Friday, May 22, 2009

All By Myself

The other night, I went to see this movie, Enlighten Up, which is sort of Supersize Me only instead of going 30 days filling up on McDonald’s food, the protagonist goes like six months gorging on various styles of yoga practice.

I didn’t think it was all that great of a movie, but there were plenty of scenes of people doing yoga that I liked and even better, a number of interviews with yoga masters I admire, notably my own dearly-departed Guruji, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

The main response I had to it, though, was to feel nostalgic for the days when I had a daily practice at the Seattle Ashtanga Yoga School alongside some dozen or so other students similarly committed to the practice.

In short, it made me really miss my cult.

Back in the day—say, about this time last year, but especially around 2002-2004, I would go every single morning to a hot and sweaty (but sometimes chilly and dark) room at 5:30 to 6:00 AM, and stay there for around ninety minutes to two hours bending myself into increasingly odd positions while all around me fellow students of Ashtanga did the same.

And then, occasionally, we'd do special events, like when about twenty of us did 108 sun salutations to commemorate the summer solstice.

It all seemed perfectly natural and I couldn’t imagine doing yoga any other way.

In fact, I took a workshop once from David Williams who mentioned that most of the practice we would do in our lives would be solitary, and I just thought that seemed so weird since, certainly, I’d have the AYS studio to go forever.

Alas, that all came to an end last August and my daily practice has been solitary every since then.

Good thing I have a drunken bike gang to ride around with and a softball team that chugs and slugs together; otherwise, I’d be all by myself all the time.


Anonymous scott said...

"And then, occasionally, we would special events, like the time about twenty of us did 108 sun salutations to commemorate the summer solstice."


328 words?

10:51 AM  

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