I am home now. This morning, I set my alarm for 6:15 but awakened on my own a little earlier – still on east coast time and the daily barrage of alarms that started at 5:30 and kept up until 6:15, which is really the last possible moment one can get up and make a 6:30 yoga class.
I came downstairs and did the morning dance: feed the cat, let out the dog, feed the dog, let out the cat, let out the dog again. When they had settled, I turned on the playlist I made last week to burn for my new yogi friends and spread out my mat.
My blue mat – purchased years ago at Target – looked different here on my oatmeal-colored rug than it did just days ago on the bamboo floor at Kripalu. There it was lined up with 62 other mats. Here it is its own island. There it felt part of a flotilla, an island community of people and postures and deep knowledge. Here, it is all up to me. There, we had teachers. Here, I have myself – which is starting to feel enough.
On our first of three practice teaches (these started at 30 minutes and grew to an hour long session in which you taught three fellow students plus a facilitator who was busily making notes) we were presciently told, “The manual is in you.” Meaning that the behemoth three-ring binder we’d all been schlepping around and writing in and pouring over had seeped down into our bones. Its words and ideas would come out as we needed them.
Throw away the book. The book is in you. Decent advice.
When I first had kids, I got books. Books about babies. Books about children’s development. Books about mothering. Books about sleep cycles. But I quickly realized that they made me more anxious than I was without them. They either told me what I already knew at some intuitive level, or made me fearful that I was doing the wrong thing. Books don’t raise kids; listening deeply to yourself and your community does.
This morning, here on my little blue island, my only waking community member was the dog, who was panting loudly, giving Wade Morisette a run for his money. This lovely soul who has been with me for fourteen years and is just barely still holding on to life’s thread is a teacher for me in patience and love. I accepted her panting, as my mind imagined those other 62 mats and where they are now – each of whom was a teacher to me in the past month. They are now scattered to different parts of the country – Alabama, Connecticut, Oregon, Missouri … Each is out there doing their own warrior, their own dog, their own pigeon. Each body bringing forth the lessons of the month. Each body teaching itself the lessons it needs.