Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wisdom from a Weather Witch

“A little bit of salt just makes ice mad” my father said in the blizzard conditions of Tulsa over the Christmas holiday when he and my mother had been housebound for almost a week due to poor weather conditions and a city with not enough snow ploughs. My father is a weather witch, or more conventionally he runs an HVAC business but I've seen him in our backyard when I was young tracking electrical lines with dowsing rods and lets just say, being part Cherokee, his tribal roots and daily meditation practice often spurred moments of spiritual insight to move through him in the guise of weather metaphors.

So why were these same words echoing through my head this week during an Iyengar yoga class where I was strapped into Supta Virasana. This was the third excruciating Supta Virasana in three days. Why? Because I only do this a little bit. In fact, on general principle I tended towards ignoring the pose completely until my Iyengar yoga teacher decided he’d begin every class for a week with this pose. This was the third class of Supta Virasana in three days and my body was PISSED!

“A little bit of salt just makes ice mad,” my father’s voice echoed in my head again and I almost snorted trying to hold in my laughter. I saw clearly my child-like behavior around not wanting to eat my yogic brussell sprouts because they tasted bad. If I continued to just do this pose a little, it would always piss me off because I wasn’t getting to the core issue of what was underlying all this pain and anger in my knees. I would continue to avoid the pose all together like being permanently home-bound in an ice storm or I would do it half-hearted and just get pissed and slip on the ice anyway. This week my Iyengar teacher encouraged us to do this pose everyday with the support of sitting on a phone book until our sit bones could come to the floor. “It takes dedication to the practice,” he said. “Each day you do this pose, take a page out of the phone book.” Today I got my phone book. Thanks Dad.


What do you ignore routinely because it’s painful or uncomfortable even though it’s useful?