Sandbagged by Shadows.

from the Journal Pages of Active Yoga

 First posted on Monday, August 3, 2009 – 8:34 am

_MG_1953Hil_new year's 2011_cropped_websize
Teaching yoga in a windowless loft bright with fluorescent lightI glance up as I assist her into camel pose, shins and knees pressing into her arched backHands stretching open her shoulders, as a shadow crosses the room.A cloud passing over the sun and I instinctively look up to the skyBut I’m surrounded by walls and no sky and the shadow is a mystery.

Days afterward shopping for groceries, she’s there.

Tells me of her rage, how she destroyed her bedroom after yoga class.

Tells me of her addiction, her therapy, her bulemia.

She’s afraid of the yoga, afraid of what it brought up.

I tell her to keep it moving.

Come back.

She does.

So many years later she’s a shiny, happy mother and wife.

Healed like a warrior.

She did the work and cleared the darkness in the arms of an army of supporters.

And me?

Supported or set up?

I feel the shins and knees in my own back, friends whispering into my ear, things that will hurt me.

Things I will have to clear.

Knee or is that a knife?

Face and heart thrown up to the light I’m

Sandbagged by shadows that slip through my porous, not holy heart

and drop to a rootless floor.

Until I recover.

Until I dispel the cloud.

Teaching yoga in a windowless studio last week and

A shadow flits through the room.

I recognize it.

Who’s in trouble here?

Is it me?

No, I don’t think so

And I’m vigilant to protect the group.

Still, the shadow world is not all bad as it offers fertile ground for progress.

It’s there one identifies the monster in the night.

Shake out the people, the memories, scenarios that drown out the light.

Make peace with the land and keep growing.




Filed under metaphsyics, new age enlightenment, yoga, yoga practice, yoga teaching, yoga therapy, yoga wisdom

5 responses to “Sandbagged by Shadows.

  1. anonymommy

    I want to be like you when I grow up!

    Was on my way to class this morning when I remembered (thank god) that kids have ortho. appts. at 10:15. damn. I’ll see you tomorrow. xoxolannie

  2. Beautiful chiaroscuro, Hilary. And I must disagree with you about your heart – I’ve seen the holiness.

    • Chiaroscuro is the most beautiful word! I am humbled to have it assigned here. I do not feel holy lately but I remember something, sometime, somewhere that might have been that for a passing moment….. Thank you friend.

  3. “Sandbagged by shadows that slip through my porous, not holy heart…” I like that.

    Your post reminds me totally of this song, Forty six & 2, by Tool. It occurs me to me that there is a good chance you’ve not listened to much Tool and further more, may not like them, but I think you should watch this: (it has the lyrics too and some extra commentary)

    If it makes you feel any better, I don’t think there is any such thing as feeling “holy”. We work to understand the human condition, our own condition, but it will not be tamed. Any gain in understanding is immediately countered with the knowledge that there is even more unknown than we previously realized. So what does it mean to “feel holy”? I suspect that the only people presumptuous enough to give themselves that title are standing in the biggest shadows of all and can’t even see them for lack of contrast. That’s fine, let them hang out in the pious dark. Time will get to them soon enough.

    I think you are good, really. 🙂

    • Love the video. I get it. I wrote that a long time ago but I’d venture to explain why I wrote that. I felt holes in my heart so to speak, a heart that was a bit broken. And porous means a different kind of holy but maybe not. If I were to interpret the author’s thoughts I would say she knows that a holy heart is not hard but porous but that she was too aware of her own transgressions to take credit for being more than human. 🙂 Thank you for the chance to decipher my own writing!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s