Ground rules: I have only 15 minutes to write daily about my Sixty-nine journey, I need to lose my 20lbs of flesh that I gained while mourning my father, my father died at age 69…I will attempt to lose this weight by working on a yoga series I googled about positions that help aid mourning. I will celebrate with a ritual at the Bronx Botanical Gardens (a place that holds some of my fondest memories of my father.
Other things to know: I am, apparently, a kinesthetic/tactile learner and so…I am forcing myself to get to know more about yoga and mourning through practicing it. At 36 years old, I find that I have lost several friends to suicide and I think it is because our pluralistic American culture has no rituals for transitions. My sister and brother seemed to move on from the death of my father quicker than I because they are able to have children, and so the transition from death with life seems obvious, but…there is no clear transition for me…so…I am making my ritual…
The poses: Today I just practiced the poses as I found them in google…it is not designed, yet, to be a flow that uses the chakras appropriately (whatever that means…I’m hoping to discover this by doing), but I did it anyway. I found this grouping three years ago, and I have practiced it in this “playful” way, that is, without thinking that they are in the right order or not…I also have chosen not to do some of them, so…through these 69 days, I’m hoping to practice all of them everyday (with some exceptions) to create a discipline that suits the predilections of many rituals.
The poses are:
I am using google and Noa Belling’s THE YOGA HANDBOOK as a guide…FYI…
1. Warrior Sequence
2. Bridge Pose (Wheel)
3. Supported Back Bend
4. Standing Poses (all in the Belling book…more on that later…I’m running out of writing time…).
5. Supported Fish Pose
6. Camel Pose
7. Bow Pose
9. Flying Cow
11. Hero’s Pose
12. Baddha Konasana
13. Jathara Parivritti
14. Sphinx Pose
15. Child’s Pose
16. Standing Forward Bend
18. Upward Facing Dog
19. Crown of the Head Yoga Mudra
20. Shatkarma (more on that later, and this is also the one thing I will not be doing everything of, everyday…).
First part of the ritual: The costume…I will wear my red yoga pants that say, “Love”, don’t judge…I like it…and the yoga positions have very few of the “grounding” mudra (Muladhara – the base chakra) – the color of which is red – and many of the poses ask for “grounding”, whatever that means…so…without the grounding chakra…I will bring it in with the red pants…I like red…and I don’t care that pre-teens probably wear these pants…
Second part of the ritual: Kapalabhati breath…69 times for every pose…now even today I wasn’t able to do all of the poses in the 69 Kapalabhati breaths…but…I did achieve a lot of them…And, truly, what do I know about Kapalabhati breath…not much…but it was suggested as a pose that helps with mourning…and…it’s obviously not a pose, so…I added it to all of the poses…
Third part of the ritual: The practice everyday, hopefully…
Fourth part of the ritual: The writing…only for 15 minutes…this will keep me honest and not travail off into my many tangents…
Fifth part of the ritual: My 20lbs. of flesh…I think I might have to purchase a scale…I don’t own one, and the only reason I know I have the 20lbs of flesh is from when I was surprised at going to the doctor’s and seeing the scale…
Well, that’s all for today…