Tag Archives: savasana

Robocaller in Your Head

Robots hacked your home phone. You know, that old clunker nailed to wall that you keep for the last touch of we’re a family here. You keep it for your mother and you keep it for midnight emergencies next to your head in the bed. It’s got a virus called robocall.

woman on phone

It’s the automated voice in your head that beats you down by repeating the same things over and over even though you’re not buying, even though you will never close that deal. It doesn’t respect your busy day or your need for dreamless sleep. It’s the ring of a new world, the world which agrees that it’s fine to call anyone at any hour for any reason. It’s the ring of limitless which you thought was freedom but is someone else’s freedom to imprison you. That someone else is you.

You could press #1 to take yourself off the list but you don’t because you’re afraid you might miss something. You’re a hoarder.

“We rarely hear the inward music

But we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.” ~ Rumi

You don’t notice that the words to the song or jingles contain some lyrics of your stuck life. You don’t recognize that repetitive ruminations abide because you don’t confront them.

You have to pick up to take yourself off the list. You have to agree to not be called again. You have to know what is valuable and what should be thrown away.

Be still. Have a seat or lie down with yourself. Robocaller is waiting and ready. It knows when you are home. Pick up and listen. Why were you marked for this call? Robocaller has your number. Do you? Think about the incoming message. If you don’t need to hear it again press a key and get off the list.

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Music and the Bomb Shelter of Your Heart

Thanks to my failed relationship to all things virtual connection, I had lost much of my cherished music in a wrong attempt to switch I-tunes to my new computer. In the resulting fit of pique in I had foregone music in class for the better part of a year and turned to my left brain teaching mode but I need music tonight so I plug this vintage I-pod in knowing that what will or will not play is a mystery.

I’ve got a play list running that had been shot full of holes in the firestorm. Tonight I’m checking this out to see if something destroyed has been impossibly recently resuscitated by my I.T. guy. I’ve desperately missed conducting movement to music which was lost in tandem by my crapped out hip and my crapped out I-pod. The students trickle in. I decide to let untested music ride as class begins.

As we settle down it’s apparent that the song playing is a bit intense. The list is called Alternative. It was arranged to tear your salty heart from a bomb shelter and restore it honey dripping to an emerald cave.

“Hello friends. I’m running a questionable play list which is an interesting choice right here as I don’t remember what’s on it and I don’t know most of you. Music is personal. Something here might urge you to run screaming from the room. I want you to do this (hand raised) if a song makes you nuts and I will cut it off. If you agree, we’ll continue this experiment together. I hope it serves you well.”

A room of faces unanimously smiles. So that’s that. Thanks guys.

I match the class to the intensity of the lyrics. This is my wheel house. It’s what got me on the map so to speak. I’m here too many years teaching and too many years on this earth to be accused of baseless vanity. The rust falls off the wheels. The list seems intact and it appears to be lifting the level of concentration, fueling hearts. An hour later the track is still uninterrupted. It seems the hour plus play list has indeed reappeared intact. The music seems to agree to follow the now downward flow of the yoga class though I can’t be sure.

Notice where the attention is drawn, I ask them as they enter savasana. What does at tension depict in the muscles and mind? I ask them to describe sensation and thoughts with silent words until there are no more. I tell them that these are the places and ruminations crying out to be noticed.

By the noticing they calm and shift.

Ed Sheeran has begun to sing, “Give Me Love. The class is well into the work of savasana when the volume rises and the song takes a dangerous turn. Lyrics screech a repetitive desperate demand.


The calm is assaulted. This invasion has torpedoes aimed for the heart. It will test the student’s nerves. I rush across the long room to turn it down even as it’s coming apart, winding out from the tantrum to murmer; m-my my, m- my my, m-my, my oh give me love,lover.

Damn! “Give Me Love” just delivered the gist of my directions though I didn’t consciously plan it or the in- your- face full frontal. Not a likely vehicle for savasana, it was nevertheless powerful. I closed with a lesson offered there.

You cannot avoid pain by ignoring it. It will continue to knock on your door or climb in your window when you ignore the door or finally blow the roof off if you lock the window. Discomfort is comforted by the act of seeing it and that is an act of self love. Give all the words you have to all the ways you feel with abandon to let your SELF know you are listening.

Here’s a lesson to help you listen in savasana.


Filed under American culture, Healing, meditation, new age enlightenment, yoga, Yoga Class, Yoga philosophy, yoga practice, yoga teaching, yoga therapy, yoga wisdom

The Time Traveler

Revised from my Journal, written in 2004

He lies on his back, palms open, eyelids softly shut.
He’s instructed to let go only moments after he’s been coaxed to hold on.
He’s willing.
He waits.
Surrenders a body wrung out from the practice, empties a mind, trusting me that it will come back.

It takes nerves of steel.

He has not been here before.

A country Southerner new to the city, new to yoga and to me,

Open minded and readily vulnerable, he is spectacular and brave at a time mysterious yoga has just stuck her head out of yurt and into the health clubs.

There’s a tidal wave of fear.
Shaken, he waits it out until released from this last pose; savasana.

I tell him I cannot explain his fear but that it may be residue from the past; perhaps a picture will come to him if he sits with it allowing reflection while his cells are stirring.

He’s experiencing the effect of yoga in the powerful way that happens in the beginning and I tell him so.

And that fear is not his enemy but a frightened messenger who has escaped imprisonment so that he might become better acquainted.

Knowledge of the past empowers the future as the future is entwined forever with the past.

My memories have come quietly in this twilight sleep and changed my impressions in the present light as his may do now.
Memories are stored in the body and this body was born of another and that of another and the first person you ever came from is stored in you too.

Discoveries of events that happened in our lifetime can be sorted but there are also insights that have no picture or words that do not make sense but shift our awareness anyway.

We change our past by our perception of it and we recognize distorted impressions of ourselves. We release the pain that our ancestors might have perpetuated, pain that was perpetuated against them as by consciousness we become untangled from those distortions.

We revisit our habits caused by pain and the pain caused by habit too.

We change history.

We are time travelers.


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Buzz Buzz Buzz

A student rushes in late.  She hasn’t been to class for a couple of weeks, says she’s frazzled and overwhelmed.

I’m teaching a class about moving with resistance. The class unfolds and so do her feelings and I notice the lesson that started without her was hers. She and this class begin a dance and she follows its lead.

We first follow the conservative approach to a pose. Where is the resistance? Where does it begin and what compensates for that? We revisit this and each subsequent pose in a seated, non-traditional flow. Spine follows a rolling pelvis, limbs follow, then pull to coax the spine to lengthen again, rocking, twisting, yielding, falling, breathing our way in and out of the forms.  We hold each one a final time sitting with lingering resistance till that resistance plays out.  Now where is the resistance? What has changed?

And I ask the class, how can you know what you’re dealing with if you don’t confront the conflict first? You can’t ignore it but if you force your will carelessly it may result in stress moving to a less obvious place.  Go in and out of the knot to find a graceful way forward.

My student suddenly says, “It seems like people are just mean these days. What’s going on?” She tells us about bees that surround a single wasp to kill it by vibration.  She says she feels like the wasp.

Another student says, “When people are mean or rude, just let them have their way and ignore them.” I weigh in that ignoring people who are vibrating you to death won’t save you but make your death passive. Ignoring antagonism works when the issue is not personal but otherwise it causes passive aggression which will make you sick anyway. You need to meet the resistance and find a way to deal with it. The first student cries out that as a school director it is her job is to manage people and it seems like she constantly has to placate people who she would rather deal with otherwise. It is making her sick.

Their bodies continue the conversation without words and I offer a final consideration as they began savasana: Notice anything that calls your attention. Tension calls attention. Give it energy. Describe it in every word you can find until it is satisfied. When something is crying for attention it will not go away by ignoring it. It will go away when it is addressed. Defining and describing it will make it obvious. Then it will lose its power. Then you can move on.


That student later called to say she’d had an epiphany after class and had made some decisions that left her with a peaceful mind. I imagined the quiet after the vibration of the bees slowed and disappeared. And I felt her relief, grateful to be part of it. I hope to remember this lesson for another time and I mark it here for posterity.


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