I’ve been moving around this wonderful world since December 26. Now, I’m home.
I kissed the hardwood, the couch, promptly fell asleep for a day and a half, and then I kissed the refrigerator door. Thank you, dear Creator, for giving us the brains to innovate a storage receptacle for milk.
I really enjoy having a supply of milk. And cheese. And yogurt. But this isn’t about dairy. This is about absorption and assimilation. Both of which happen digestively for me when I have the means to enjoy copious amounts of dairy.
Thank goodness I’m home.
It’s going to take me a couple weeks, (and then another few years, I suspect), to fully integrate everything I learned from a variety of teachers over the last couple months. Chanting in Chennai, among chanters who know a thing or two, is like catching a wave on a 10-foot board. You just let it carry you. Alone, the board is one of those toothpicks. And the wave is ginormous. But, as Menaka said, ‘you can’t get anywhere if you don’t start somewhere.’ So I chant in San Diego, alone, and beg the forgiveness and indulgence of neighbors and a universe of sound awaiting some sort of alignment. Patience. Patience.
And then there’s that yoga therapy conversation that happened in the rain north of Watsonville for two weeks. The mountain I knew reformed before my eyes. The paths I’ve wandered for years are now streams. The rain fell. For a day. Then two. Then another 96 hours straight, with a brief pause for fog, and then another 72. I stopped being wet and just was. It took me a moment a few times to realize I was crying with the rain. And when I did, I thought, I’ve become water; I’m reforming myself. With all due respect to Gary and his transmission of Viniyoga, this learning surpassed all the content of the powerpoints.
Finally, a couple days among doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers in a diagnostic workshop that was not so much diametrically opposed to the general play in my life — yoga, and all its multi-dimensional understandings — as slightly deficient in these greater lessons. (Like, say, working with the breath. Or realizing that what we call bad habits may have actually served us at one point and deserve some gratitude.) So I’m happy I could be there; let’s all work together, my friends. Because these folks know the body. They have this tool called the Functional Movement Screen, which is an attempt to objectively appreciate the subjective potential of movement in a given body. And then train it appropriately. My yoga translate would be: see the person in front of you, prioritize her conditions over everything you think you know, then work toward guiding her toward understanding them. The makers of this idea also have another screen, this one for pain. That interested me and I was fortunate enough to attend a training to learn its parameters. It’s called the SFMA, or Selective Functional Movement Assessment. This diagnostic tool offers a valuable set of information about the origin of pain rather than the manifestation of it. In yoga: recognizing the underlying patterns and how they no longer serve the person performing them. May they have the will and commitment to transform themselves. (That’s yoga.)
So, with all of this, I return to what I was. But, honestly, I’m no longer who I was. I’m richer. I see more. And I recognize that I know so very little.
And this, as always, is pretty much the only thing I know.
Thank goodness for yogurt. If you’d like to experience a hint of what I’ve learned, to help me integrate it more completely and benefit from the elegance and compassion of these teachings, please come see me. And if you have an physiological issue for which you’d like to explore alternative relief, please talk with me about being a case study. I’m looking to work with people dealing with chronic stress, insomnia, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes or osteoporosis.
My appreciation for you in this world is immense. My love for you is greater.