I used to do ashtanga…..

The Neek at the Nasher Museum
in our hometown of Durham NC
 still do, but I used to too.
What gets bigger the more you take away?  A hole.  I think Gollum said that…….

me and my boys with Tim
at the Barn in Charlottsville on Hanuman’s birthday!
This also applies to my life. My life on ashtanga.
I go to bed as early as possible.  I make polite  excuses for not attending parties.  I don’t often go to the movies because even the early show ends too late.   I prefer my husband’s cooking to going out to eat.  My very best friends are my dogs. I have no job (besides teaching Alexander Technique and ashtanga in my home studio). I go days without getting in my car. 
If I could have taken a look into the future and seen my life as it is now when I was 20 I would have barely recognized me.  Well…I would have recognized my physique because that looks very similar to how Iooked back then, and I am right now sporting a rather Dorothy Hamillesque Short and Sassy type of hairdo(what was I thinking). It is my mind that  I would have had a hard time seeing as my own.
I used to need so much action, so much noise and commotion. I needed snacks. I needed attention. I loved speed, and heights, and that feeling of the edge of something…. 
I know I was a hard case.  I know I was a consumer, a taker, a loud talker, a close stander, an impulsive just about everythinger. Back in those days  my new year’s resolutions were littered with items like: stop doing handstands on the edge of roofs, no more musicians, no more back handsprings in the  flatbed of trucks while driving on the highway, no more TKE parties the night before track meets, no more parachuting of any kind. I used to make NEW MONTH resolutions to remind myself to remember to not take so many risks with my self. I would get a drink in my system, or get an idea in my system, or feel a sense of boredom….. and there I was on a rooftop, there I was in a basement apartment with complete strangers, there I was completely forgetting my own safety.

I am still a thrill seeker, it is just that my thrill has changed.For that shift, I give thanks to ashtanga yoga.
This shift has taken many moons, many years, in fact decades. I started practicing ashtanga in 1993.
The big thrill of each day is/are the kisses I get from my husband at bedtime (how in the name of Ganesha, did I end up with a loving life partner?!) The next biggest thrill is giving Ganesha his little cup of coffee every morning before my practice. After that comes the thrill of my practice, followed closely by the thrill of being a part of my  students practices. A glass of water after practice with all of its hydrogen bonding making it so very water like thrills me like no other beverage ever has. So pretty thrilling, right? To me it is a thrill a minute. And It all happens very early in the day. 
What gets bigger the more you take away?? in my case, my life gets bigger the more I take away.
Ashtanga is my shovel.
   

for our honeymoon we went to a primary series mysore intensive
 taught by Nancy Gilgoff
 at Christine Hoar’s studio in Vermont

 Yoga is known from yoga.
So even though my life may look small on  the outside because it looks like I don’t do much besides ashtanaga, it is this limiting factor, it is the demands that ashtanga puts on me that allows me to stay focused on it. It used to be hard for me to remember to keep myself and my safety in mind. Ashtanga requires so much attention that it has enabled me to remember it. In remembering it, I also remember myself, because I need myself to do ashtanga. This emerging ability to remember, to look inward, is what has sculpted me into  a person I enjoy spending time with and  person I love enough to keep safe.
Janelle and Ganesha at YogaSpot
in 2003
 David Garrigues (my teacher) leading us through a primary series at my little studio
Ashtanga Yoga Club Durham. I name each workshop. This was DG3
DG and me in Kovalam India this past february
I know this is sounding like a love letter to ashtanga. 
Like every worthwhile relationship that is standing the test of time, ashtanga and I have had some hard times, but we keep making it through. We stick with each other. Me and ashtanga,
we love each other.

I used to do Ashtanaga, still do, but I used to too….

Sincerely Suzanne

PS
Mitch Hedberg video will make you giggle.
He used to do drugs! It’s in the first 2 minutes xoxox
Mitch video, you take it.

7 comments

  1. I am standing on the precipice looking out over into the vastness of Ashtanga. I have taken baby steps toward the edge. (I met you at DG's mysore intensive last fall – I was the hesitant, felt like a nothing 40-something ashtanga beginner) You make me want the thrill of the jump.

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