Conversations between two Yoginis…


How can I simultaneously be overwhelmed with teacher training and wanting to add more workouts?

I’ve been taking around 5-6 yoga classes a week, including Mysore, and I’m starting to miss a more well-rounded routine with a bit of running and strength training thrown in (also, I’d love to look really, really good for Mexico).

But at the same time, I have very little time, feel constantly tired, and I’m very stressed with work. Not sure how to work this all out in my head.

My response:

“The distance between what you desire and what your reality is, is in exact proportion to how much pain you’re in.” – Wayne Liquorman said something like this…

Meaning that your desire for what is not yet reality (that’s your belief): “to look really, really good for Mexico” or to have the time to have a “well-rounded” training, is getting in the way of you being fully and completely in the present moment. When we’re not fully in the present moment, meaning appreciating – those who are with us, or the task at hand, then our lives feel empty and we believe we are lacking.

As far as I can see, there are two things going on for you: 1. you are not appreciating (but trying to) your effort and work in your yoga training because you think – one, that you should be doing more, and two, that there is some goal you’re not reaching if you don’t run or strength train…, and 2. you are not aware of the work that is actually happening. You may be “constantly” tired because you worry about not doing enough and can’t see that you might be pushing you too much – perhaps.

Go deeper.

I used to think like you. I did yoga. I worked out. etc. But when I finally relaxed into the practice and did nothing else I found that yoga gave me my body back! I wasn’t looking like every one out there because I am not every one out there. I came to appreciate my body more and stopped fighting against it.

Really what I have to say, or anyone else, will not do anything for you until you (your organism – not your head) are ready for a change.

All you need to know – truly – is that: you are in the place you need to be right now at this moment. This is your moment – the confusion, the dichotomy – it’s not a bad place to be. Listen to it. Be aware of how it rises and falls this feeling of being not “good enough” yet… Be aware and give yourself permission to feel this way. Identify the feeling. Where is it? Then just sit with it.

Immerse yourself in the present moment. When thoughts arise about the future, let them go as quickly as possible and say these things: I am here right now. I feel my… (hand on my lap – insert what is appropriate), I see… (insert what is appropriate), I smell… (insert what is appropriate). Repeat this over again, siting different things. Relax into the not knowing of where you’ll end up.

Learn to trust the universe!

Good luck!




“I Don’t Know” #2


TIM KREIDER, A NY Times writer, writes about writing for media and how most writers are asked to write about things they know nothing about: “…and actual expertise so rarefied, that almost nobody knows enough about anything anymore to have the right to any opinion at all.”

This has always been an issue for me about the media.

I remember back in 1992, when the National Gallery of Canada acquired an earlier Rothko. How excited we all were (my artists friends and I) – finally the Canadian Art world was coming into the 20th Century.

The day I found out, I was having lunch in one of the many cafeteria-type cafes on campus. I was doing my homework there as I often did and reading the papers. The Star on its front page of the art section, had a picture of the Rothko in question – an earlier variation of the work that made him famous, and beside it was a drawing the “writer’s” young daughter did with magic markers and crayon. It was a very good copy for a 6 year old – meaning it wasn’t messy. The caption read, “My daughter is as good as Rothko! Can you tell the difference?” I screamed out “YES!” I was incensed. The writer didn’t get it. Didn’t get why this would be big news for Art fans in Canada. Why this was great news. So then why was it news that some ‘writer’ guy who wrote about something else, not art last month should have any opinion about a piece of art that Art lovers pay good money to come see? Why was his opinion news that Canada was insane to spend 1.2 million (a mere pittance for a Rothko) “on something my daughter can do?” (That’s all the article was about.) I actually stopped reading the paper (and watching the news) shortly after that. But not before I called his extension at the paper and left three terse VMs for him. That was somewhat satisfying.

Why is it then that the media is full of people like that – writing about stuff they know nothing about and don’t have the balls to admit it. It seems everyone wants to be an expert but don’t take the time to become one. It would make for better reading for those who want the depth of the issue whatever it is. It would have been nice to read instead, a little of Rothko’s bio, the details of the piece (oil on canvas, etc.), and what made this piece a-must-have for the National Gallery. That would have made everyone excited about it. You know though, my experience has taught me that the public doesn’t want to hear about someone’s expertise or details of an issue. It seems they just want to hear about opinion or rather gossip worthy. The news today is more like a gossip mill then about real informed knowledge. Isn’t it?

I Don’t Know

Anyway – I was going to write about “I don’t know”. That powerful statement which can free you. Everyone has a fraud squad – that’s what we call it in my small circle of friends with whom I went through therapy training. It’s the voice that tells you you really don’t know what you’re talking about or what you’re doing. And although sometimes it’s the fear of being found out or made a fool of that keeps writers or anyone else in any walk of life from admitting they don’t know and keep insisting to fake-it-till-you-make-it. But honestly, if you don’t know – say “I don’t know”. Try it. You might find it invigorating.

In good faith, I don’t know a lot about writing, I’m re-learning it I suppose to a certain extent. I like what Neil Gaiman wrote once, “I learned to write by writing”. So that’s what I’m doing.