Duck Tape and Neosporin can patch you through most life-threatening disasters says my Search and Rescue /Medic sister, Jeanne. She investigates lost planes in the backcountry of Montana. "What isn’t disentigrated in the crash," she states rather matter of factly, " is eaten by bears."
Too much information, I think, when I’ve merely called her for solace from my broken heart. Besides, I reside in the flats of Sacramento and the only bear I’ve seen is on the State Flag.
She is playing Polyanna, attempting to make me feel better because there are no fatalities in my relationship crash. I should be grateful, but I’m not. To make matters worse, stress erupts in sores on my face, which is where the Neosporin comes in. "Put this on anything that doesn’t look normal," she instucts. Clearly, I need to supersize my Neosporin.
"Duct Tape is a force," she says, "it holds things together." It kept her kayak a’float, surely it could keep me above water. She said I could put Duct Tape around my broken heart, and in the meantime, keep doing yoga. When life is overwhelming, sometimes simple instruction is what ‘s needed.
So, I reported to Zuda Yoga Studio at 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning. It’s located in the Midtown District on the corner of 19th and O, or "19th and Om" Zuda co-owner Anne Marie Kramer likes to say. Zuda is a power yoga studio, offering different yoga traditions that combine a dynamic mix of sweat and spirit. The heated room integrates movement and breath with strength and flexibility. It connects inner and outer movement, with the individual, the collective, and beyond. Yoga mat to yoga mat, I felt less alone.
More than the physical postures, Anne Marie likes to tie the practice to a theme. In this case, the Serenity Prayer. "Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change," she enunciated, "the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the diference." At this point, the class hangs in a full forward bend, legs spread, looking upside down and backwards.
Never one to miss a teaching opportunity, Anne Marie thinks this a fine vantage point from which to understand comparing mind. "Look around," she instructs, to spot classmates with better hamstring flexibility and yoga attire. She explains the nature of comparing mind and how it believes, " if only I had hamstrings as flexible as Mary; and if only I had yoga pants like Jane, then I would be happy. Comparing mind believes that happiness lies around the next corner of "if only".
Turns out it’s a lie, because "if onlys" indicate unhappiness with what is, and that begets suffering. Dah. Surely, I did not choose or want this situation, or so I thought, and I surely did not welcome what it is, or was, or will be. I only hoped that hanging upside down might make my body hurt more than my heart, thus relieving my suffering, if only temporarily.
"We can’t change the other or the situtation," Anne Marie continued to explain, "but we can change our thoughts about the other and when we do that, the world changes. We do this by letting go of how we want things to be and be with what is. We do this right now by dropping our resistant thoughts about our situation and simply be in our situation. Come into the present moment by experiencing the breath in the body," she urged.
Connecting with my breath and body put me smack-dab in the middle of my pain, which only served to make me cry. So, I held my breath and got through the day. Stability and surrender are needed in such times, a tender balance between Duct Tape and breathing. Duck Tape holds the breath, it helps one function. Yoga connects the breath to the movement and the body to the self, and in so doing, peels away the layers and helps one heal.
Non-traditional, I suppose, but whatever works. Duct Tape, Neosporin and Zuda Yoga.