Wednesday, July 22, 2009


My back, either despite or because of all this yoga, has grown tight and ornery and rebels against backbends, against releasing. I'm re-reading Dr. Sarno's book, because I believe it rocks and is worth reviewing, and reminiscing about the cupping, acupuncture and physical therapy I tried a couple years ago, all to no avail.

I'm snapping at the kids like I haven't done this in a while. It's as if there's a self-hatred conference in town and I am the keynote speaker.

Walking around like a zombie. Craving sweets. Craving a cave to crawl into and hibernate.

I resisted divulging during therapy last week. I sat there glancing between the view of Philadelphia and the clock, asking every two minutes how much time I had left while calmly discussing the nature of accepting and permitting my resistance without necessarily condoning or applauding it.

The next morning in yoga class, Teacher walked over to me and said, "You have lower back pain, don't you?" She could tell by the position of my knees. The jig was up.

Later that Friday morning I inadvertently tossed the car keys in the trunk, stranding myself.

That night I drank too much tea and couldn't fall asleep which led to Saturday morning's missed yoga class, which led to a Sunday morning compensatory yin class which led to a horribly painful backbend pose, which led to my inquiring the instructor for advice, wherein I was admonished with a tsk and an eye-roll never to try to do any advanced back-bending, and then a great cawing and clucking ensued among two lingering students.

I was advised and condescended to on all sorts of postures and poses by people I do not know and who do not know me, and by the time I got home I was so thoroughly annoyed that I acted the whole thing out on the porch for dear Bryan, who I surmise regrets asking me how I am doing eighty per-cent of the time.

"I mean do I look like I don't know my way around a yoga mat? Just look at these triceps! Look at my alignment! I was THIS close to showing them just how long I can hold crow pose! Go ahead honey. Start counting! I mean, how dare these flabby hens tell me what's what! The arrogance! The audacity! The idiocy of SOME people, I swear people are so fucking blind I want to punch them in the face. I know, I'm usually much calmer after class. Oh and THEN they said..."

And so forth.

There is also the great mom-loathing flare-up I'm experiencing just in time for her birthday today. Happy 76th, Mother.

And I can't afford another class card at the poshest yoga studio in town, I swear I missed the memo that required I drive a luxury SUV in order to qualify for the parking lot. You should have seen me the morning I exited the studio to find my '98 Camry walled in by a fleet of gleaming Audis, BMWs, Volvos and Range Rovers. Not to be snarky or anything. I would totally drive a Lexus hybrid if I could. When I happened upon this cinematic symbolic automotive scene, that song from Sesame Street, which one of these things is not like the other, which one of these things just doesn't belong? crowed in my brain like a rooster at first light. And I just pffft. Deflated. Because I pay attention to signs. And to statusy bullshit like who drives what, even though I know in my heart of hearts that shit like that don't really matter.

And I wonder if my quest for enlightenment is really a cover, a justification for having less than, a strategy to make the game of status and wealth unimportant, shallow and sleazy. I know, I'm totally gross. I have a nice house in a great neighborhood. And two cars. One was actually brand new just last year in fact. There are people starving in Ethiopia. In Easton, Boston and Brooklyn.

I like to pretend I have more than I actually do. Which leads me to spend more than I actually have. And slink over to my teal Toyota with the caulked sun-roof from when the tree branch fell on the car two years ago and wrench my head up high despite the glare from all those shiny steel hulks, because we bought that car with money from my book deal.

My head grows heavy from all the analyzing, rationalizing and defending. Am I sick of it yet? Am I ready to surrender yet? I get in my car and when I can finally pull out of the lot I realize that I've come once again to the end of the road. Am I ready to drive the fucker off the edge? Because I think it's time.


Mari Brown said...

Don't drive off the edge! But I'm glad you wrote it all down. xxoo, fuck the yoga instructors, Mari

Anonymous said...

tic tic tic...

Diana Holquist said...

Each of those bendy women would trade her shiny car for a book deal in an instant, and the ones who wouldn't are just too far gone.

The problem isn't what you don't have, it's what you DO have, and the others sense it and are jealous and this is why they radiate hate.

P.S. -- love my gray grout...but not as much as my book deal.

Amelia Plum said...

first off, you are not totally gross at all! i agree with mari's comment. and i don't know if this makes you feel better but just because someone drives a luxury suv doesn't mean they can afford it, they might be even more gutted, financially overextended, worried about status than you. they just lack the introspection and skill to write about it.

Ragan said...

Oh Elise,
Sometimes you just need a glass of wine and a chocolate bar. (A few other ideas come to mind as well.) The hell with yoga--maybe I should stop trying to even get to a class. (I walk to the Y so there is no car issue.)And you are better, for a variety of reasons--not just the book.

elise said...

thanks for all the comments guys! This post got people talking so that rocks. I didn't realize I sounded so victimized by yoga so thanks for sticking up for me! The weird thing is, I love yoga. It's more beneficial than I ever give it credit for here. If I blogged about the joys of my practice so to speak, you'd vomit. and I'm the idiot who got into a pose I should have backed off from. Weirdly I'm excited by this episode as it's a chance to get to know myself better. Ragan go to class! You'll love it.

Main Line Yoga said...

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vrexy said...

Did you see my comment on facebook? I still laugh everytime I think about walking around singing that song! Hope it made you laugh, too.