartz, or it’s that I am without the things that used to moor me in the States… I think I do have face the idea that the gunk is showing up NOW because I have a regular practice again.

The last regular practice I had was Ashtanga, the power tool of self-transformation (as David Williams says). All that asana helped me ride the stirred up seas of marital separation, divorce, single parenthood, boys growing up, etc. The practice I do now, while continuing to temper my body, is a more challenging task master, in part because of its subtleties. I can’t muscle my way through it. I can’t sweat it out and wipe it off. My body is asking me to stay focused, to be kind, and respectful. My breath hears itself and seeks to soften the raspy edges. My mind dips her toes into the stream of prana and the pathways that appear. What comes up is this shimmery, translucent curtain, an internal display of the Northern Lights.

And also, the gunk.

Getting tested recently for intestinal issues (who DOESN’T have them here?) was so much easier. You take in your ‘sample’, it gets tested, the results come in, you go to the farmacia and get your medication, take it, and within a set amount of time and with the proper support from probiotics, etc., you’re fit as a fiddle and gunk-free once again.

Yoga is… argh, always that frikkin’ mirror of self-reflection and the siren song that calls you back. It’s the practice that beats you up precisely because it’s yours and you have to own it and the shit it drags up and leaves on your shores. But when the mirror is cleaned to translucency again, and you’ve moved through the shit, invariably there is this time of respite, reflection and absorption. Time to test out your new skin, that mended joint.

So, I’ve got to go now. There’s a retreat to finish planning and a ‘community’ office space to check out (no cute cats or dancing husband to distract me). There’s more gunk to go through, more pearls to be found and gems to be polished. My ‘path’ of yoga might look different from yours, but it sure does feel like ‘mine’. Even when I think I’d prefer more unicorns and rainbows and pithy bon mots of self-revelation. Even when it whacks me upside the head, lands me on my ass, and hands me a cosmic bill for ‘Services Rendered’.


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