Tag Archives: yoga

“Give Me Hope, Help Me Cope — With This Heavy Load…”

I saw him nearing the intersection, about half a block away, on foot.  At first, I watched him pass my car, along the pavement: An ordinary man, like so many others.

His hair and beard were completely white (and I’ve always found it impossible not to trust white-haired people, for they seemed so much wiser than others).  So, immediately, I thought of him not as much as handsome but somehow dignified; trust-worthy.  Surely, I thought, he knew something I didn’t.

He wore a pair of well-ironed black slacks and a white dress shirt, unbuttoned at its collar.  A pair of polished, laced-up shoes and a yellow manila envelope under his armpit:  But of course!  He had to be an important somebody!

Maybe he was someone’s tax accountant, I thought.  Or, a divorce attorney walking over the final papers to a drained, tragic face of some recently single mother.

The fact that he was passing a gas station specifically for cop cars helped my fantasy, too.  I had just noticed it the other day:  What looked like a parking lot behind a film production building was filled with the killer whales of LAPD being served by a single, rusty gas pump.  I didn’t know that the same people granting us our justice also had to pump their own gas.  It made sense, of course; but my initial assumption that they were tended to, by someone else, made the idea of my world slightly better.  Or, more just.

(That’s when I looked away:  I was waiting for the traffic light to change.  It hadn’t yet.)

I had just passed that one crowded intersection where every LA egomaniac insisted on wedging in the giant ass of his unnecessary Hummer, thinking that the yellow light would last forever — just for him!  Instead, he would get stuck there, right in the middle of the mess, blocking the rest of us with an awkward tilt of his giant ass.  Oftentimes, driven to the ends of our nerves by all the heat and strife already, we flip out, honk and scream at him, with lashing words and foaming saliva.  Aha:  Another day, in LA.

My own rage is so powerful, at times, it scares me:

What if I don’t manage to come back to the saner side again?  What if I go way too far?

They had just erected a significant palace of yoga, precisely at that one intersection, where most of us are ready to lose our minds.  (And those people granting us our justice:  Why aren’t they granting it at that specific spot in the city?!)

On the other side of the street sits an ill-used parking lot, permanently fenced in by a giant net.  Its neon orange sign reads “FENCES”.  No shit!  There is never enough parking in this city, and there is never enough space.  Or, there is too much space — and not enough humanity.

But then, again, no one ever promised this city would all make any sense.  No one ever promised for it — to be just.

And maybe, that is why it’s always so much harder to come back here, every time: Because we tread at the very end of our nerves, due to all the heat and strife, and some of us go way too far.

The white-haired man was walking slowly; and that was somewhat unusual, of course.  But then again, he was nearing that one police station in Hollywood, where quite a few of my acquainted restless souls have spent a night or two, after losing their minds a little.  Maybe he was someone’s DUI lawyer; or perhaps, he was delivering someone else’s bail.  As he neared the pedestrian walkway, with the quickly expiring countdown on the other side, he began to squint his eyes:  Eleven, ten, nine…

(And did I mention he was wearing glasses, with an elegant metallic rim?  Yep:  Definitely, an important somebody!)

“Ohhh…  Ohhh, nooo!” he suddenly began to cry, quietly, almost under his breath.  He wound up each word in a register unsuitable for a dignified, white-haired man, like him.

He stepped out onto the road and began to cross.  Seven, six, five…  He crossed right in front of my windshield.

“Ohhh, nooo!” He squinted again.  “They took my car…  Oh!”

I looked in the direction of his grief.  The curbs in front of that one police station, in Hollywood, were completely empty.  It was that time of the day when the rules demanded for us to give each other more space.

“They took my car…”  The white-haired man continued, and in the way he stumbled onto the pavement at the end of his walkway, I thought he was way too close to collapsing on his feet:  Way too close to his insanity — as he had gone way too far.  

“I can’t take this — anymore…” he wept.

It separated inside of me and dropped — some dark feeling that comes from suspecting that nothing in the world had promised to be just.  And that departure of my own hope scared me:  What’s life — without hope?

Someone honked behind me:  The light had changed, and I had to give them way.  I had to give them enough space to pass into the lives that stressed them out ahead.

 

Yoga Orgasm? Anyone?

“If you don’t experience an orgasm here–in dance–you won’t experience it in life.”

Last night my brown, stunning yoga teacher gave me an ultimatum in a class she was invited to substitute.  Or perhaps, she spoke to the other four women who, just like I, had no idea what just hit them.  Because you see, we were expecting to be in the midst of level 1/2 of bending and twisting ourselves past the mind’s resistance, just so some of us could land in our bodies, while I very much desired to step out of it:  Out of the mind that has been thrashing about like a captured wild cat for the last–oh, I don’t know–lifetime.  Instead, there she stood:  killer looks–a fucking Kama Sutra goddess, picture-perfect stunner; clad in jewel tones, with her Indian hair cascading down the perfect caramel-colored skin in waves that her arms would soon imitate; with her magnificent chest thrusted forward–as was her heart–with zero shame, apology or self-negation.  Her bare dancer feet clasped the Mother Earth with every sinew like roots:  With those alone, she could kick the living lights out of an opponent–or to hold her ground like no one’s business.

When the goddess began to speak, her hands mirrored the poses of Shiva the figurine of which overlooked from a shelf suspended above her head:

“I mostly–(always)–work with women.”  She jotted out of one of her hips to the side revealing a silky, hip-hugging pair of underwear that made me drool; then shot her eyes in my direction and cracked a smile that bitch-slapped my soul with memories of my Indian best friend and every other woman I have ever loved.  “So:  Welcome, Amazons!”

“Shit.  You gonna be like that, huh?” I thought, already feeling the itch in my tear ducts.

From that point on, I didn’t even have enough time, my comrades, to conjure a resistance in the form of fear or embarrassment; for I was already smitten into submission.  As were the other pale, exhausted women in the room.  Where ever this Indian dancer-turned-teacher would lead us–it surely could not be a place of depriving our best interests and needs.

She began reminding us to breathe–alas, so simple!–from the very ovaries; and on every exhale, she demanded to hear our voices.  At first, the choir was timid; but how could we disobey the force and the beauty channelled through a core of a woman who has obviously suffered enough to devote her entire life to suffering no more?  Eventually, the voices grew.  Some women moaned.  Others–yelled hysterically past the tension of their exhausted vocal cords.  (How the fuck did we all become so appropriate?)  The young girl on a mat behind me, who seemed imprisoned by her self-pity, yelped even if mostly out of frustration and misunderstanding–but at least she made a noise.  I–hollered!

On her hands and knees, the goddess cat cowed her strong back; and with every vertebra’s shift, her magnificent behind lifted up and apart.  The thong rode up her back and imitated the arches of her hip bones.  I thought of motherhood.

“Remember that 5-year old girl before your parents told you to be an adult?” the goddess read my mind.  “Or maybe they were right–and told you you were magnificent.”

In the child’s pose, she spoke of the Mother.  In the chair pose, she reached her arms forward and wiggled her fingers while writing metaphors of rain and petals of jasmine that the women of her country braid into their hair.  Everything about her–was woman.  Every transition–was sex.  She made us pulsate and jive.  Thrust, ride, release.  Touch, caress, hold, clasp, reach, fall down.  In dance, she ordered me to take down my hair.  In stillness, she taught me about the perineum.  (Who knew there was a yoga pose for that?!)  When breathing, she demanded awareness toward the pelvis and the womb–a loaded area inhabited, as I am convinced, by my own issues with motha.

“Yoga is a very masculine practice,” the cutie gave a brutal breakdown from her home front.  What cultural barriers did she have to overcome to be here?  to be this?  “Everything is about resistance.  I want you to unleash.”

No problem, honey.  From day one of this fucking year has been about unleashing.  This year, I, myself, have been all woman–all sex–all hair, and substance, and sweat; finally and fully. I have shaken off the corpses of the past relationships that have slowed down my step for the last years of my second decade.  Why am I carrying this shit around, I thought; then deleted, unwelcomed, cut out–cut off–and finally said my au revoirs to the dead weight.  When lighter, immediately the art began to happen.  As if past the broken levees, the words have flooded in.  Who the fuck am I to hold myself back?  Who the hell gave me the right to fear?  to resist?  to worry? And:  I have been unleashing ever since.  Speaking up and out.  Resurrecting the 5-year old who had no problems with her voice.  Writing songs and odes and pamphlets on the topics that make others wince or giggle, or, better yet, to run the fuck away.  Yet, I continue, for the sake of the honorable few that stick around, listen up, and even change; and those few make it all worth it.   So, yes, my earthly Shiva:  because I have called you out, I shall obey your command and unleash–and embrace my orgasms, wherever they happen.

When I Grow Up…

“Wheey-it a minute, wheey-it a minute!  That would make you a cougar!”–the other night a very “old” comrade of mine tried to get the facts straight when he learned of the 4-year difference between my lover and I.  “Baryshnikoff!”–(he tags me by the name of his own invention)–“You.  Are.  A cradle-stealer!”  Funny, comrade.  Real funny.

My records will speak for themselves:  Prior to my current boo, I’ve always had a preference for the older gentlemen.  Well…  Except for this one time…  and then, that other time, that happened just once…  Regardless:  Either due to my former youthful arrogance toward the opposite gender or my daddy issues, at least a five-year gap in my man’s favor was always must.  But, as I am claiming these days–with dignity and pride in my man’s age (and appearance)–the tables have turned.  Or the clocks have stopped.  Or the patterns of revenge on my own absentee papa have been reversed.  I shall leave it up to my fabulously aged shrink to dig up the reasons for this change; but I must hurry to admit:  I LIKE it.

But the question on today’s agenda–is not my lover’s age.  It is my own.  For the very first time in my life, I feel that I have become the woman I’ve wanted to be.  Although I’ve owned a vagina for now THIRTY TWO YEARS (!), and although I’ve never really been the type of a broad to be in denial about its functions or consequences, only in the last half a decade have I been fully thrilled to carry its license.  As for my curvatures, I have accepted my handful-sized breasts and the apple-shaped behind (which still earns compliments from prepubescent boys and men-children alike); for I have learned:  The secret is not in the baggage–but in how you carry it. I am perfectly alright with never achieving the measurements of Ms. Monica Bellucci (although I doubt that my mouth–and lips–will ever stop watering at the mere thought of her); because I’ve been granted exactly what a woman of my size and ambition is supposed to handle.  I’ve been given just enough.  So:  I’m the petite brown yogini type that travels light and runs away from the ways–and men–of her past.  ‘S cool.

Yet, now that I have finally started liking my own refection, my mirrors have begun to bend.  Those fuckin’ wankers!  A wrinkle here and there has yet to make me freak out.  But my body’s sudden obedience to gravity–that has been somewhat disheartening.  Just the other day, a friend’s photograph has captured my breasts’ misbehavior:  while refusing to salute via the erect nipples, the actual white meat was in the midst of some sideways shift that left V puzzled at first–then horrified.

So, what IS a woman to do when the signs of aging are no longer possible to ignore?  Cover up the mirrors?  Hire a surgeon in 90210?  Drop all girlfriends with honest tongues–and get a membership to the Real Housewives club?

Well, the lovely, gorgeous, soft-skinned compatriots of my own gender:  As the British government propaganda has once eloquently proposed, the answer is–“To keep calm and carry on.”  I have yet to discover motherhood or house ownership or retirement–or whatever else older age delivers into a woman’s capable hands.  Yet, already I’m beginning to adore my reign in the kitchen which would have been not only impossible but offensive to the young feminist I once was.  I dwell in my maternal tendencies toward my comrades and lovers; and those too have flooded my heart primarily with age.  The strut with which I have learned to carry my petite frame, the sway of my apple-shaped ass, my perpetually un-styled, disobedient hair–there is a degree of self-acceptance in all of it that I would not trade for any goddess-like endowment of Monica.  Besides, my 20’s were such hell hole–I’d rather lick a Hollyweird tranny’s taint for breakfast every morning than miss–or go back–to my “youth.”

So, I shall “keep calm and carry on” while bending my limbs and curvatures into pretzel shapes of my yoga classes.  I shall tend to my health and accept the way it looks on me.  I shall continue my weight management that consists of mostly chasing my dreams and keeping up with my young lover, and pray that the esteem of self-awareness and a life well-lived will make me find myself still sufficient–and beautiful!–in a few more years. As for my men:  I DO hope that the vain or the delusional ones depart for the younger types–and the sooner, the better.  And something tells, me that only the ones I actually want to be with will stick around for a woman well-aged into her skin–who reigns in the kitchen and fucks with the lights on–the woman I am continuously becoming.

P.S.:  “All fine and dandy for her, that biatch!” you might say, my dear ladies.  If you must freak out and disagree with your mirrors, at least follow the ways of the French:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/fashion/15French.html.