Is anyone really that surprised that LeBron James credits his super-human endurance to his regular (yet covert) yoga practice?
It's true. All the cool kids are doin' it.
Image courtesy of yoganonymous.org, and thanks to William for the great find!
You heard right.
CMT Rodney Alika Medeiros will be at Yoga Belly Friday, June 3, 2011 offering private massages. Choices are 30-minute chair massage for $40 or 1-hour table massage for $75. Appointments are offered from 1:00pm to 4:00pm so please email your appointment request to email@example.com or call 650-862-3976.
Image courtesy of massagepanamacity.com
Does that count as dancer's pose? Are those hips square?
Word on the street is that our very own MATT SHARPE will be sticking around! Yesssssssss.
Betcha didn't think you'd pop up on Google images, did you Matt? We're so used to seeing you in yoga clothes, who knew you shined up so well?
Thanks to yoga, she looks amazing.
Some of you have witnessed my battle first-hand. You've come to class a few minutes early, seen me inches from the wall, my legs flailing behind me, feet thudding like elephants, my face red and puffy and hair standing on end.
Apologies, ladies and gentlemen, for my glamourous attempt at handstand. And believe it or not, it used to be even uglier. And all that beautiful-ugly has given me a lot to think about, as I begin class too tired to chaturanga, too winded to get my ujayi on.
Because, if handstand is one thing to me, it is HARD.
And if it's more than one thing, it's beautiful and shimmery and nearly unattainable and unnatural and graceful and defiant and strong and oh my GOD I want it so badly!
So. For the last several months, I've been coming early to class to take advantage of the wall. I've broken picture frames at home and slammed onto my back and shaken the entire downstairs with my donkey kicks. I started out afraid of hitting the wall, and just barely able to scissor my legs up to hip level. I tried donkey kicks and felt so ridiculous that I learned humility real quick. I'd lean forward onto my hands, bounce my right leg just above my hips, lift my left foot for a fraction of a second, and come back to earth. Again and again and again.
It took me almost five months before I could even kick up onto the wall. But when I did, when I felt myself suspended over my hands, flipping the world upside down, and --finally!--tapping my toes against the wall, I felt like I was flying. I literally gasped as I cocked one leg at a right angle, rocking myself back and forth against the wall. I felt light, yet solid, and strong.
... for about eight seconds. Then I piked back down and gasped for air, exhausted.
Repeat about a thousand times over the course of the next two months. When I first started kicking up, I only got into handstand once in about 10 kicks. Then it went to once every 8 kicks. Now, I can kick up pretty easily, about once every 3 kicks.
Handstand is a pretty arbitrary goal that I've set for myself, I realize. I even realize the irony of goal-setting in yoga. And yet, I love the way the world looks from upside down, from my toes on the wall, my elbows straight below me. I love the ache in my arms that creeps in even before class starts. I love the quiet smack of my feet on the floor behind me, the dull thud of them on the wall above me, the thud that gets quieter and quieter the longer I practice. Handstand reminds me that yoga is never over, it's never done, there is always something more. I've never worked so long on getting my body to do something. But I've spent almost a year working on this, and this is just the beginning. Once I kick up every time, I'll work on floating up. Then I'll work on coming off the wall. Then looking between my hands. There is no end, and we're all going in the same direction. Or maybe we're not. I really don't know. But I'm pretty sure it's not about beginning or advanced or whether you practice twice a month or twice a day. I think it's about where you are, right now, and where you're going, someday. And the way you choose to get there, whether it's sweating quietly or grunting loudly or giggling your way through your vinyasas in class, at the beach, in your living room. And it's about loving the view.
For me, I love the view from upside down. Even if I have to kick a thousand times to get it.
Getting a head start on Monday without a manifesto. But beautiful nonetheless.
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
from New and Selected Poems, 1992
Beacon Press, Boston, MA
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?