Back at it: Backbends, Blogging and Guerilla Gardening.

Hello dear readers,

Thank you for your patience as I’ve taken some time for myself this past month.  It’s been a hell of a month! But, I feel compelled to write again.  It started a few days ago when I began writing a response piece to something on Elephant Journal.  The writing has been hard…I feel out of practice and so far the piece is very disjointed and underdeveloped.  I need a few more days to sit with it and edit before I post it.

So, here’s an update about little old me: In the past month-plus I‘ve dropped back onto my head incurring a concussion and dealt with all sorts of messy spinal stuff as a result of my crash.  I popped a rib head out and pulled an intercostal muscle (ouch!!!) and I fought off a lousy stomach bug for over a week. All that means I did not spend a lot of time on my mat during the month of October.  To add salt to those wounds, there’s also been a flurry of shitstorms in my family and emotional life….ugh…so I’ve been needing yoga more than ever.

Fiance Yogi and I have been practicing a 40 day global meditation to “Be in the Flow with your Highest Wisdom” to prepare ourselves for the dawning of the Aquarian Age and the big shift of 11-11-11.  That’s been interesting….Honestly, I’ve not been super into doing this meditation, but I’m still glad we are practicing it.  I’ve definitely been feeling on edge recently.  Both excited and apprehensive.  Yesterday FY said to me “It felt like Christmas morning at the studio today”…and I knew exactly what he was talking about because I had felt the same way the day before! Something is up!

It especially felt like Christmas this past weekend because we went up to my Mum’s mountain house in WV with our dear friends Faith and Tate.  We had over 5 inches of snow fall on us making it a very magical and unreal-feeling gettaway.  We spent hours sitting by the fire, reading and cooking all sorts of tasty yumminess (and then sweating it out in our cedar sauna!),  We also celebrated my 25th birthday up there!  FY made me an amazing egg-free carrot cake.  I just finished the last piece yesterday  🙂  He’s the bees knees.

Anyways, back to yoga….I started practicing hard again a bit over a week ago. And boy oh boy am I sore! Seriously, it hurt to straighten my arms yesterday.  My triceps are really feeling all those chaturangas! I’ve lost 2 pounds in the past 2 weeks of practice, but I feel all soft and puffy at the same time, which is weird and annoying, but I guess that’s just my little muscles trying to sort themselves out!

I was so wiped out this morning after practicing yesterday (followed by teaching 3 yoga classes!) that I ended up sleeping in for another 2 hours and going to the later Mysore today.  I needed to savor a little more recovery and rest time and I’m so glad that I did!

Getting back into practice has been really challenging.  I’m completely stuck at Laghuvajrasana.  It’s humiliating and frustrating.  I can’t seem to muster up the strength to push myself up out of the pose unless my head is on a block.  I fight with myself until I collapse on the floor or until my teacher comes over and helps me up (and I grunt really loud at this point, even if I try not to!).

My ego is a bit flared up over all this.  I seem to have some silly notion that I should be more advanced in my practice, that I should be able to move along further in Second Series and have perfect drop-backs.  I need to keep reminding myself that at this time last year I had only just started practicing Mysore! I need to keep reminding myself that yoga is not just about the funny shapes we make with our bodies.  And I have to continually cultivate and practice the essential qualities of abhyasa and vairagya – diligent practice and non-attachment to the outcome of the practice.

Sometimes I see other women at the shala being given more poses than me or having an easier time with their backbends and I get jealous.  I can be a bit petty and competitive, I know this, and so I need to always check myself when these feelings arise.  It’s very important for me to remind myself that one’s yoga practice is deeply personal and that it is pointless and unproductive for me to compare myself to others.  I really do love Ashtanga – it always keeps me on my toes.

So, on to the gardening… are you still with me? I know this is a long post! My wonderful and excessive mother sent me 225 narcissus and daffodil bulbs as a birthday present.  I groaned out loud when she related this gift…but I know I will be so thrilled when the flowers start popping up this spring!  We live in a condo so we don’t actually have a lot of garden space other than our small vegetable patch, but I’m being creative with the bulbs.  I planted 30 around these 3 service berry trees in front of our patio and then I planted at least another 30 in the many small and big pots that sit on our patio wall.  Tomorrow FY and I are going to roto-till a small section of our lawn and make a new border along that wall in which to  plant more bulbs. Not sure if this is exactly allowed by our building, but, I figure it’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask for permission on this one.

Even with all those bulbs planted I knew I still would have almost 100 left over, so I decided to do a little spontaneous neighborhood beautification project today.  Have you ever read that beautiful children’s book “Miss Rumpheus” about the old woman who planted lupine everywhere “to make the world a more beautiful place”?  Well, I was channeling her today when I walked up our street to the main drag of downtown Belmont with a bag of bulbs and a trowel in hand. Right by the shala there is this big section of dirt and a few shrubs by the crosswalk.  We walk by it everyday and I’ve always thought it was a shame that it was so ugly and poorly maintained….so I did a little guerilla gardening and planted 60 + bulbs there this afternoon!  It was a gorgeous fall day – crisp air and warm sun.  A perfect day for gardening.  Plus, the thrill of “illegally” planting these bulbs gave me a total rush! I can’t wait to see them this spring.

Well, that’s all for now…

Thanks for stopping by the blog… Feel free to leave comments and if you have a blog too, I would be super psyched if you added me to your blogroll!

Oh my goodness! This is my 100th post! YAY!

Blessings,

Frances

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5 thoughts on “Back at it: Backbends, Blogging and Guerilla Gardening.

  1. Love your blog, Frances! I’ve also taken some time away from the morning practice and I’ve felt super odd… I’m craving it, but I’m avoiding it at the same time. Very confusing. It was nice to read about your experience. Can’t wait to see those bulbs surprise the neighborhood!
    Happy 25th! xo Katie

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