Rupture and continuity

One of my best friends nearly died recently. A ruptured appendix, a bungled diagnosis and delayed surgery. I've been visiting her in hospital, feeling helpless in the face of drips, oxygen, and the indignity of surgical gowns. She was weak and confused. I'm not sure she remembered if I'd been with her or not; she... Continue Reading →

Change is hard

My boss in the office often tells me that change is hard. My yoga teacher tells me the same. Change is the name of the game right now, in both worlds corporate and yoga. And they're right: it is hard! In yoga I am trying my practice a new way. Sure, it might not end... Continue Reading →

No feeling is final

“Go to the limits of your longing... Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final” (Rilke) Practice at the moment is an experience of longing. I feel a deep yearning to be more fully with myself, to let go of the past, to feel the reality of the... Continue Reading →

Keeping score

My teacher very rarely offers any comment on the quality (or qualities) of my yoga practice. I am never sure how to read this, never really sure how to read him as a teacher. Is he paying me a massive implicit compliment not imposing his perspective on me, trusting that I'll figure it all out... Continue Reading →

Telling stories

Telling stories. Telling stories. RE-telling stories I was formally trained to study the past. I used to be an archaeologist. My academic training taught me that there's usually more than one interpretation of the evidence and if you follow the more radical post-modern theories the past is unknowable and all interpretations become equally valid... Death... Continue Reading →

Can I be of assistance?

I sit with the teacher a little before class. She talks about the weather and birdwatching, we talk about mundane weekend plans and what we're having for lunch. We also talk about the non-sense of 200 hour YTT programmes, how little they equip anyone for the reality of teaching. We consider the difficulty of assessing... Continue Reading →

Metaphorical work

I haven't written in an age. Did you notice, really? I haven't felt drawn to share much. A web of physical pain and some emotional (let's call them spiritual) entanglements and confusions, some quiet disillusionment about modern yoga -- all threatening stagnation in my practice but ultimately providing shitty fertilizer which has allowed for some... Continue Reading →

Optative

I'm learning the optative in Sanskrit. My textbook tells me "the optative is a verb form that indicates possibility. It can be translated as 'should', 'would', 'could', 'ought' or 'may'. I found sentence 3 in the first exercise ironically amusing: "The teacher ought to be content". After all, the last time I had met with... Continue Reading →

Careful

One of my teachers seems to me to be indomitable. I don't know her well personally, but from what she shares publicly I know she's been through a bunch of sh*t. Most recently she underwent pretty serious surgery and from a distance I followed her steps towards healing and mobility with a sense of awe.... Continue Reading →

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