Religion and Spirituality

Christmas in the post-War United States

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The always awesomely amazing Julie Pippert, who took a huge chance on me and gave me my start as a blogger beyond my own little realm, asked me if I would share my yoga journey at Choose You today.

Though I meant to blog for you dear readers, the Christmas Express is hurtling at me with deadly accuracy and with in-laws arriving today and the house still at half-ass status (not to mention the demonic dishwasher taking a header – again), my to-do list is long enough to make me cry.

So, head over to Choose You and I’ll update you on the state of progress – or my nervous breakdown – tomorrow.

Oh, and the tree pic? That would not be a representation of ours, which is still a pine-cicle by the swing set in the backyard.

my android apps menu #5

Image by laihiu via Flickr

My boss called today. Yes, I have a boss. I know it seems like I’m living this Life of Reilly up on the prairie, but I am employed. I am hired in a manner of speaking though it is so different from my previous existence as a public school teacher that when I come up for air, now and again, I blink a lot. That spotlight I try to hide from is bright.

Cee conducts these random phone updates with the bloggers at Care2 to take our enthusiasm temperatures, I think. Mine’s been flagging a bit. Partly because I know that in order to be a success as a pseudo commentator on current events and life in general I need to lay fingers on the keyboard more often and far more furiously than I do now. And, I need to check my scruples at my office door. Blogging for the masses – the hordes that feed the advertisers – means inciting them to comment.

You might have noted that I closed comments on my Jennifer Petkov piece due to a persistent commenter. I don’t feel the need to engage in that way and this is a personal blog at any rate, but it’s highly reminiscent of the type of response I’ve inspired at Care2 from time to time. My karma prefers to be less sullied but my ego is entirely game. Let the tug of war begin.

So, on the one hand there is the very real possibility of making my mark in the world of op-ed and on the other hand there is coming back in my next life as an invertebrate.

Okay, it’s not that black and white. Probably.

Mostly this is coming down to time. Which is precious even if it’s nothing more than sitting in the office with Rob in the evening sharing thoughts about items on our Google Readers.

However, I don’t have as much time as I did.

My other boss emailed me today. Yes, two bosses though Jade’s in a gray area. She’s my teacher. I like to think of her as a friend. And she lets me teach at her studio.

Jade’s off on a yoga cruise soon. The studio was supposed to close because Rob and I had planned a vacation for that week, but we’ve decided to demolish the wall between our living and dining rooms and reno instead – seriously, and I will explain that another day – so I am suddenly around and she asked if I will cover classes for those who have memberships.

Teaching yoga is feast or famine. I am busy beyond comprehension until Christmas and then …? I don’t know.

Here’s the thing. My old life was scripted from the outside. Order was imposed on me by a schedule not of my making. Not a bad thing because being a Sagittarius, I tend towards free flow and formless when left to my own devices.

Now, life needs order.


Because I am not – never have been – okay with just being good. At anything. I need to be awesome. Ego. Yes, I am well aware.

But, I can be awesome. I know this.

I am ruined though by twenty years of being scheduled. I wish I had shunned teaching for writing earlier. Maybe I would have a better handle on scheduling myself?

Both hands are required. Cee gave me license to write at will for any channel I want at Care2. Go nuts. There’s a career in there somewhere.

Jade is trusting me an awful lot to find my yoga feet, take root and bloom. There’s a future there too.

Are they compatible? I think so, but it’s a matter of blocking time and not losing sight of Rob, the girls and the other people who are far more important than anything else.

Life was easier when I didn’t have to think about where I should be at a given time. When it was all decided for me.

But I recall, vaguely, wishing for this freedom. Must. Control. Blind. Wishing. And possibly break down and get a Blackberry or an Android.

Heard of Mark Driscoll? He’s got himself a mega-church somewhere down south (of me). Among his other charming interpretations of the bible, he believes that women shouldn’t be allowed to hold leadership roles in any church. He probably likes the idea of banishing us to red rooms during our periods too – but I digress.

Mark recently explained the whole Satan/demonic training/hell connection of yoga to his flock during the Q&A part of their Sunday service.

Q&A, the Catholic in me giggles, consists of the flock submitting queries via their cellphones or iPads, no doubt, and Mark reading them off a screen on stage.

A stage? I’ve attended an evangelical worship thingy here and there and still can’t wrap my mind around the theatre aspect of it.

Someone asked if it was okay for Christians to do yoga.

Christianity’s apparent incompatibility with an asana practice has been much in the news lately. Personally, I believe that if yoga’s spiritual center bothers a person, he/she should do Pilates or something, but knowing that most people bring so little of themselves to their personal religions anyway – I don’t think many people are in danger of being seduced away by yoga.

Mark, like most uber-religious, totally over-estimates the average yoga student’s interest in anything other than having a yoga butt and being able to touch their toes. My students tolerate the “namaste” at the end simply out of respect for me.  I am not converting anyone to my way of thinking about the “oneness” of the universe as he puts it.

It’s interesting that he can explain the purpose of yoga and still not get it at all.

No one’s head spins round in yoga though I have witnessed some painful looking displays of near freakish flexibility and if getting in touch with yourself and by extension – everything and everyone – is evil, more of us should choose the “path of darkness”. The world would be a better place if we focused more on it and the people around us rather than wasting our energy chasing a capricious God and his conditional love.

Yoga is good for the body and one’s emotional well-being. Research backs me on both counts.

What people like Driscoll worry about is that the exposure to other ways of interpreting the world will lessen their power as people begin to question and think for themselves.

If Christianity is the be-all/end-all than people will come to that conclusion without the Driscoll’s guidance. No one leaves a faith based on their fitness choices. People who have faith aren’t swayed by a little inward reflection and perhaps are even strengthened by the opportunity.

Ultimately what we call “religion” arose from a need to explain and impose a sense of order on life. What actually guides the universe is not so simplistic which is evidenced by the fact that there are so many creeds competing for dominance.

Yoga is the last thing Driscoll should be worrying about or wasting his words on. Real life in America, riddled with real problems, would be a better focus, but what’s a dogma without tangible demons, eh?