Waitin’ in Vain… Bob Marley Yoga

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Bob Marley‘s birthday was yesterday.

I don’t have Bob on playlists for classes I teach.

Can’t do yoga and listen to Bob.

I do, obviously. Hear a Bob Marley song while doing an asana practice, I mean. Never responsible though, for perpetrating the crime.

Inevitably, you’re in Warrior I pelvis squared off, back foot planted and Jammin’ comes on. I cannot help but screw up my lips, let my head do a blunted bop as my hips drop in time with the beat…

I won’t judge you if you don’t do this.

Who are we kidding? I will, but won’t say anything about it because we are cyberspace friends…Just don’t let me catch you in class dissin’ Bob.

Even then, I probably wouldn’t judge you out in the open, mostly because it’s politically incorrect and bad form. But because I can’t believe you’re not jamming to Bob Marley, I will assume that there is something deeply, deeply, deeply wrong with you. I’m guessing most people would.

There are people who love Bob Marley.

And there is everyone else.

*rant over*

*drops mic*

Do you remember your first Bob Marley song?

Oh- I do.

I remember it better than that other yada yada….

14 and searching baby. Searching for my place in a new neighborhood. Searching for my place as a budding teenager.

God, I was awkward as hell and full of more emotions than I can describe.

It was weird being me.

Guess every teenager feels like that. I was alone (like every teenager).

Until I was introduced to Bob Marley’s Legend.

I could groove to Bob Marley and not have my parents freak out. I liked hip-hop but ‘talking street’ in the Mays’ household was frowned upon. It makes me laugh thinking about it. I was not what you would call a tough kid, my love of Tears for Fears, UB40 and General Public notwithstanding.

But it was okay to listen to Bob. He was after all, political. And being political was always okay in the Mays’ household.

And Regggae music was mellow (we will not discuss the herbal refreshments….thank you Bob…)

You do not forget your first Bob Marley song.

Not if you’re legit. That first song moves you. Stays with you like a tattoo.

It makes you feel.

Feel like a grown-up stirring feelings of love. Stirring feelings of injustice.

It makes you remember. Remember a struggle that you are too young to know, but  old enough to know you fight.

It makes you wish. Wish for a life that is like Marley’s. One full of struggle. Full of chances to change the world by singing a line…

Redemption songs…these songs of freedom

Waiting in Vain was my first. Wow. It still makes me sigh…Probably because I was in love with some boy that I can’t remember. But I remember the feelings of longing and the one-two rhythm of reggae music that made me sway in ways that I didn’t understand and made my heart thump in time with the lyrics…

Tears in my eyes burn…

Tears in my eyes burn,

While I’m waiting, while I’m waiting for my turn

Is there anything more romantic than your first musical crush?

It shapes you. Waiting in Vain may have been my first Bob song, but I was also forever changed by buffalo soldiers, redemption songs, choruses about Kaya and misty mornings…
I jammed until the jam was through. Natty was my ride or die dude.

I liked bootlegs of bootlegs and since this was before the days on mp3s, those of you in the know, know of what I speak. No

3 o’clock roadblock was keeping from rebel music and pimps paradises. I was sussed out but not in doubt of what his lyrics did. They impacted generations and made me want to fight.

Bob stretched my brain and preconceived notions of the world.

Made me want to dance for change. I didn’t know that fighting the power could be done with a stereo and liner notes. Not in some silly girlie girl way but in some Buffalo Springfield kind of way. For what’s it’s worth.

I was committed. For real. In a way that a girl who loves a movement is committed. The way that a girl who discovers that her crush fought for people before she was born was committed.

He was my original guru. Man, now that I think about it. Bob had me practicing yoga waaaaaaay before I found a mat.

He makes me feel alright, like a sweepstakes winner.

This is yoga. And it’s like winning the lottery. Thanks Bob for satisfying my soul.

Namaste y’all.

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Tofurky or Not Tofurky

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Sigh.

There’s a book that came out years ago called Smart Women, Foolish Choices. It was about women who are successful professionally but make less that stellar decisions where romance is involved. The premise of this book could apply to me, but today I’m not here to underwhelm you with tales of my love life.

I decided to buy meatless sausage. I knew better. There aren’t really substitutes for meat.

There is meat.

Then there are things that are not meat. Trying to make things that are not meat taste like meat is dumb. Or it involves a tremendous amount of chemicals. This didn’t stop me from being tempted in the grocery store.

Observe Oneika in the organic section looking for ginger, minding her business. Headphones on, doin’ a little dance to Bruno Mars’ ‘Gorilla’. (Don’t judge- it’s a great song)

Suddenly this package started winking at me and we know how I’m a sucker for flash. So I examine it. Tofurky Italian Sausage you say your name is… Really?

I should have run, but I didn’t.

Honestly I don’t miss meat. This same feeling hit me when I quit smoking. I’d see a cigarette and not even crave it, but it’s as if I had to test the addiction, let’s see if I’m really over smoking…. How well did that turn out?

I bring the Tofurky Italian sausage home. Like any good can come from something named Tofurky.

But ever the optimist and believer in happy endings I press on. I’m using my vegan challenge as a way to expand my horizons. I’m a foodie and don’t shy away from much, so why not try meatless meat?

It even sounds ridiculous, meatless meat. Good grief.

I was not satisfied. At all. It was weird and had a odd chemical taste. Not what I wanted.

Did you see Dead Again? It’s a great little film noir. In one scene, Robin Williams is a washed up shrink who notices that Kevin Branagh is eyeing pack of cigarettes. Williams offers one and Branagh declines stating that he’s quit. When Williams says that he noticed that Branagh looked at his pack of cigarettes 5 times in a minute, he might beg to differ.

“Someone is either a smoker or a non-smoker. There’s no in between. The trick is to find out which one you are, and be that. If you are a non-smoker, you’ll know.”

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot as it relates to my meat issue.

Eat the cake or have it. Non-attachment baby.

I can’t linger in my meat filled past if I’m truly person who no longer eats meat. Trying to find a stand-in is not letting go, it’s being clingy and desperate.

Know when to walk away, know when to run…

I’m embracing the now because that’s where my bliss is…

This is yoga. And I love it.

Namaste y’all.

All You ‘Kneed’ is Love

knee

I’m sitting here with a knee wrapped in ice and a bad attitude.

I wrote a post about listening to pain.

It was reasonable and chocked full of common sense. Clearly, I need to practice what I’m so good at preaching. Earlier in the week I felt a twinge in my right knee. Because I’m a genius, I ignored it.

Why you wonder?

Right after the new year I promised to practice yoga every day. I told myself it was a way to get in touch with a deeper sense of spirituality. I call bullshit on myself. It sounded cool.

So when my knee acted up- I didn’t listen or follow the first tenet of yoga which is to practice non-violence. Being kind to others is challenging if you can’t be kind to yourself. I also failed to remember that yoga is more than my asana practice. Yoga is how I connect with the world.

Yoga is how I live, or at least the way that I said I was living.

This trick knee (I love that expression. ‘Watch me pull a rabbit out of my knee!) has me thinking.

I need to dedicate more time to loving myself and leaving that ego alone. I read once that ego stands for ‘edging god out’. If god = your value system/god/oneness with the universe, this is pretty mind-blowing. The further we get away from our true selves the more likely we are to inflict pain or commit acts of violence against ourselves or others.

‘Commit acts of violence’ sounds pretty serious. At first glance it may even seem like an over reaction to the situation. Any unnecessary upset to life’s balance may have staggering ripple effects.

The definition of violence:

  1. Strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.

Interestingly enough, I might not have had the conversation with myself if I hadn’t hurt my knee. We learn lessons when we most need them.

I need to surrender.

surrender

I love the universe. I love karma. Make no mistake, you get back what you put out.

I need to go change my ice pack. And send my knee some love.

This is yoga. And it loves me.

Namaste y’all.

In the Meantime in Between Time

yoga, reflection, relationships

(Originally published on a&o )
When I was younger a haircut usually meant I just broke up with someone or some other major change was happening (before Britney). This would be great for awhile. Short hair is flattering on every face (people are wrong when the say short hair doesn’t work for everyone- they are silly so there. Topic closed).

I had a roller coaster relationship with one boyfriend and would cut my hair short after a fight because he hated short hair. He also hated tattoos. Yes, you are damn right I got not one, but two. That’s a story for another day. Back to the root of the matter.

Get mad, cut the hair short. It’s sexy! It’s liberating! Inevitably I would decide it was time to grow it. This usually happened after seeing Ashley. What you may not know about my sister is that she has a super power. Every time she blinks her hair grows an inch. That  woman has a great head of hair. Her awkward period between short and long hair seems only to last 5 minutes. This is hyperbole but my point is still valid.

Mine takes longer.

Your mojo is off. This thinking of course is absolutely ridiculous. Please know that on an intellectual level I understand that my brain, insight and ability to contribute to society should outweigh how I feel when I look in the mirror and see that my hair is not short but not long. It doesn’t. It’s…uncomfortable. And then one day you are in the bathroom and glimpse someone who looks like you, only better. (Yes, I know I shouldn’t be so tied to the external. It’s a process baby, chill.)

My in between phase with my hair is finished.  I’m not going to to wax philosophical about my natural hair etc, etc  or that Black hair is a hot button issue etc., etc. I mention the natural state of it because it’s healthier than it’s ever been and I don’t plan on cutting it again.

I can leave my hair alone it and frankly don’t think about it that much except lately how it relates to the disquieting feeling that’s been sleeping next to me. That not quite icky feeling that makes me dream sideways. I mean, I acknowledge on the outside I’m entitled to feel weird, my life in my forties looks different than I planned. I’m starting over and building something from nothing. I’ve committed to making some pretty major changes to see my dream of my own company through. I get that. Heck, I’ve coached people on this stuff. But over the past two days nothing seems to fit. I don’t like the recipes I’m dreaming up, and yoga has been great/crappy at the same time.  Dakota (my dog) seems to be acting wackier than usual. I pause finally.

Life is changing and so am I but not in the ways that I planned. But I plead with myself to go with it. Quite the act of derring-do for the control freak. I whine but I’m pushing forward and should be pleased at how much is done. There’s just more to do. And like Veruca in Willy Wonka, ‘I want it noooow’. But I plan, breathe make progress and do yoga. This is a growth spurt, it takes force to push things to the surface. So while I may not like the way my life looks right now I can pull it back in a ponytail or just let it be, because I know if a few months I’ll catch myself in the moment and say ‘Whose life is that?’. And it will be mine.

Namaste y’all!!