I, embodied

boosterI went to my first-ever yoga class about six weeks ago. Okay, I went to one when I was 20-something: turning red in the face, sweating, and failing to breathe inclined me to think I was not cut out for yoga. Being instructed to feel at one with the earth almost drove me out of the room: it was the late 80s, so I was a hard-core deconstructionist, meaning that anything remotely spiritual—or just plain connection-oriented—was suspect. (Everything was opiate of the masses. I’ve softened over time. Now I would say it’s weed of the many.) Twenty-five years later, I decided to try again because I want to be a more flexible and physically stronger rope bottom. On the first day, I felt completely at home because rope classes have accustomed me to sitting on the floor wearing a pair of leggings and a singlet—and wondering if I should stretch before the lesson. I debated whether I could apply to yoga the same reasoning I bring to sadomasochistic rope—there’s no sense in stretching if it’s supposed to hurt. (There’s hurt and there’s hurt. Eustress good. Distress bad.) (Speaking of, there’s nothing dangerous under the cut.) portraitofa bandleader The first three yoga classes were hour-long evening classes. They did not destroy me. Well, my knee was acting up and my shoulder pain was exacerbated, but I wasn’t tired, and both knee and shoulder responded to heat and ice. I was pleased to discover that I am stronger than I thought, although far less flexible than I imagined. (Spines yield! Who knew?) In my twenties, I was embarrassed by my bodily failings. Discovering rope has given me a body that I want to care for because it brings me pleasure. Damn. This bunny is not going to let that passive construction stand. At 46 I discovered rope. I can do things with my body. I enjoy doing things with my body. I now pay attention to my body so that I can play with it in dungeons and gyms. It gives me feelings that might someday extend to being at one with something that is and is not me.

The fourth class was a 90-minute morning class, and it ruined my whole day. During class, I was fine. I observed that standing on one leg was hard to do, and that it might reactivate my knee ache, but no biggie. I suspected that cobra pose and down dog would heighten my shoulder pain, but it’s all good. I knew that my exhaling and inhaling were ill-timed, but I’d get the hang of it. When I bent over, I noticed that sweat rolled into my nostrils and my open eyes. And that felt weird and cool. I didn’t feel at all defeated, as I had in so many physical activities from the time I was a kid until I discovered rope. I could never hit, throw or catch any kind of ball. (I could not avoid them either. Dodgeball grr.) But I was good at ballet and enjoyed it. This was probably because ballet makes the body beautiful, as do rope bondage and, I surmise, yoga. Having accepted that morning so many formerly terrifying risks and failings, I was amazed that I spent the rest of the day unable to recover from the class. I was exhausted and hungry and could barely work. Water didn’t help. A hot-dog and fries improved nothing. Caffeine? Shmaffeine! Giving up on my work and going home to recline made no difference. I was so wrecked that I took the subway one stop to my regular evening munch instead of walking 20 minutes. It was only after I had eaten flatbread and downed two glasses of cola that I felt restored. Just in time for bed!

wilkommen

Naturally, I vowed to take no more morning classes or 90-minute classes. Now that I think about it, however, I realize that something else may have been happening. At the munch, I was with friends, talking and laughing a little, feeling like I kind of belong somewhere. In the early morning, by contrast, I had been mourning the loss of my rope partner, crying again after ten days of peace. And when, at the end of class, the yoga teacher invited us to feel any emotions we might be having, I broke out in tears and had to stifle my sobs lest people think that I am not strong enough to exercise among them. Having not felt unduly critical or alarmed at my yoga n0obness, I nevertheless ended up feeling self-conscious about displaying my frailty in public. I wonder if my sadness, which recurs even though I am largely free of depression, contributed to wiping me out. I wonder if my shoulder strain is as much an emotional problem as it is postural. I wonder if it’s time to try weed. Or to refrain from cursing capitalist patriarchy the next time I meet someone who claims to do “body work.” Just now I’m going to stop procrastinating and launder my sweat-stinky singlets. But I’m not going to wash my leggings. Covered in minute jute fibers that I picked up in the dungeon, they smuggle my secret fount of physical and emotional possibilities into a place where I feel certain I can expand them.

Credits
=Zenith=Magic Orchestra Hat – RARE
=Zenith=Magic Orchestra (Black) Boots
=Zenith=Magic Orchestra Gloves Candy
Avenge, Cross Cervin (lingerie was Vintage Fair exclusive)
AMITOMO / Lolita HAIR / S (at Crystal Heart Event)
LaGyo,_Nancy Chocker necklace – Gold and Nancy Ring necklace – Gold (sold together at Chapter Four)
.LeLutka.Mesh Head-STELLA v1.6
Glam Affair, Liuly Asia 01 (gacha at Shiny Shabby)
Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.5
ARISE. Sunny Eyes / Lightblue MESH (SL13 birthday gift, but I can’t recall location)
Pic 1 only: The Secret Store – Leather Gloves – Carbon – S (past gacha)
pic 3 pose: Ma Vie, Mistress
shot at The Looking Glass: I’m sorry to see that they’ve let weeds overrun the theatre. I always loved shooting there. And I hate nature.

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