Urban Eco Yoga

Urban Eco Yoga

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

First, let me say that for the past three weeks I’ve been stuck on trying to write blog posts that seem only to beget further blog posts in a long story about the past 4 months that I’m afraid, dear reader, will never get told chronologically. But it’s OK because time isn’t really chronological either. But wait, I digress. So today I decided the only way to tell you about my path is to write about the yogini’s practice day by day. So on to today…

 

Urban Eco Yoga

OK, OK, I know the title
is reaching
so hard to be hip,
I realize I must apologize,
but I just couldn’t help myself.
It’s not a brand, I swear, it’s just what I did today.

I’m apologizing because
you know
these days…

~~~ y o g a ~~~
has got to be marketed
as a cool, sexy,
athletic, hot, sweaty,
bikini cladden,
six pack, spiritual,
erotic & exotic,
core strength enlightened,
everlasting fountain of youth
and above all eco friendly way to

~~~ be ~~~
in harmony with yourself
and the world while
you
c h i l l
o u t 
r e l a x x x
and get mellow while tending to
and detoxifying your
precious temple of a body,
or maybe just keep it moving one more day
so you can keep sucking up this precious breath called life
and breathing back joy to the world!

But wait, there’s more…
You can purify your mind
of all that shit inside you
that gets in your way
when you try to
be 
who
YOU
really
are
naturally resting in your own true nature.

And you really really can.
It’s right here.
Now.

Because today I really did
do
urban
eco
yoga. 
I invited the snow to love my body
and the earth to soak up the pain
and the sun to radiate my mind
as the planes left disappearing trails
in the perfect blue sky
while solo seagulls mysteriously soared high above
heading north following the storm
while I moved my body with my breath
and came into wholeness in prasarita padasana
while my neighbors car came on automatically
to warm up, no more than 15 feet from where I am
breathing, moving, receiving and loving the earth.

And I thought to myself how the central Americans don’t understand that the car will be OK when its 29 degrees out. You don’t need to warm it up for 20 minutes. You are the one who is understandably cold having come from a place where there is no snow, but your car is not really that cold. I once lived in northern New Hampshire, and most cars don’t really have that much trouble until it hits about 20 below zero and then you’d better have a engine block heater, or half an hour to warm up your car (if you can get it started) just to make it so the transmission fluid thaws enough to allow the gears to move, and the oil can actually circulate to keep all the parts moving. 

And then realizing that I was thinking…
about my neighbor so uncharitably because I was uncomfortable with the possibility that he had been watching me do yoga in the snow, and I wouldn’t really blame anyone who didn’t know me and saw me doing that thinking I was really crazy, loco, or whatever you call it in your lingo when you see a nearly 60 year old woman with a big belly and breasts rolling around in the snow in her back yard smiling ecstatically.

And then realizing that thinking had gotten me out of the flow.
This mind is like that.
It gets poked by the world and tries to push it away with anger.
And then when the yogini sees the anger story and drops it the mind comes back to the underlying fear story.

It hears a car turn on and immediately jumps to feeling labeled as crazy, and then invents a story to defend against the more painful story of having had that really said about me to me publicly, before a listening crowd of 100+ people, in an AA meeting, in New Hampshire when I was living in the place where I learned about what real cold can do to cars and when I was barely hanging on to not committing suicide because the ptsd had gotten so bad that I hadn’t slept in 3 months because nightmares would wake me up screaming and consequently all my mental defenses broke down and I fell into a pit of remembering and re-seeing and re-hearing horrors and terrors of childhood. In that state I was told “You don’t belong here.” by a man who stood up to say it. After attending thousands of AA meetings, 7 years of abiding with everyone’s story because that’s how that program works. After the meeting there were 99 people who had nothing to say to me. It was life threatening. I almost died. 

The mind is like that.
It picks up the thread again and again even after the yogini dropped it in her practice again and again and is now simply writing about having a story intrude on today’s practice.

After the yogini drops the fear story, it goes on to an annihilation story.

So now you know the practice can become noticing thoughts and stories and ways of reacting to the world as if stories about the world were true. And seeing that they are all just thoughts. I see myself letting that old shit get in the way of now and so I turn back, away from these thoughts to…

my practice of simply

~~ being ~~
~~ breathing ~~
~~ moving ~~
~~ seeing ~~
~~ sensing ~~
~~ feeling ~~
~~ breathing ~~
~~ being ~~

in the web of life
in my urban home
and radiating gratitude back
to the snow and the earth and the sun and the sky and the airplane trail and the mysterious seagulls and the air and the trees and the dog who is barking two backyards over and even my neighbor who didn’t say a word when he finally saw me, though he had to try hard not to stare.

So when the asana practice comes to an end
and the interrupting thoughts come to an end,
I decide to build a wall.

Yes, a wall between me and my Latino neighbor.
No, I am not.
Not supporting Donald Trump.
I’m just trying to get some privacy for my urban eco yoga
so as to not let being self-conscious
get my mind off on a trip again of stories that
have no useful meaning to me or my neighbor now.
Thoughts that I do not want to belong to.
Gotta take it in stages, you know, letting go of those stories.

And then again, how long has it been since I built a snow wall to hide behind?
At least 15 years.
What better way to continue todays urban eco yoga practice than to
crawl around on all fours
in the snow
in my back yard
under my dormant wild plum trees that have terrible thorns but make really fantastic plum conserve, so I decided to call them my nemesis trees that I can’t get rid of but can’t stop loving anyway despite it’s thorns even as I dodge them while rolling up my snow boulders hoping I won’t get pricked in the head.

Rolling balls of snow up and packing them together
to made a modestly sized privacy screen
and not doing the ghetto thing
you know, hanging up some wires to some poles
and hanging an old bed sheet.
so
I
can
get
down
and
naked
in the
sunlight
in the city
roll around
in the snow
and
make love
to the earth
while
the sun bathes us
in radiance

I’m taking my yoga back yoga to the yoga
of the cave yogis in Himalayas walking naked clothed in charnel ground ashes and bathing in the ice cold Ganges as she flows forth from the womb of the mountains to purify the sins the yogis have taken on for others as an act of devotion — taking on another’s karma and living a life that burns karma up in the heat of practice and turns it into bliss and then even the bliss is purified and there is emptiness in the blueness we call sky. Or maybe they are just bums begging for alms and the ashes, dreadlocks and holding your arm up in the air pointing towards God and never putting it down, never. It just atrophies there after a few years while the uncut fingernails curl inward toward the withered hand. All that is just their act. Or not. And they really are burning up karmic baggage to free people from the wheel of living life after life trying to learn how to be free.

I know that a Providence back yard snow practice can’t compare
to how high you get in the thin mountain air of Mount Kailash
with nothing but azure blue sky above you and Lake Mansarovar reflecting the cloudless clear eye of limitless space. But I live here, in Providence. And limitless space is here too.

And my devotion is not to the god above but to the earth below around above and within me. Earth, this loving organism I happen to exist within at the beginning of the 21st century. I am consciously loving it back because the earth web of life is rippling and ripping apart in crisis that I cannot stop. And yet I must do something. I can love, I can listen, see, feel, breathe unfettering my mind, throwing away my framework and just  experience the web and the ecstatic beauty of it all, even the people on the bus who smell so bad you can’t get within 3 yards of them without gagging. Especially then I’m taking in the karma of isolation and powerlessness and othering and especially the crazy collective dream that destroys our home, the earth. I’m breathing it in when I can and breathing out love which is the only antidote I have to this particular karmic time bomb I call earth crisis.

And I am a woman. Yogini are as common as pennies these days, but in the arc of time and the history of yoga I am rare because I am not a man.

Because I am a woman and I am not reaching heavenward, but earthward, I can sit upon a pile of snow and feel the snow compact and conform to the contours of my vulva, welcoming the snow and the earth into me
as my sacred divine sexual pure love nature inhabits me during this sacred act of connection and devotion that joins my axis with the spiraling mirrored trees of life that are churning the divine ocean of existence into being at this very moment.

Providence founded upon the principle of freedom in religious conscious, so certainly Providence can have a snow yogini.

Why not?

And who the hell cares if an old hippie
has to do her practice with her body
touching the ground?

And then I went inside and got my phone and snapped some pictures for you so you could see today’s practice in case you didn’t feel like reading all that much.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Healing the Fear with Love

Healing the Fear with Love

I am inspired by a recent New York Times interview with bell hooks, and feel supported in my personal understanding that the healing of the tremendous amount of fear, anger, isolation and powerlessness that people are experiencing can be healed by a spiritual path of connection.

My work is with the Earth crisis, which comes out of the “imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy” (to quote bell’s phrase) of dominating the earth and the web of life itself which is in the end an especially virulent form of insanity that is leading us to the suicidal destruction of our home, the planet, which is a web of life of which we are but one part.

Continue reading “Healing the Fear with Love”

A poem to nourish your soul

A poem to nourish your soul

The Peace of Wild Things

BY WENDELL BERRY

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171140

 

Ordinary World, Non-ordinary Reality

Ordinary World, Non-ordinary Reality

What do you see when you look at the picture below? Just stare at it and let your mind wander. Notice if you see an image appearing the shape and textures of the rock and tree. It’s like looking at clouds and seeing Mickey Mouse or Marilyn Monroe. Whatever you see is yours to see.

What do you see when you look at this rock and tree.
What do you see when you look at this rock and tree?      It helps to double-click to expand the photo in a new window.

Continue reading “Ordinary World, Non-ordinary Reality”

Connection Heals

Connection Heals

On a recent Saturday I went to the Church Beyond the Walls that meets in Burnside Park in Providence, RI and is an open worship community that welcomes all people regardless of what challenges they may be facing. The heart of this community’s teaching is love — through the experience of being loved and served as well as the experience of loving and serving others. Continue reading “Connection Heals”

Being Wild

Being Wild

When I was a child I often escaped into the woods just beyond our back door for hours, sometimes alone and sometimes with a gang of children. The woods was a home away from home, a place of where we could be wild children, not yet undomesticated spirits, where we were natural and in direct relationship with the world and all it’s wonders.

When I think of that group of  children, the most dedicated members of our club were the children who had problematic parents.

Ben and Brad were brothers who’s father was a WW II Marine Veteran from the Pacific Theatre. He told his children about using a flame thrower to burn “Japs” alive in their foxholes and other war horror stories. Continue reading “Being Wild”