Home Practice

I used to think “Home Practice” meant moving my laptop over to the yoga area and setting Rodney Yee loose.  Although not quite my introduction to asana practice (Community College), it served me well through the years and the moves.  Oh, I knew that I should eventually get to the place where I didn’t need it, but I wasn’t sure when that would happen and all my past attempts were lackadaisical.  Practicing to Rodney Yee or Tara Stiles or whoever is certainly good, much better than nothing, but practicing without such props allows the space for all sorts of depth that constant glancing up and listening to cues just simply opposes.

Lately, however, I’ve started to discover my own practice.

The most difficult part was getting started.  Do I sit around beforehand and design a sequence?  Desikachar’s chapter on sequencing is a good primer.  One could get lost for years exploring Yoga Sequencing by Mark Stephens.  But ultimately, I haven’t went into that all much, yet.  Should I have someone else design one for me?

At first, I let Yee get me started and then I’d branch off and just start doing my own thing.  The nice thing about that was that a lot of the cues he would be prattling off applied to whatever I was doing even if it was a totally different outward form.  I could tune in and out at my own pace.  I mean, when shouldn’t you tuck the tailbone?  When shouldn’t you lengthen the spine?  When shouldn’t you move to your breath?  Typically it’s obvious, if at all true.

Then, I started doing Surya Namaskara A’s in silence and adding in whatever feels right next while trying to keep in mind some basics about counterposing.

Probably the most prominent change this has brought about is that I’ve begun becoming my own motivator, my own spark.  The thing about class or videos is that someone is there pushing you on.  There is a sequence and each asana has a length of time to get into and hold and it’s almost always challenging.  When I used to try to taylor a solo session I would frankly peter out, my motivation bobbing with my hopelessly distractable mind and challenge would unappear.  Although I’m very self-motivated in other arenas of my life, I’d not quite made the leap to my home yoga practice at that level.

Then, I started to add in Virabhadrasana 3s while making sure to raise that back leg up level with the torso, and then to hold it there for a couple of steady breaths, all without an outside motive force. Et cetera.


4 Handed Days

I was noticing how I have a typical slouch that starts in my right knee and winds around my body up through my left shoulder and neck and out through an ever so slightly tilted head.  The anti-slouch is how I stand in Tadasana.  I push my right hip down through my right psoas and that extends the right leg up the right spine which straightens and lengthens that whole column up and brings my head level.

A common variation of Tadasana or Samasthiti is to have the hands together at the heart in Namaste (Sanskrit: I see you, I recognize your spark [or, in my opinion, addressed to everything that exists, exactly the same acknowledgement]).  Since I was picturing myself going through my day in Tadasana to overcome my habitual slouch, that variation carried over and I was doing it with my hands in Namaste.

Impractical, but then I considered just imagining that I had my hands in Namaste at my heart throughout the day.  I’d have four hands and four arms but I’d let a pair remain invisible and manage their empire of compassion and reverent silence in the background (Rilke).

Adaptive Hallucination

As I’ve been learning more about my anatomy (and physiology), about where things feel in relation to one another (under and behind) my face-centered consciousness, rather than on how they are spatially related on a drawn diagram in front of me, I’ve been developing the ability to actually see.

The visual modality has always been my primary, I think.  I write “I think” because I’ve always been very intuitive, too, and working on adaptively hallucinating my insides has brought these two “forces” together in an interestingly synergistic and metaeducational way.  The “hallucination”, or proprioreception with a dash of creativity (too much and you’re no longer adaptive), itself is developing as a result of exercising it.  Duh.

For me, with my visually specialized mind, this has given me something to remember.  For instance, I have a terrible auditory memory.  You can say something and I’ll likely forget it.  But if you show it to me or write it out I can have a practically eidetic memory for it.  My best bet, when it comes to remembering spoken things, is visualizing something and anchoring to that.

Pairing intuition with a motivation to, sort of, reify the intuited spatial and structural relationships visually has been giving the intuited “stuff” something to adhere to, something to grow from, a matrix.  Sort of like Katamari Damacy, the game where you roll a ball around and things stick to it and your ball keeps growing.


Nietzsche (or Jung?? [reddit]) wrote in a very different context that nevertheless seems apropos:

For the branches to reach Heaven the roots must go down to Hell.

 I’ll pull that sword from the stone, yet.

Yoga Focus

I’m going to do a yoga teacher training program this fall.  In preparation for it I am going to read these books (note, there’s one book with a handwritten cover because it doesn’t release until May, so I’ll get that book when it comes out).

books i'm going to read

Here’s how I do things:  I dive deep and then I come up to the surface, eyes still set to the depths, seeing what is near superimposed upon what is far (you can see the stars during daylight hours from the bottom of a well [approaching a related idea from a totally alternate angle]).  This approach gives a surprising context in which to understand and remember what is being shown and engage more deeply with the process.

There’s a lot of books there.  Too many for 5 months.  However, I’ve read some of these books already and, more importantly, I’m not going to deeply study these books, which is a multi-year endeavor, in the next 5 months.  Obviously.  I’m not going for “deep study” in this pass.  I’m trying to think of a metaphor… tilling the soil.  That’s my purpose and these books are my plow.  With these memes churning in my frame of reference, I’ll be free to focus on learning to teach and to apply practices during the program rather than on encountering things for the first time.

Although I won’t do a deep study of these books, I will write something whole and well-reasoned, maybe something like:

  • Yoga and the Complementarity of Structure and Function in/btw Anatomy and Physiology and Psychology
  • Moving towards an advanced way of communicating “yoga” multimodally in a digital age (Yoga Sutras 2.0)
  • Numinous yoga mystery

Maybe I’ll write one thing blending all of the above.  That’s probably it.  That sounds good.

And in the meantime, I will start posting my study notes on here.  I really don’t like this WordPress interface, but I’d rather plow the soil via these books than code my blog (there’s a limit to how much I can sit and program each day).  That particular field needs to lie fallow for a while.

Freedom Fries

I’m increasingly realizing that the key (for me) is to keep trying to keep sight of who I am.  I’ve known that for awhile, but I still I mostly forget to (like 90% of the time).  I get distracted by things, responsibilities, happenings, habits.  I tend to think the things I think without really wondering why I think them or what they really have to do with me.  The real symptom being all the flittering and twittering about.  But I was just thinking about how each of those things is itself an opportunity to reconnect with who I am.  Each of those things of course says something about me.  And in that way, they’re an invitation by myself to myself towards myself.

Let’s even take one of the annoying things, like craving for McDonald’s French Fries.  This is just an example.  I don’t actually crave them, although, I used to like two hamburgers (had to order cheeseburgers with no cheese or else I’d get cheeseburgers, but that’s a different commentary) with large fries and a large coke.  Wow, unhealthy.  Anyway.  They are a tasty combo.  That says things about me.  It points to me.

So, let’s say I’m craving them.  The most obvious thing it says is that I’m a person who’s had that combo before.  I’m the kinda person who ate that sorta stuff (earliest memory of it is with my grandmother picking me up from kindergarten and getting a Happy Meal).  You can’t crave something you ain’t had (not technically true but super-technically true).  Another thing it says is that I’m hungry.  Typically, at least around reflection #2 here I’m having reactions to these observations about my craving, or my craving is reacting to my observations, or some kind of psychodynamism is expressing itself.

And therein lies the key.  The psychodynamism (as I’ve decided to call it for tonight) is in fact the expression of who I am (right then and there, a fragment of self).  If I just pay attention to the states and also the differences between consecutive states, I’ll notice the shadow of the passing of hardened aspects of myself vying and winning their moment in the sun.

Then, since I’m reflecting on that, that reflection assumes center stage.  But, as I said, some part of myself will usually either react to the reflections or arise of its own inner-timer dinging regardless of current events.

And so the key is to reflect on what this new thing’s got to do with myself.  And what if nothing?  What if I can’t think of anything?  Well, hell, what does THAT say about myself?  But really, just enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts.  Then, when something else comes up, if I want, I can reflect on the peace and quiet instead, and question if it isn’t better than that other thing anyway.

According to the algorithm, with increasing frequency, I will be centered on what each moment has to do with myself or, better yet, entering into metanalysis to step behind the curtain to actually make decisions about what would be best to come next (and I won’t have to reflect on why because why will have formed the intention in relation to my already in-awareness awareness).

This kind of self-remembrance extends beyond stories in words that we tell ourselves after the fact as if we were narrating ourselves to ourselves.  It could start out that way, like training wheels, but eventually it should merge with a preverbal undercurrent that’s been continuous all along.  And that’s the point: to be conscious of the undercurrent.  That continuous consciousness already happens in short bursts for us all.  Some of us can get in “the zone” for longer

dhyaning our object

so I ferment the desire the stay focused on the undercurrent of what is common between all the different moments of my experiencing this’n’that

Hello Mr. Pinocchio Geppetto

When we both find ourselves to be half-wooden (personal tensions and immaturity) and the world to be half-wooden (ourselves to be more alive than other individuals and institutions) than we my-as-well be Mr. Pinocchio Geppetto, tasked with animating the inanimate in ourselves and the world.

Mole 2 (part 1)

I used to use Moleskin Notebooks as wallets.  It was nice to always have paper around.  Eventually, I stopped using them because they’d always fall apart and then I took to preemptively taping them up but they’d just fall apart in other ways and it was a losing battle so I quit (luckily, these days, my inner dialog is a lot quieter, so I have less to write at odd times).  I ended up with 12 of them, over the course of 5 years or so, the last one petering away as lately as a few months ago.

Anyway, who cares about that (or any of this for that matter).  Basically, I’d write fragments or wholes in them (these notebooks are small, so a couple words typed out below were a few scribbled lines originally).  There is not always intended to be a link between the meanings between consecutive lines unless I group them together.  Just remember, if I was buying a burger at McDonald’s and I had a wise thought about the importance of a healthy diet, I’d write it in the Moleskin while an impatient cashier would sigh to the impatient customers wanting me to pay for my meal (just kidding, I’m not an ass).  Then I’d go home and read something and have a different thought and write it down.  The connection is me, that’s it.  If somethings in quotes but it is not attributed, that means I wrote it as a spoken statement either by me or a hypothetical character.  If I don’t know where the quote came from but it isn’t mine, I’ll indicate that.  I’m always careful about that sort of thing whenever I write down a quote from somewhere, so I don’t have to worry about who said it or where I got it from.

I’ll put my comments generated while transcribing the journal between these symbols [|…|] and I’ll break this post up into multiple since it is unreasonable to fit an entire notebook in a single blog post.  Here’s Mokeskin #2 (8/22/07-9/15/07) Part 1 (I guess about 15 parts equally sized to this blog post to hold this Moleskin):


A doubly metaphorical luggage cart. [|Please note that the word ‘metaphor’ in modern Greek means ‘luggage cart’|]

A silent dishwasher with a piercing gaze.

Ill prepared am I even for my preparation.

Reading Nietzsche I saw that God is dead.  God?  Who’s this character?  So I’ve picked up his book.

This story’s a sentence writ out in images.  The symbols burst from the stage onto the page, letters the needles of a one act tattoo.

Toss the Tarot as you chase your own tale.

In writing my book, wriggle free, tear off the blindfold, and kick down those [eight] swords.

“Your life energy pattern, your chi, is like a gluey film that my Tarot cards will never be rid of.”


“For Goodness’ sake, don’t shuffle his Tarot cards! You’ll reveal parts of your fortune that he may be able to interfere with.”

“But if a single shuffle is so powerful, then what is a day of conversation or a written letter?”

“Good.  Now you are beginning to understand the ways we shuffle people’s symbols,.  Every time we activate a symbol, we shuffle it around some–but real shuffling takes knowing the right symbols and the active ways to associate them, like a laboratory procedure, alchemical molecules boiling and reacting in the retort, establishing new equilibriums, generating precipitate.”


Surely there are forces at work into which insight would help.

For Tarot, it is like learning an equation.  This doesn’t mean you don’t have to understand the situation (problem) but it does serve as a reminder of what’s involved.  It also gives hints as to possible common structural relations.  [|I was toying with Tarot for a short time and trying to understand what the point was–in this case I was specifically talking about how you have to read the books that interpret the cards for you, so in the end, really, it was like blindly applying an equation to a problem, like some people do in physics class|]

Book idea: An alien race that watches over humans, and, just before we Nuke the planet, they destroy our nukes and enslave us for 10,000 years [|long enough to sink changes into our nature|]

Of what do you speak?  A cabal of Kabbalists?  An occult coup?

“Oh you Human Beings.  In the stone sleeps an image, the image of my images!  A shame it must sleep in the hardest, ugliest stone.”

-Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, pg 67 [|All Nietzsche quotes, from here forward, from Thus Spoke Zarathustra (TSZ) refer to the Adrian del Caro translation|]

“Now my hammer rages cruelly against its prison.  Shards shower from the stone: what do I care?”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 67

Fear is the ugly half of desire.

“Spirit is life that cuts into life; by its own agony it increases its own knowledge–did you know that?”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 80

A movie that shows a sequence of conversations that a man stands behind that change to include him while not actually acknowledging him.  This happens through statements/questions of multiple meaning and referent.  Iow, a guy at a party goes and moves among conversations, standing at the backs of the interlocutors, and influences them while not being known to them.  Have the reader/viewer have to figure/puzzle out the double meanings and multiple levels of the mover’s existence.  An unconscious meme, an archetype Being pulsing with organs of synchronicity.

“And only where there are graves are there resurrections.”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 88

A website that “portals” to a world wide web of another planet of humanlike aliens.  Has stances, news, articles, social websites, books, stories, characters, mysteries–a game of sorts–even chatrooms.

“The unwise, to be sure, the people–they are like a river on which a skiff floats; valuations are seated in the skiff, solemn and cloaked.”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 88

“And this secret life itself spoke to me: ‘Behold,’ it said, ‘I am that which must always overcome itself.'”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg 89

The youth are disempowered in this country.

The Green Lion roaring in a golden age.

God cannot contain evil–it is too much for Him.


“But, Boo Hoo!  It’s sooo difficult to quit smoking!”

“Difficult!  What!?  We’re fucking human beings not rats sticking our stubby snouts into blood red buttons to get our shock and our cookie!!”


A book of interconnected short stories, like a movie integrating vignettes of this notebook.  The last [|The boo hoo quote above|] is a T.V. commercial.  Melodramatic, but with underlying power.

“There are maybe 3 beings on this planet that know of this, and I am 2 of them–I am telling you.”

“He [|God|] was also unclear.  How he raged at us, this wrath snorter, because we understood him poorly!  But why did he not speak more purely?”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 211

“Some kind of god in you converted you to your godlessness.”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. ?

Do not forget to expand when you breathe in.

The first lessons with my pupil wld be in how to breathe–5 days would be on breath.  Thunder.  Only thunder in past hours as I wrote “breathe 5 days”.

As I thought this, lightning went, then as I wrote it, thunder: If I do yoga too well, as a conscious bellows, it cld become too powerful.  Too much current–be careful.

“Where is innocence?  Where there is a will to beget.  And whoever wants to create over and beyond himself, he has the purest will.”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 96

“Where is beauty?  Where I must will with my entire will; where I want to love and perish so that an image does not remain merely an image.”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 96

“And this I call perception: all that is deep shall rise–to my height!”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 97

“And who of us poets has not watered down his wine?  Many a poisonous hodgepodge took place in our cellars, much that is indescribable was enacted there.”

-Nietzsche, TSZ, pg. 100

“To those who’ve been watching this little drama unfold–I am here now.”

“Why have you abandoned me!  Was it for your pleasure or are you not w/out foes?”

“You poisoned me!”
“No, I let you poison yourself.  But whoever wld do that is already poisoned.  I didn’t cure you; I didn’t concoct the antidote.  I’m researching the recipe”


“Probably mumbling to myself as I wind my spring.”

-Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood or Wind Up Bird Chronicle, pg. [|I reported it as NW, 187, but looking in Norwegian Wood, pg 187 I didn’t find the quote…|]

“Yeah, I know your type–you stir up conflict like its your electric soup.  You sprout hooks, barbs and careen through space, getting your nettles stuck all over.”

“I don’t have any way for you to get in.”

-Murakami, Norwegian Wood, pg. 278

“The infantile stupidity w/ which most human beings torture themselves in the beginning of the process [|individuation|] slowly fades away… once one has really discovered that there is no progress and no solution other than getting used to that very simple thing of again and again just looking in every situation at the subjective factor of all the disturbances and trying to integrate it on that level — then a lot of the outer difficulties and the nonsense w/ which one was tortured just fall away.”

 -Marie Von Franz, Alchemical Active Imagination (AAI), pg. 114

“In the beginning stages people can commit the most horrible sins of unconsciousness and stupidity w/out having to pay much for it.  Nature does not take revenge.  But when the work progresses over the years, even a slight deviation, a hint of the wrong word, or a fleeting wrong thought, can have the worst psychosomatic consequences.  It is as though it became ever more subtle, moving on the razor’s edge.”

-Von Franz, AAI, pg. 114

“The greater part of all magical activities is the repitition on a small scale of something that at the same time happens on the large, cosmic scale.”

-Von Franz, AAI, pg. 126

My soul moves with the women around me — hither and tither.  Like my eyes.

“Paracelsus did not think that astrological constellations directly affected the body, but believed that w/in man there is a kind of image of the firmament w/ its stars, and that the outer constellations of the firmament affect this inner firmament.”

-Von Franz, AAI, pg. 127

“Therefore, now be concerned only w/ virtue, which is truth itself, so that you become strong in battle like a lion and that you can overcome all powers of the world, and so that you do not fear even death or diabolical tyranny.”

-Von Franz, AAI, pg. 138

The question of how far you’ll go has a lot to do with how far you ranged before you slowed down to map more carefully where you’ve already been.  Range far in your preliminaries–then go back over where you came from–then work back to your borders.  Roman scholar.

Try to see how the multiplicity of individual events are movements brought about by more unified underlying pressures.  Like putting a steak through a meat grinder.  All that confusion stemming from an underlying order.  Which itself was a constellation of natural disorder, ad infinitum.

You could say this is because you have more terrain to compare you present position w/  as you learn more.  Broader context.  Greater tapestry.  Larger carpet.

“If man can transform things outside himself, then he can do that even better w/in his own microcosm, and he can recognize things even better w/in himself.  Therefore in man himself is the greatest treasure, and nothing is outside him.  Therefore one should start from w/in or from the medium which is outwardly and also inwardly visible, and one must recognize who and what one is w/in oneself and then one will, w/in the light of nature, recognize oneself via the outer.”

-Von Franz, AAI, pg. 141