Five years ago on this day, I slept in till 7:30. It was Saturday, our day off during YTT, and I was woken by the howling wind and pounding rain, a Nor’easter banging on our windows. Breakfast was a massive indulgence–no aparigraha whatsoever: cereal, stratta, a scone, yogurt. I eat the entire scone even though I can feel my stomach getting full. I do some weights in the gym, feeling fat. My legs are huge. My pants are sticking to me. M and I complain about our weight and eating habits. Tonight happens to be dessert night. Aparigraha. ::sigh::

***

Ironically, I talk with S later in the morning. She is leaving. “I’m sick,” she tells me. “I have an eating disorder.” What a wonderful, bold young woman. She came to Kripalu to get away from her sickness, another distraction, but here she came to terms with her illness. She knows she needs help. Psychologically, she is ready–she now knows she needs the physical help. What an intelligent, beautiful 18-year-old. To admit, to share, to stand up and leave and get help. M, S, and I have a deep 30-minute heart-to-heart. I know S will make a great niche teacher once she is certified.

***

This day is our first “gloomy” day, but it’s so romantic too. The clouds are swirling low over the mountains, like stage effects for a Halloween show. Briefly, the sun emerges, casting a brilliant glow on the oranges and yellows. People flock outside and just stand there, amazed. They stand there like God himself just came off the mountain to say hello. “It rained so much that it erased the mountains!” a woman in the lobby says. “You just couldn’t see them.”

***

We all hug here. We talk very softly. We are supportive and nurturing. We nod and gently blink and offer love and compassion.

***

My Stage 3 in Grace’s class is incredible. After some standing postures, I sink into Plough, immersed, encased. I flow into Fish, my heart on fire. I stay, linger. My chest swells. I roll up into sukhasana and sink down into a forward bend. I melt. The energy is intense–through my closed eyes I see vibrating colors and shapes, like a visual boombox, pictorial soundwaves. I find myself in janu sirsasana, falling down and down. I allow my non-extended leg to sink into the mat; my bend deepens. No glute pain. Elongated. Free.

***

I take my first DansKinetics class at noon. Fantastic, Fabulous, Freeing, I write in my journal, followed by exclamation points, stars, question marks, and other random symbols of frenzy.

Live drumming, percussion madness. A gazillion people in our Shadowbrook room, so sweaty, so close, so alive. Megha is fiery, crazy, looney, bouncy, all smiles and compassionate intensity. She wears blue stretch pants, pink socks, and sneakers. We follow her movements, hoot and holler, pound the floor, do the ischial tuberosity dance (with lyrics!) in both dandasana and baddha konasana. We do choo-choo train “follow-the-leader” dances out into the hallway. The sound is maddening. Tribal. Primal. I become an animal. I am the music. I sweat, sweat, sweat. Glistening, then dripping. Have I ever sweated harder than this? The musicians get in the center  of the floor and I move to the center, jam along with the drummers, allow their music to surge through me. I feed off their enthusiasm and vitality. I am the music. At the close of the jam session, I get the urge to run around the room, darting in and out of traffic jams, using people’s energy not to bump into them. I gather everyone else’s energy, I scoop it up like a skipping idiot and drink it in. We fall to the floor to relax, and my slimy skin picks up particles of dirt, fuzz, hair. I lie in savasana with my hands in anjali mudra, over my forehead. Ecstasy. Megha calls the YTT group over afterward to see how we were doing. “Are you in the right training program,” she asks me.

Post DansKinetics bliss.

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