Thursday, February 17, 2011

Funny; Crazy; Community

It's my last night here at Kripalu.  Rather than a singular message, I thought I would share some of my most memorable moments from my 5 days so far; the funny, the crazy, and the community.  I'll be back on planet earth tomorrow (as much as you can call NJ that), and will try to go back to my slightly dark, yet charmingly witty, self.

The Funny
  • Yoga + Gas = hilarity.  I don't care how old I get, it's still funny when someone lets one rip in yoga class.  I'm not judging.  Yoga should move around all that stuff.  But still.  I have to hold back giggles.
  • I was showering in a group shower area after a whirlpool soak today and this woman came in from the sauna.  She gets under the shower head and proceeds to moan loudly and twirl around.  I was doing one of those locker room "not looking, but looking" things.  Now, if someone else was there I may have poked a bit of fun, but I was in awe.  She was just so joyful to be having this gift of a shower!  For a moment I thought it was possible, as I noticed the temp on her shower walking out, that she was just fucking cold.  But after I returned to the locker area and she proceeded to do fully naked yoga on the bench I decided that, no, she's just pretty joyful.
  • Quotes like "have you had the Quinoa?!  It's divine!".  And "What's Kirtan?  It's like a spiritual orgasm".  Now, perhaps both of these things are true (and I have no doubt they are to the speaker), but they still make the snarky one in me want to make notes for future mocking.
  • Today I was totally busted during a session entitled "Radical Possibilities", which was delivered by one of the on site life coaches.  She had us write down one thing we really wanted in life.  Then a bit of an action plan for how to achieve it.  I had been in one of her sessions before, and I knew she was big on sharing these after you articulate them to yourself.  I wrote pretty personal stuff, and I just wasn't in a sharing mood (or in the mood to cry).  So, I finished the task quickly and stepped out, figuring I could smartly grab a cup of tea while they did some sharing, then return.  I returned to the room once, heard the mass talking, and got another cup of tea.  A second return and I only heard the facilitator's voice.  Perfecto!  I walk in as she's saying "okay, now let's trade partners and share!".  Shit.  It's totally too late to go back.  So, I take my seat.  And, who do you think moseys on up?  The facilitator.  Life Coach extraordinaire.  Goddammit.  There's no getting around this one.  Ahh, two Kleenexes later, the punishment was over.  Why won't these people let me live in my isolated emotionless bubble!?  It's so comfortable in here!
The Crazy
  • I had an integrative energy session that's supposed to release blocked energy.  Now, mock me if you like, but a couple of really freaky things happened with just her placing her hands on specific points on my body (fully clothed).  While I was waiting for my session, this woman comes in after hers and she's acting like she's high as a kite.  She can barely get out a sentence, and can't stop giggling.  I'm thinking "Awesome...put me in, coach".  Well, it turns out you get what you come in with.  Which means I was screwed from the start.  First, when she hit my fear and anger areas, I had the incredible urge to cough, and cough, and cough.  And when she removed her hands it would stop.  Then she'd put them back and it would start up again.  Apparently it's a way to release energy from the body.  The other freaky thing was my jaw locking up.  Now, this has happened to me in two scenarios before.  One, during an Ayurvedic treatment I used to get in MI that's supposed to also release blocked energy, and also whenever I would do EMDR at my therapist's office (also in MI).  I know it sounds crazy, but it was weird.  Something's clearly going on there.  I then proceeded to sleep like shit and have one of the scariest and darkest nightmares I've ever had.  I've been assured this is completely normal.  But I still wanted to be like the hallucinating lady.
  • I went to a share circle today (yes, it's exactly what you're thinking it is).  I'd blogged the other day about everyone having a story and, man, is that true.  There's a great quote from Plato that's on a plaque here that reads "Be kind; Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle".  Isn't that the truth?  Anyway, so I "shared".  I talked about peeling back these onion layers and finding layer after layer of buried crap that I'd stuffed down.  And that I'm quite exhausted from all this self-discovery, and going back to being on emotional lock down is looking pretty attractive now and again.  After I finish, this woman comes across the room and just hugs me.  Yes, I know it sounds super-lame.  But, I swear, it was cool.  After the share circle ended, a second woman came over to me.  We'd never met, but I'd heard her story and she'd heard mine.  She goes and offers up her Vermont home that's vacant during the week if I want to use it during my six weeks.  I mean, really?!  This woman just met me and literally offered up her home.  This woman who's struggling with a potential divorce and recovery from a life-threatening illness.  Jesus Christ.  If these people aren't enlightened, I know know who is.
The Community
  • You don't have to believe in an "it" to experience anything/everything here.  This place is really spiritual, but so respectful of all beliefs, no beliefs, whatever.  In every class, time after time, a teacher would say something we'd repeat or be asked to focus on.  And they'd always give a [fill in name of deity here] message.  The only consistent messages here are love, mindfulness, and inner peace.  Their mission is dedicated to promoting the art and science of yoga to produce thriving and health in individuals and society.  And you don't even have to have experience with, or particularly like, yoga.  If they could succeed in spreading this message of compassion, respect, and kindness for all beings, just imagine what the world would be like.
  • A final "memory".  I came here with some skepticism that the people here (instructors and participants alike) would all be a little nutty; heads in the cloud people.  I could not have been more wrong.  The instructors, in particular, are funny, witty, down to earth, pragmatic people who are willing to share their life experiences; which look and feel just like the rest of us.  Taking on too much, trying to be too perfect, being addicted, being in recovery, trying to be everything to everyone.  This is a community that I wish all of you could experience.
So, that's the story.  Plenty of other things happened here, but those stories are between me and the others at Kripalu.  You'll just have to come here to find out more for yourself.  What's stopping you?  Hasta, sabbaticaljo

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