conscious breathing · constructive rest · home practice · meditation · sabbatical · subtle body · yoga in Mexico · yoga retreats · yoga teaching

The mundane and the magical

Where has February 2012 gone? After the last post, I had  two days or so to pack for my stateside trip and buy some gifts (which I’m not very good at when I’m rushed…). Then 9 days in the states, to lead a yoga retreat and visit family (who seem to be doing marvelously without me in the same house or within even a proximal geographic location…). After 6 airports, 5 beds, one fabulous shower in JFK’s Admirals Club, and then 2 weeks to recover from the traveling and the subsequent re-immersion into the rhythm of San Miguel, here is what I know:

  • I love Merrell’s ‘Barefoot’ shoes. I picked some up on my trip, and my feet now relish the thin-soled coverings that make negotiating cobblestones much more easeful than anything else I have tried. Ten years of being mostly barefoot in and out of the yoga studio has made my feet happiest when naked. This is as about as close to naked as you can get. In a high-tech way.
  • Yoga is getting a lot of negative press these days. For a brief moment, it unsettled me. But, there will always be scandal and controversy somewhere. There will always be the believers and non-believers; the scoundrels and saints, in every profession. What can I do? Continue to practice and teach authentically, and let those in the fray duke it out.
  • There is magic in the world. My husband and I recently attended a dinner party, and it was unlike any gathering I have ever been to. A combination of ‘Babette’s Feast’ and ‘Like Water for Chocolate’; any movie that celebrates the alchemical possibilities of people gathering over food. Add in a sprinkle of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, a few chapters from Garcia Marquez, your childhood imaginings of a ‘Secret Garden’, and the candlelit serenity of a temple or place of worship you’ve come across before evening prayers. That would start to set the scene for our experience of ‘magical realism’ in contemporary Mexico.

The details of that dinner, and other more yoga-centered musings will have to wait. I returned from my trip with energy and the desire to focus on Writing Project #1, which has very little ‘poetry’ in it and requires clarity, succinctness, and organization. I would like to lead another group in a ‘personal practice/ yoga teacher training’ this coming summer, but do it as an ‘intensive’ over 4 weeks. This will take prep work. And marketing. Time to dust off my Business Cap. Or make a new one, this time decorated with little metal milagros and handmade crepe paper flowers to remind me that I am still on sabbatical in Mexico…

It helps that I now have an office to go to, a shared space with four other women who need distraction-free work environs. It is a cold, ugly space. But windows on two sides look out onto courtyards with Gaudi-esque columns and pomegranate trees. The hummingbirds are returning, the dark purple branches of the ciruela trees hold delicate blossoms, and the clearer air from winter’s rains heralds the coming desert Spring.

I am eager to step back into a daily practice of cultivating pratyahara, through asana, bandha, pranayama and meditation. I took time off to recover from all those hours in planes, strange beds, cars and endless airport lounges. It is Sunday, the hubby is off to dance, and the boy and I will soon get busy in the kitchen, making herbed cheesey crackers for this evening’s rooftop dinner with friends. Nothing like a daily visit to the farmer’s markets to inspire the palate. My sacrum has settled back in to this place in my body and this spot on the map where the realms of magic and stark realism commingle and argue and reconcile and dance.

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