Five years ago on this day, my day began with a colon massage.

No, for real.

Our teachers had finally picked up on the fact that everyone was feeling the effects of Kripalu’s high-fiber, mostly roughage-based meals and that most of us hadn’t had a satisfactory bowel movement since we arrived. We all looked a little bit pregnant. Rudy came to our rescue, and in place of a regular morning sadhana led us through a round of bhunaman vajrasana, an abdominal massage that targets the large intestine. Sitting on our heels, we press our left fist gently into our right side, where the transverse colon begins (between pelvis and ribs), massaging the area while bending over our knees. The fist moves across the intestine, bending over with each move of the hand. When we get to the center, we switch hands so that now our right hand is massaging the left side of our colon. After that, we learn agnisera dhauti, an abdominal pumping exercise, in which after a deep inhale and exhale, you pump the abdominal area in and out quickly during the exhale, expanding your lower half like a Buddha belly. Precautions: Menstruation, do on an empty stomach (preferably first thing in morning). Contraindications: Pregnancy. Efficacy: Oh yeaaaaah.

***

Today is Practice Teach #1, and I think I sabotaged myself. In the effort of trying to be so different, so fun, so unique, I ended up being someone I’m not, even though I initially thought I stayed true to myself. Even after all this time of introspection and contemplation, I struggle with knowing my True Self. Yes, I am playful, but is that your primary goal? Who are your inspirations and why? I think too much. Trying to be unique too much. I didn’t feel ME. I felt like I was acting. I don’t know what I felt. Ambivalent. I felt like I had tried on a new pair of shoes–kind of uncomfortable, kind of warm and nice, still a different fit. [Classmate] was amazing. The guy I didn’t trust at all, the weird guy, the black sheep–he was awesome. He nailed all the Kripalu points. His languaging was simple but on. He gave us so much room for exploration and prana response. So many opportunities to take Stage 2 and 3. You know what [my facilitator] told me? You were very loud and clear. She didn’t have to struggle to hear me. My downdog variation with the hand sweep was difficult for beginners.

I spoke clearly.

I spoke clearly.

Great. Awesome. Wow. I can talk! I can talk, therefore I can be a yoga teacher. /sarcasm

So much self-doubt right now. So much negativity. Everyone else is gloating, enamored with themselves and their classes. [Classmate] had this [bleep]ing LSD-entranced smile on her face like she just orgasmed. I don’t feel like that. I feel inadequate. I need to delve deeper, take these Kripalu roots to heart, allow prana to flow to me and my students. Maybe allow students a little prana call and response. Anger, delight, bliss, confusion: Move your body as it feels appropriate. Go. Move. Explore.

***

Afternoon sadhana with Jennifer. By then I feel like crap. Very emotionally vulnerable and kind of sick, too. Feverish. Cold. Hot. Dry, red lips. No energy. Confused. Depleted. I drift in and out of savasana, my little yoga nidra dreams coming and going like waves. At one point, the icy/hot feeling I experienced on the massage table [prior to coming top Kripalu] returns to my belly. It stays warm. I feel like someone tucked six blankets into my core. It does not spread.

***

After some time in the “confessional” (phone booth), I hit the whirlpool. I feel like I stepped back to Roman days, with naked women gathering together, talking, laughing, conversing. Our breasts, our bottoms, our pelvic regions…just there. We sit side-by-side and chat, naked.

***

Bed bug scare [turns out to be negative] in D’s space. Shower. Reading. Bedtime at 10 p.m., my earliest. I get 7.5 hours of deep, dream-frenzied sleep.

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