Five years ago on this day, I felt something that I haven’t felt for the past five days during my YTT: anger, impatience, and a hearty helping of STFU.
It all began with our morning sadhana, led by “R”. You either love this guy or hate him. His style is this: S……..L………..O………W. Everything is aahhhhhhh. How do you feel in thissssss?
It is not good. You know what? I am tired. I had five hours of sleep for the past four nights after moving from 6:30 a.m. to 9 at night. I close my eyes, I sleep. Why do you do a savasana-based practice at 6:30 in the morning? You have put me back to sleep. I don’t want to listen to your aaahhs over and over and over again. I don’t want to listen to your stereotypical Kripalu-isms like How and Why and Feel and See and Realize and Notice. I am lying on my back, falling asleep again. That’s how I FEEL. Tired. Pooped. Cold. We lie still for 15 minutes, lift our legs. There is a Cobra, Boat, and then, oh! It’s bedtime again. You make me so angry. I am tired, I need to MOVE and WAKE the [bleep] up. I want to take the microphone out of your hand, Mr. High and Mighty Kripalu, and beat you. Stop talking like a freaking hypnotherapist. You are trapping me, suffocating me. I want to break off this mat and do sun salutations, downdog…anything! I make faces, I grit my teeth, I make fists. I keep my eyes open during savasana because I’m a rebel and I need to WAKE UP. I don’t Om very loud or enthusiastically, and the room is weak, our Oms are pathetic and tired. Good. No swelling, sensual Om for you, Mr. Every Kripalu-ism in the book. Feeeeel that. Notice that. How does that feel?!?!?!?!?!
I realize this is the first time here at Kripalu I am angry and pissed. At Kripalu, the land of peace and harmony and happiness, I had been tired, sad, scared, happy, nervous, but never MAD. These emotions feel new to me, strange. Out of place here. Thank gosh the morning lesson begins with some harmonium and chanting. We chant So Hum So Hum, So Hum Shivo Hum, which translates to “I am that I am.” It is a pleasant melody and calms me down. During our anatomy lesson, we learn about moving with the spine in mind, the four types of tissue (connective, muscle, nervous, epithelial), and the importance of moving (inactivity shrink-wraps the muscles).
Later in the day, we have a chance to partner up and practice teach Cobra, Sphinx, Child’s Pose, Half Locust, and Boat. I pair with M and forget how to talk. I make up words like “clitch.” I have no idea how to get someone up in Cobra. When I did my mini-practice teach with M, I somehow lead her through tadasana–mountain–using all tree analogies. It was stressful but still good; M is already a teacher, and I liked working with someone who could give me tips.
THE FIRST WEEK (dah-dah-DUM!) is wrapping up. It’s Friday night, our off night. Some people did a yoga and art workshop; I opted to test my aparigraha at the Kripalu Shop but ended up getting two Kripalu shirts and a chocolate chip cookie. I have suddenly developed one hell of an appetite. I think I’m actually gaining weight, a mix of constipation, delicious buffet meals 3x per day, no intense cardio, no 3x/week strength training, and me constantly stuffing my face. For example, after dinner tonight, I indulged in a Kripalu cookie but then scarfed down leftover pretzels in our dorm room. I have a few bites of a protein bar before morning sadhana, breakfast, lunch, after-lunch pretzel stuffing, etc, etc. I have no energy to go to the gym anymore before lunch; today, I napped instead.
Roger’s class tonight was hyped-out fun. We danced around like it was dance night at Adelphia and then made fun of Jane Fonda workouts. Lots of downdog variations, killer utkatasanas, and some exhilarating spinal twists. Yoga is great with Moby and dance music.
Everyone in this program looks so amazingly young. I am delighted at how youthful the group is. L is 31 but looks 27 or 28. We are all yoga youth. I bet Megha is 85. Helga is actually 120.
R&R people are here for the weekend. It’s so weird. Suddenly our little nest of peace, love, and happiness is broken as these new people stop in. Well-dressed people with make-up and designer yoga gear. People who got just a little too pushy in the buffet line. They’re roaming the lobby, planning out their activities and hikes and massages. It’s reverse culture shock, new things coming into MY world.
There are new presenters here, too. Yoganand’s pranayama class is over, and now Cameron Shayne is in the corner room. There’s a Women of Color conference going on. It’s like living in the Hollywood of yoga.
After dinner, I plod around, eventually talking to Bryan and then calling my Kripalu “sponsor,” Yogamama (Kath). We share “Planet K” stories, and she makes me feel so much better. We talked Kripalian and discussed our intense dislike of s-l-o-w R–ugh! And crazy Roger and amazing Megha. BRFWA. Our little language.
My language has changed. I say things like, “I haven’t had a hot water experience with that faucet yet.” My words are slowly changing, my speech becoming more deliberate. I hear myself talk to Bryan and notice I sound different. How long will this last once I get home?