Notes Of A Scaredy Crow At The End Of 2014 by Kathleen Kraft
So that’s what happened to me recently. Life was humming along both on the mat and off. My teaching and practicing are deeply gratifying on many days, but…
I was… I am. Stuck.
Breath Becomes Her
My relationship with the breath is so profound and yet so simple. I came into this life on an inhale; wailing away as a nurse wiped snot from my nose and, hopefully, I’ll go out on a peaceful exhale.
Between that big roar and that quiet dissolution, I’ve realized that my life is a sort of retention. I’ve retained a particular life-form as I’ve shed cells, grown hair and gained wrinkles.
Teaching the Forgotten
I play George Winston or Mozart in the background. One of the men told me the other day he likes the Mozart I play because it’s the same as the music in Bugs Bunny show. We punch the air. We breathe. And we end with savasana. I find that the more I get to know them, the more I am comfortable abandoning the plan and just going with what I feel they really need… Mostly heart-openers.
Joyful Purpose: Reaching for the Moon with Ardha Chandrasana
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) was the first pose that showed me how to be a spiritual practitioner. Similar to how the warriors allow us to feel prepared and ready, Half Moon opened me up to my potential in a new way.
I remember the initial feeling of finding a shape that spoke to me, embodied me, and so I embodied and embraced it back. And it gave me what a good partner does: support and an abiding faith.
Home Practice: The Most Important Piece
The key is to take it slowly. It’s taken me 10 years to get to 30 minutes of quiet. Meditation is hard. Several years ago I took a meditation course. Ten weeks long. In our class we also discussed what had happened in our practice the week before. What was easy or difficult, how we felt, what our dreams were like. Perfect for a New Yorker…equal parts intellectual stimulation, stress control and psychotherapy. It was just the right amount of time to build a foundation for an ongoing meditation practice.
Home Practice – The Beginning
I glance at my clock…one eye shut and the other barely open. It’s 5:30. Time to roll out of bed.
My husband snores lightly next to me. He doesn’t understand my need to practice every day.
Right now, I don’t understand my need to practice every day either. This is definitely the hardest part of self-practice.
I stopped going to a colorist about three years ago. The process was expensive, time consuming and despite the claims of “natural dye” left me feeling as if I had a chemical helmet on.
Not a particularly interesting tale.
But something about my hair is polarizing. It tells me more about commentators than it does about myself.
Do men get these comments about their hair color?
I take a sideway glance in a mirror as I go by. A flash of silver and a wry smile.
Little Truthful One
I loved flipping through baby name books my parents had and writing down names I liked. Once I looked up my own name and saw the definition: “Little Truthful One.” I was kind of disappointed. I wanted it to mean something cool like moonbeams.
Despite my disappointment the definition stayed with me. I ended up in a relationship where truthfulness became the crux of most of our issues. All he wanted me to do was tell the truth about everything and I found I struggled with it.
Genie, You’re Free And Death in the West
What “well established standards” are these? And are the Christ-centric Gates of Hell still welcoming those who have ended their own lives into Dante’s Woods of the Seventh Circle?
No More Poses Folks
Clearly the idea of asana and the word pose are at odds with one another. Perhaps as teachers, students (not to mention writers) we should abstain from using the word pose. It does no justice to the higher understanding of how to do the practice, taking us further away from the very core of yoga.