Musings and my Yoga Secret

Another rainy gloomy day here.  It’s so grey that I was tempted to buy a coffee on my way home from yoga to perk me up….but then I remembered how coffee makes me feel like an incompetent, nervous spazface.  So, I’m glad I didn’t do that.

Instead I came home, made a big jar of lemon juice and honey in warm water and sat down to one of my favorite breakfasts – avocado with herb salt on hemp bread with a little dab of coconut oil.  So simple and yet I never get sick of it.  Yum yum.

I also dug into a lusciously ripe persimmon.  Wow – there is nothing quite like a ripe persimmon (of course there is nothing else quite like the unripe persimmon….if you’ve ever tried one you will know what I mean, it’s icky and bizarre and that cottonmouth feeling stays in your mouth for too long!).

When I was a kid, we had boxes of persimmons sent to us each winter.  Growing up as a young child in Charleston WV we didn’t have a lot of interesting food options, so my mother, being the resourceful, health-conscious and extravagantly excessive woman that she is (remember, she sent me 225 bulbs to plant and I live in a condo –  Hi Mum! Love you!) would order boxes of specialty foods to be sent to us.  I remember lots of boxes of fresh pasta, crusty bread and olive oil from Ann Arbor, coffee beans from Seattle, ice cream from Ohio, balsamic vinegar from Dean and Deluca, chocolate from NY, and lots of boxes of Harry and David pears and persimmons! Eating that persimmon this morning reminded me of Christmas time as a kid and that brought a nice big smile to my face!

Since it was a damp soggy day yesterday I decided to make some soup.  I tried a roasted eggplant and white bean stew.  I based it off of a recipe I found on Stone Soup, which is a great blog that gives recipes that only use 5 ingredients.  Of course, I can’t possibly cook with such few ingredients, being the extravagant excessive woman that I am, so I always add a few extras.  To this recipe I added garlic, smoked paprika and sundried tomatoes and then topped our bowls off with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprig of parsley and a generous helping of parmesan cheese.  I was going to share the whole recipe with you, but to be honest, I didn’t think it was that stellar and probably not worth passing along.  Here’s a picture of me scooping out the roasted eggplant into the pot.  Check out those guns! Glad I’m not going to be wearing a strapless dress at our wedding….I would hate to scare people away with my insane biceps! Hehe.

Anyways, what’s my yoga “secret” you might be wondering? Recently on EJ there have been a few lame articles about people’s “dirty little yoga secrets”and  even though they were pretty silly pieces, this did get me wondering if I have any “yoga secrets”.  Well, I actually do have one that I admitted the other day to a friend.

So for all you Ashtangis, you know, ardha baddha padmottanasana? Well this is one of my favorite poses because I love that feeling of when you are just about to faint and I get this sensation almost every time I practice this pose deeply.  I know, that’s really weird, that’s why this is my secret, duh!

I get a really intense head rush coming out of the pose to the point where I black out. It’s not so much when I switch sides, but when I’m finished with both sides and I stand up straight. At this point in the series, the next motion is to inhale and reach the arms up to take a vinyasa, and that’s when it really hits me.  Most days I reach up and inhale like crazy and then I end up in a crouched position (almost like I’m getting ready for pasasana) on the floor.  Everything goes black, I feel everything rush and yet there’s a void of feeling at the same time. My whole body burns and pulses and it’s kind of like being on acid for 10 seconds.  It passes slowly and the room comes back into focus, but I’m never exactly sure how long I’ve been down there.  It’s feels as though my brain flips off and then back on again and suddenly I’m reprogrammed.  There’s an internal voice that says (and this is my inner-stoner voice, no doubt) “Whoooa”.  And then I shake out of it and move along with my practice.

Sometimes I wonder if there’s something “wrong” with me because I black out a lot in yoga practice.  I think that this happens some days because of low-blood sugar or that I’m moving too fast and it’s really hot, because there are also days when that doesn’t happen much.  I’ve learned that with the poses in which my head is down way below my heart that I must come up very slowly on the inhale.

So I guess the final part of my “secret” is that on those days when I don’t have that moment of blackness, heat and annihilation, I’m kind of bummed out.  See, I savor that moment of emptiness – I savor that short wave when my consciousness flips upside down.  I know that’s not the point of yoga and that I shouldn’t cling to something silly and odd like this, but I still kind of do.

So there you have it, my yoga “secret”.

Do you have a little confession to make about your yoga practice? If so, do tell!


Happy Thursday (Guru) Day.



6 thoughts on “Musings and my Yoga Secret

  1. Wonderful blog! I know the feeling of (almost) passing out too well. Do you have low blood pressure? I know I do, and my mum as well, so I guess it might be something in the family. I figured out that I need to have my dose of coffee every day…(sigh). The only time I feel I really don’t need it is when staying at an ashram where you do lots – and I mean lots, like, hours every day – of pranayama. I do find that sticking to at least some basic pranayamas at home helps me and I can reduce coffee without feeling shaky.

    • Thanks! Yes, I think I do have low blood pressure. I’ve never been a big coffee drinker….I went through a phase in college, but I never really got addicted (which is surprising because I seemed to get addicted to everything else!). I really love the way good coffee smells and I enjoy a cup occasionally but it tends to throw me off for the rest of the day…I’ll crash hard a few hours later and feel really spacey and dehydrated. So it’s best for me to resist the temptation. Anyways, thanks for checking out my blog!
      Many blessings. F.

  2. Great photos. I enjoy a black out story. I hear people mention they black out a little during a deep Urdhva D… So, nothing happens in Uttanasana?
    Maybe it’s the foot pressing somewhere. I love it when people share this stuff, so interesting.

    I love how your mom rolls by the way.

    • Thank ya! I love how my Mum rolls too…she’s a riot. I finally finished planting all those bulbs a few days ago! It’s going to be a beautiful spring around my little home 🙂
      Yea, no uttanasana black out, I think it’s the intensity of the heel pressing into my navel with that deep of a forward fold. I sometimes get a little black out with my backbends too…but only with my drop backs….occasionally after standing up after a few deep backbends I can feel quite woozy and like I might puke….this I do NOT enjoy! Ah, the joys of Ashtanga…. sometimes I joke that our little shala is a torture chamber filled with willingly enthusiastic masochists… I’m on my cycle right now and I’m honestly going to miss the torture tomorrow morning 😦

  3. I black out too at the exact same poses. Not all the time, but often. I’m told to come up slowly, take deeper breaths over all, and engage the legs to keep some of the blood in the lower body (oh and drink lots of water before and after class). But it still happens sometimes. I don’t think I have low blood pressure or low blood sugar, but maybe I do at some times of the day.

    • Thanks for your suggestions! I’ve never heard that point to engage the legs more when rising up….I will try that…or maybe I wont…haha…I love getting stoned with yoga, it’s all I’ve got left! But seriously, good suggestions…I definitely think hydration might be part of my issue too…I can’t drink water before Mysore because my bladder is the size of a pea and I don’t like interrupting my practice to go to the bathroom.

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