Mind the Struggle


This a Star Trek: Original Series inspired blog piece
This morning during Mysore practice one of my students was working on Bakasana. There was mention of hovering, of floating, of pressing away form the Earth. Images pertaining to opposing forces lit up my mind.I remember a Star Trek episode where the team beams down onto a planet of miners, digging in the dirt for the benefit of intellectuals dwelling in a city in the clouds. This cloud city  was sustained by some anti-gravity technology that required  a rare mineral that was of course mined by the cave people. This episode The Cloud Minders (3rd season) was classic late 60’s social commentary: the uneducated vs. the intellectual, physical labor vs. intellectual energy, poor vs. rich, Etc..The hovering city populated by the fancy people above, and the sweaty grunting cave dwelling Troglodytes on the planets surface below.
Fancy people
living up in the clouds
on the
The yogi in Bakasana embodied the internal struggle I am going through to rectify  the play of opposites inside my self. Earth and Heaven, body and mind, sweat and synaptic processing, worker and thinker, school teacher and yogi.
I am struggling with my letting go of my Trogoldyte roots. And yet I do not want to ever let go of my Troglodyte roots. I do not want for one moment to be a Cloud Minder, a better than, a superior. And yet here I sit cross legged at 8:33 AM in my house in a neighborhood that has recently become quite fond of itself. I have a yoga studio upstairs and an Alexander studio in the front room in this nice house in the now fancy location. Me, a 12 year veteran of public school teaching has been awarded the unthinkable luxury of time! Time to write, time to think, time to do  yoga. My dear  friends and former colleagues are at work, in the trenches, teaching  children how to read and write and think, and yet they have no time themselves to read and write and think.. My husband too, is in those same trenches, as I tippy-tap on my little Mac book he is on the front line of  the social inequality war, working for and serving the Hispanic population of Durham NC .He speaks  Spanish and is a translator and interprator, but really he is an advocate for those who have no voice in our school system. He is such a worker bee, and yet in marrying him I have been able to let go of my  full-time job in that public school system and realize a life long dream of being a full-time Alexander Technique teacher. I now have time for my Ashtanga yoga practice and even time for writing about how I feel about having time to write!
So where is the struggle?
Here is the struggle…..  One of the best things about my Alexander and yoga teaching has always been that I offer the worker bees (myself included in this grouping)  an entry point into the world of self study by being a living example of having a full-time job AND making time for self study. I was a monument, a physical marker to remind my colleagues (and myself) we can partake in the benefits of self study. We belong.
uh oh…. I am no longer one of them.  I did not hustle off  to the cave at dawn nearly spilling coffee on my made in China Dress Barn  school teacher costume. I worry I am slipping into the realm of the hovering city. I am starting to think I don’t really deserve this luxury of time, this reapping of harvest. How have I gotten out of doing lunch duty? Who do I think I am? …. Help I’ve been assisted into a strong supportive vertical position and I keep hurling myself back to the ground in a heap of something like guilt and somehow shame, with a strong dash of melancholy for the trenches.
Who is the hero?
What is the conflict?
When is time more abundant?
Where is the entry point?
Why must I see things as black and white , good and evil,  us and them?
How do I define myself now? If I am not the school teacher yogi… who am I?
How is any of this relevant to my yoga practice?
I will tell you.  … when I figure it out I will tell you.
I have a feeling the relevance boils down to being worthy. I CAN  dwell in the high-faluting city of clouds because my ability to hover is not supplied by the sweat of others. And  I can still be a Troglodyte because I AM that. My ability to dwell in the city of clouds is made possible by the steam rising off my cave dwelling ashtanga yoga doing self. I am the coal miner and the bearer of the  rare and beautiful gems. I am the hero and also the reason the hero must work so damn hard. I am the rising conflict and the resolution. I am what makes the story interesting. I am a complicated force of opposing actions interacting for the greater good. I am the struggle!
What if the struggle is not the problem?  What if the struggle is the answer?
Ms Faulkner is…..
a) losing a part of her identity to allow for its entirety
b) missing some details so as to remember the reason
c) Crushing on Mr. Lang
d) Finding her voice
Mr. Spock gets a little action
as does Kirk