Pigeon Pose

I think I’ll always have an Oregon-shaped fragment floating around in my heart. No matter what happens next. I like to think of it tilted just so, neatly lodged in the upper northwest region [where it should be], but no control, no control, no control.

That’s what I woke up thinking.

I am a sentimental sap — that’s what you’re thinking. A slightly OCD, sentimental sap?

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You would not be wrong.

But I’m beginning to see that everybody has issues. A few. Everybody has a few things he or she would rather not have pop up on a first date, or, say, tumble out across the table, during a second interview. You’re just going to close your mouth. Close. Your. Mouth. Close your mouth, and stop talking. Do it now.

Everybody has something that will automatically make his or her forehead start to bead with sweat.

I find this comforting. I find this very comforting.

I also think that it’s the hidden-away things that make people interesting. And often, accessible. In a way they otherwise may not have been.

I would like to be accessible. I think that would be a wonderful way to be.

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What I want for myself has done a complete 180 since I moved out here. Every day I wake up with more information about who I want to be, what I want to do, where I want to live, and how I want to love.

That being said, it’s all very confusing. I couldn’t give you a clear-cut answer for any of the above. Not a one.

I’m getting used to it, though. All of the shifting.

This morning at yoga we worked on hip-openers. I have tight hips, thanks to years and years of pounding my feet against the pavement. In Massachusetts, in Maine, in New York. And everywhere else we went.

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Harder, faster, further — the motto stayed the same. Never changed.

I don’t run anymore. I gave it up, because a good half of my eating disorder hinged on it. And because “patients for whom compulsive, compensatory over-exercising has been a prominent feature of their illness, once weight restored, will experience 50% relapse rate if returned to their sport. “ (Source)

I don’t like those odds. I do like what my teacher said, at the beginning of class today. We were a room full of runners. She said that the tendency might be to throw ourselves into the pose and really push to get a response, but we might try just easing our way in, instead. A little more, a little more, until we found work. And then working there.

I really liked that. I also really liked what three months ago I would have called the mumbo jumbo that went along with it: the part about staying curious and open, in the pose. The part about just noticing. I noticed it didn’t feel like I was killing myself — asking more than my body could give. It was cool when I breathed in, warm when I breathed out.

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“I like that: a little pressure on the understood boundaries of yourself. Sounded like something out of a self-awareness class, probably with yoga. See what kind of a pretzel you can tie yourself into and press on the understood…I was raving, if only to myself.” -Robin McKinley

“I carefully lifted out of the pose and spoke up: ‘Uh, Fran? When I’m doing the pose (camel), I have this feeling in my chest. Kind of a scary, tight feeling.’ Fran was adjusting someone across the room. She had a way of looking like a thoughtful seamstress when she made adjustments: an inch let out here, a seam straightened there, and everything would be just right. She might as well have had pins tucked between her lips and a tape measure around her neck. Without missing a beat or looking up she said, ‘Oh, that’s fear. Try the pose again.’” -Claire Dederer

“Corpse Pose sounds like no big deal, right? Then what’s so difficult about this spiritualized snooze? Forget about getting your feet behind your head. Just try lying still for ten minutes. With nothing left to do, you’re finally forced to come face to face with yourself.” -Edward Vilga

“When you listen to yourself, everything comes naturally. It comes from inside, like a kind of will to do something. Try to be sensitive. That is yoga.” -Petri Räisänen

“Yoga will always be transformational, even when it stops being cool.” -Victoria Moran

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