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Entries in yogateau (5)


The language of love: my Paris yoga experience

On my seventh morning in Paris, I am reflecting on the amazing urban yoga retreat I've been on. By the time I leave tomorrow, I will have attended a total of 6 classes, thanks to a briliant schedule put together for me by my personal #yogayoda Yogateau

Really, truly: yoga is my passport.

This is the first time I’ve had the anchor of the practice while here, in the City of Light, although I’ve been here many times. It’s also the first time I’ve had such a homebase thanks to my sister, who now lives here, which of course also makes an enormous difference.

But the yoga?

That's been amazing.

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review: Trader Joe's Croissants


Yogateau is to blame.  That's my sister's website, devoted to yoga in Paris.  And it's awesome.  And you should immediately check it out AFTER you've finished this post.  

For the past week, and then a lot since Yogateau's Monday post, 

I have been craving fresh croissants every morning.

Sadly, a good croissant is hard to come by under normal circumstances in the area where I live.  There are none within walking distance, which is, of course, the ideal -- that is, to press Play on the coffeemaker, pop out the door with a shopping bag and return minutes later after a brightly sung-out "Bonjour, messieurs/dames" with a baguette, croissants, and maybe, if it's a special day, a chausson aux pommes or a chocolatine, the name we learned as kids for what is now called, so boring, croissant au chocolat.

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Master(mind)s of the Universe

Danielle LaPorte's book, The Fire Starter Sessions, is sitting on my desk in the spot it's occupied for the past couple of weeks, waiting for me to get to it.  The problem is that during this blissful little recovery period of mine I've managed to keep myself busy with home-keeping tasks (serious bliss) and other reading (more bliss), not to mention a rather full calendar of social calls (yes, bliss).  Uh yeah, I can't believe I called that a "problem"!

Still, I do feel like, even though I'm not at my j-o-b 8 hours a day, still I'm busy-busy, really working on writing and on this here blog and taking advantage of this period of bliss and "relaxation," to settle deeper and deeper into who I is and what I want to do with that.

That's work that takes time.

And that makes me wonder why we don't all take 6-week breaks at regular intervals to fine-tune our lives.

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maybe it's my head what needs operatin'

Yesterday was a long day of working things out at the hospital, doing all the advance work for surgery on May 16th, one week from today.  Yes, back surgery in 7 days and I couldn't be more delighted.  Seriously.  I mean it.  People think I'm being sarcastic, but honestly, if you've ever had a an infected tooth and prayed for a root canal and an end to the pain, then I think you must know what I mean.  

Or maybe that's just me.  

I hate pain and will do anything to obliterate it.  Which is interesting since for me it was SO important to have a natural childbirth which, luckily and thanks to my youth at the time possibly and everything lining up just right, I was able to manage.  Twelve hours of increasingly, unimaginably excruciating pain, like an earthquake happening to little old me, tectonic plates grinding apart.  Just twelve hours of that, and I was high as a kite for days (and not from the demerol administered during the critical sewing-things-back-up phase).  Nope, I was 24, I survived a 12-hour-labor and safely delivered a gorgeous 9-pound baby boy into a sunny patch on the birthing room bed.  Hear me roar.  Childbirth, in my opinion, is a pain that should be felt whenever possible, safety of the mother and child of course coming first.  That one pain and maybe only that one, when it comes to physical pain.  

Childbirth and heartache: the only two kinds of pain I endorse.

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Reflecting on a crazy week: 2 great blog posts

It's been a super-crazy week, since last Friday when YogaDork broke the news of scandalous (anonymous) accusations against John Friend, founder and face of Anusara yoga.  Since Anusara has been my yoga home since 2007, all of what's happened -- although I'm not personally involved -- has yet felt personal, dirt thrown all over something beloved, a system with enormous value and integrity.  It's been a confusing week but nothing if not thought-provoking.  Does our behavior matter?  What are the requirements of leadership?  How do we hold each other accountable?  When do we speak up and why and how? 

I've been thinking a lot about Leo Tolstoy, truth be told, reflecting back on all that I learned in graduate seminars on Russian literature and how, although his writing is genius, I yet retained an essential distrust based on his personal behavior, particularly his treatment of his wife, his typing slave.  If you're a great artist, are you allowed to be a shitty person?  Are you excused from the rules that bind the rest of us?

Big questions, life questions, human questions.

It's been a crazy week.  And in this week of people taking sides and everyone writing their opinions and me getting honestly sick of certain people and their high-handed, high-horsed yogier-than-thou talk, like a breath of fresh, sweet air came these two blog posts.  For an instant, reading them, I returned to what was true, everything felt solid again, easy, calm, real.

Big gratitude to my teachers, particularly the two that follow.  I love you both.

#1: Douglas Brooks,

What You Do Matters

From Douglas Brooks, my teacher, comes this post on accountability and the meaning of community.  I have read and re-read this post, delighting in his choice of words, in the message itself, in the common sense and clarity of what he's written.  So grateful to Douglas for his wisdom, wit and always, always, for leading up the international Honey Badger Kula.

Favorite quote:

Reaching into that greater sense of responsibility we create kula, community. Kula--- the conversation of community holding itself to standards of accountability and reckoning. This is the place to find guru: the weight that implies we are experiencing something important. Community begins with self-reckoning and we are always judging. The issue isn’t whether we will judge our selves or others: we will, we must. Rather how can we arrive at our common humanity in the conversation that avers us to account for actions.

#2: Martine Trelaun,

What You Do = Who You Are

And from another teacher in my life, my sister Martine, this excellent post on her site Yogateau, on Jean-Paul Goude, Grace Jones and yoga .  Absolutely delicious. 

Favorite quote:

It’s always important to remember that the work we do, regardless of the realm in which we believe it exists, does not live outside of ourselves. You can’t separate what Jean-Paul Goude does from who Jean-Paul Goude is. They are the same. As yogis, what we do on the mat is a reflection of the entirety of ourselves, and wherever we choose to direct our energy is where we’ll end up. 

I am grateful for this scandal, no matter the degree of truth that's in it, for the way it's forced a bigger conversation about What Matters, about integrity, about our interdependence instead of our codependence.  The opportunity, as a friend wrote, to put down the Koolaid and sober up.  

As Douglas writes, "The things we do in this life matterour actions need to be judged, and we must learn how to hold each other responsible for actions. No one gets a pass." And as Martine adds, "You can't separate what Goude does from who Goude is."  It's all the same, on the mat or off.  What we do is who we are, and who we are is something we are accountable to each other for, always, no excuses, no exceptions.

With tremendous gratitude to my teachers, to my friends and family, for the constant opportunity to learn and grow, to step into the big shoes of Freedom and Independence.  That's what we do, that's who we are.