Why do I do Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga? Because I got sucked into yet another Doc B vortex. That’s why I know how to fly fish, how to cook vegetarian meals, how to take long baths, how to walk painfully slow and most important, how to understand if Doc B is saying will or wheel, fill or feel, sill or seal, and dill or deal. To the untrained Yankee ear, those pairs of words sound the same.
It was two years ago on Memorial Day that the suction of Doc B’s Ashtanga vortex left marks on my saggy triceps and droopy thighs. It’s hard to escape when the hole is filled with echoing ujjayi breath, high-tech spandex and gallons of water in the form of sweat (but not a drop to drink). Of course there are the wonderful teachers and the dedicated fellow students, but they aren’t as humorous to write about.
This year there’s no formal class on my yoga anniversary, so we’ll settle for a practice on the porch with two goldfish (our fat yellow cats) swimming across our Manduka mats and interrupting our postures. But before we do our Memorial Day yoga, we’re going to meditate. No, that’s not a typo – I did not mix up my left pointer finger and my left middle finger on the keyboard and really mean to type medicate. (Did you just look down at your keyboard and pretend to type so that you could see which fingers you use to type a “t” and a “c”?)
It was at the beginning of the year when I hesitantly but willingly (or wheelingly if you’re from the south) agreed to go on my first ever silent meditation retreat. And now Doc B seems to think I should actually practice meditating before we go. What’s there to practice? You sit on a cushion, keep your mouth shut, try not to fall asleep and breathe.
I know; I’m over simplifying the process, especially when you have to do this for five days in a row. And I guess I can sort of understand Doc B’s concern and even annoyance. As a teenager, I used to feel (or fill, if you’re from the south) great irritation when kids would show up at basketball camp with brand new high tops having never touched a basketball.
Doc B, being her usual supportive self, got me a nice new meditation cushion as part of the deal. And for the last two months, it’s been waiting patiently for me to break it in. Tomorrow, I’ll start the process of scuffing up my
high tops cushion so that when we go on the retreat there will be a few less things to label me a (meditation) rookie.