Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I'm stretching myself out on a lazy summer afternoon, willing myself to stick to my daily asana practice in spite of the heat and ferocious sunlight my drawn blinds can't keep out. The instructional online yoga video (labeled Not For Newbies, which is both gratifying and strange) is telling me to focus on my breath and relax the root of my tongue, connecting my feet to the earth.
This irks me. My feet, I think, will be connected to the earth whether or not I think about my alignment, because gravity will keep them there. I move up into a standing split, ruminating on gravity and the earth and the smallness of things, wobble on my standing foot and press my palms into my mat to steady myself. My ego pricked by the earlier imbalance, I kick up into a handstand, letting my heels thud dully against the door while I consider the world from a topsy turvy perspective. For a while, I thoughtlessly move through inversions and twists, deliberately staying longer in the deepest stretches, frustrated with not reaching new places. For someone who is supposed to be teaching yoga in a few months, I find myself remarkably uninspiring sometimes. Remarkably eager to go places. Remarkably ready to try something else.
There is something about this place, I tell my friends, which makes you desperate to escape. I know I'm talking nonsense and it has less to do with the place than my sense of something burning out, something burning up, which I blame on the heat outside. I stare at myself in the mirror, standing on my mat, half-expecting my hair to come alive and crackle and close my eyelids. I can't help but open them now and then, watching the lines of my body with eyes that look out train windows-curious, exploratory. I think about train windows. I think about how many times a week people comment on or look at my body as though I was a view from a train, reminding me about roundness and fullness that wasn't always there. I try to care, but my frustration melts away as I bend backward into wheel pose, lift one leg towards the sky and fail to give a damn. All of my heart is open and pointing upward and feeling like I am going somewhere, going to go somewhere.
Later, I can't decide if it was the video voiceover, the rush of blood to my head or my attempt at quieting the crackle in my brain that leaves me feeling like this is where I need to be, right now. I am hopelessly aware that I am not in that place where inspiring experiences follow me everywhere I go. I also promised myself that before I turn 25, I will achieve milestones which will be terrifying and beautiful. When I made the promise, I think I saw myself literally leaving, going to geographical locations that blow my mind. Now, I anticipate staying right here, experimenting with the thousands of ways I can terrify and conquer myself-physically yes, on my mat, but also going places in my head I never knew how to go to before. Milestone one achieved, I think.


Anonymous said...

from time to time, I return to your blog and every time i see a new entry, I breath a sigh of relief.
Reading your blog is my yoga, partly because I am too lazy to get up myself.
Your writing is beautiful, your words are captivating and your thoughts are insightful and thoughtful.
you ve inspired me to blog but it will take me sometime to get over my fear of producing bad writing.
If you have any tips on what makes you write so eloquently, I would look forward to reading it.

I hope that you write a book very soon.
Till then keep blogging and dont stop at 100.

s.e. said...

thank you. your annonymity will haunt me, but you're too kind. really appreciate the encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Many a times, in my 'self-exile' as they say, I yearned for all things that made me human while being in Karachi - - things that I never knew existed in my consiousness ... Years later I realized, that all this yearning was actually feeding my existence without actually nuturing it and I learned to walk the other way, slowly so as to keep a measured path behind me that could take me back when I want, yet at the same time distancing me from the depths of this yearning in which I was wishing my life away ...
Just a thought, but you seem to yearn for a niche that you seem to have not yet found even after returning home ....
Keep on writing . Anon

Amna said...

hi Sarah, just read this at work (broke my vow to not websurf too much while at the reference desk and am so glad i did)...wonderful!