Grateful for Practice


So it’s Thanksgiving, and I have begged for a half hour to myself before meeting up with the larger family.  Today I am grateful for my practice, for even though it hasn’t been a terribly great week for practice, not practicing makes me see clearly just how much yoga does for me.

If I don’t practice for 3 days I start to get mood swings.  I know this, I know this by now and still I forget.  It makes me wonder.  If I didn’t do yoga would I have tried some sort of medication by now?  Hard to say, I’m not the type to swallow pills on a regular basis.  I can’t even make myself remember a multi-vitamin.  I’m the person that screws up the antibiotics for the rest of you because I stop taking them once I feel better and save the rest for a moment of need.  Please don’t tell my doctor…

So anyway, there’s a good thing there’s this yoga business to keep me on track.  It’s not just about chasing the handstand or the bind in this or that, it’s about keeping my life on track and it’s easy to forget that when things get a little crazy around here.

So thank you, yoga.  Thank you to Patanjali and Krishnamachrya and all the crazy yogis who lived in caves and lived ascetic lives.  Thank you to the entire country of India for giving birth to this life-saving, life-enhancing practice.  Thank you to Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar and all the others who brought yoga here to this country.  Thank you to all the hippies and truth seekers who went to India and brought yoga back here with them.  Thank you to the first woman who taught me Tadasana when I was 20, and the other woman who taught me a simple series of poses when I didn’t know anything and couldn’t find a teacher and there wasn’t a yoga studio in every town.  Thank you to Baron Baptiste, David Magone, Susan Pentland, David Swenson, Rolf Gates, Shiva Rea, David Garrigues, Kino MacGregor and Robert Moses.  And thank you to every single teacher who finds something of value in the practice and attempts to pass it on.  Many of us do so for very little money and fame, but just because we love it and need to share it.

I’m sure my family would thank you all too, if they realized what you’ve done for me.  Gracias, Merci, and “a blessing on your head, mazel tov, mazel tov.”  (from The Fiddler on the Roof)


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