Monday, June 22, 2009


Notes from a Writer, Bartender, Yogi...

I'm in the nail salon after yoga class with TJ's Ragunath and it just so happens that I strike up a conversation with the woman who is across from me as we wait for our nails to dry. I think the conversation started because I asked her about the rad stripes across her big toe. She asks what I do and I say, I teach yoga---actually, she had noticed my mat and asked if I practiced at the Bikram studio right above the salon (so far not yet, but Joe, I plan on checking it out). She asks where I teach and so I tell her that I just graduated and I'll begin teaching pregnant women and their partners at a shelter in Harlem. 

Too bad she says, I don't qualify for that, I live down the street. 

No problem I say, I teach privates. I give her my card and she puts my info in her cell. I talk about the benefits of yoga and stretching and she asks if I can teach her and her husband. YES!

In yoga class, Ragunath told the story about chanting, how when he was younger and in India, his girlfriend was all stressed out and so he went to the guru thinking that the guru would mix up some kind of herbal remedy. At the end of the day, the guru gave him a song. Which is the song he taught us today. A song about the sweetness of Krisha, how in Northern India, they worship the baby form of G-d, how different that is from us in the West, praying to adult forms of G-d. Every other word in the song is basically the word sweet. I think about that word suka, may your practice be sweet from the sutras we studied. He told us that yoga is about how we can evolve, what can we do in our practice to make our lives sweeter. How can our practice better equip us to serve and cultivate that sweetness off our mats. I'm wondering if there is some correlation, this path, these teachings today. And maybe that is why the flower in my hair, to remind me about this sweetness.

And so tonight, I will bring that offering in liquid form, to my wonderful boyfriend, who is patient with me as I'm evolving, a non-alcoholic cocktail, bringing some sweetness and new energy to us and our relationship. 

I'll be muddling cucumbers, limes, and perhaps a hint of mint or basil in soda water. Green for growth and for rooting, for sealing in and inspiring.

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