IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

The Truth is in the Choice, Guest Editor Michelle Ladwig

Thursday, May 01, 2014

 

Sometimes I think it’s funny that both of my professions, both of my creative loves, involve precision, creativity, attempts and failures, and no-holds-barred shoot outs with my nemesis.  The difference is here:  In academia, the nemesis is the editor.  In yoga, the nemesis is the self.


When I go to school, I dress appropriately:  slacks or skirt, blouse (no cleavage), suitably heeled shoes (no toe cleavage), proper under garments; i.e. things are covered.  I carry a bag filled with books, red-inked papers, pencils, pens, and “Good Job Stickers.”  When I head out to the studio, I carry a bag filled with a mat, a towel, water, one MP3 player, hairbands, pose-driven choreography in my head, and ambition.  When I slack off the outer garments of propriety, I am in barely anything:  a sports bra and hot shorts.


I teach and practice in the tradition of hot yoga.  We keep the room at a lovely 105 degrees.  (If you were from the south like I am, you’d agree 105 degrees ain’t nothing).  The tradition beyond the temperature is in the wall-to-wall sheet of truth staring me down.  We like mirrors!


Truth: once in a while I look in the mirror and think I should cover up. I am too old to bare my belly; too old to wear hot pants. Too old.  And here, right here, is where I not only question my wardrobe, I question where did that come from!


Mother Nature and I have been at it for about a year now.  If you are unsure, let me tell you, shit happens and it happens at glacial speed.   My mother said that one day my skinny body and my metabolism would go to pot.  Well, I haven’t gone to pot.  I’m still doing worlds better than my high school peers, but man, things are a-changing.


Now, all kinds of chicks and dudes come to hot yoga.  All bodies, all ages.  Tall boys, full-figured gals, double sport bra ta-tas, shaved legs, unshaved legs, fitness fanatics and chill lotus flowers.  Here’s the thing:  I don’t care how you look or if you shave your legs.  That’s your body and it’s a beautiful thing.    I have never once noticed if you gained weight.  I do notice when your tricep heads start defining, or your delts get sculpted, or when you finally master THAT pose.


But, when I look at my body in the big ole’ horizon of mirror, I notice things.  And, here, I am tempted to create the laundry list of ughs and wtfs, but that would be counter-productive.
I don’t like it, but what am I going to do?  Diet?  I hate grapefruit.  Run til I drop?  Hurts my everything.  No, I am going to yoga.


I am going to look in the mirror and study the body I have earned.  Positive Laundry List: I like the shape of my lips and the color of my eyes, and my curly red, Moppet hair.  I have strong core muscles, arms and back muscles that allow me into hand stands and arm balance work.  I have two healthy breasts, a hale libido, toes that point, feet that flex, and a body willing to go where the heart goes.

And my heart wants to swing from aerial hoops and silks, fly in AcroYoga with my friends and my husband, go for bike rides above water puddles and below apple blossoms, and I want to paddle the Mississippi on a SUP board.  If the nemesis is the self, then the heart is the child with no caution, only wild abandon.  I am choosing to turn that voice off.  I am choosing this body.


Observing what "is"

Thursday, January 03, 2013
...is what Yoga "is."  Well, that doesn't fully sum it all up...or does it?

I was listening to a Richard Freeman (pictured above) talk today as I headed to our hot yoga studio to do my practice.  Today I didn't attend a guided class, but I was practicing in the same room as my husband.  I wasn't practicing with him, but there have been days in the past when I have been very tempted to do his yoga practice.  He is an advanced practitioner, so it can be tough at times to let go of my grasping to do what he does (check out our photo gallery to see for yourself!)

Today was different.  While I've listened to this particular 'Studio Talk' by Richard countless times before, there was a line that struck me as I pulled into the lot.  While I'm not quoting verbatim, he said that the practice of yoga is essentially the "observation of what is."  Now, I should also mention that I fell and hurt my arm last week, and so I was nervous to launch into a gazillion sun salutations (specifically Upward Facing Dog (known in Sanskrit as Urdhva Mukha Svanasana.)  

Richards words shifted something, making my practice slow and skillful today.  I spent a lot of time patiently observing the sensations in my wrist, forearms, and I was surprised to discover pain deep in my shoulder joint & beneath the scapula on the right side.  I moved through a sequence of postures that opened the shoulder and provided a deep, therapeutic stretch & release.  Updog wasn't comfortable, so I didn't push through them (as I am sometimes wont to do.)  As I moved in and out of each posture I found myself practicing keen awareness and the attachment to having a vigorous practice melted away.

The discomfort is still there, but there was a great release and relief from the practice of observation of what "is" along with the acceptance of what "is."  And, I'm happy to report I didn't notice my husbands practice at all today (well, almost...he IS pretty awesome to 'observe!')

Namaste,
IndigoGrrl   


I like our shiny new website, do you?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

And, I love our glowing new Hot Yoga studio.  So many new & luminous wonders and it isn’t even the New Year (yet.)

I’m looking forward to sharing time, space, & energy with all of you in the year ahead.
What are you most looking forward to in 2013?

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