Adho mukha svanasana, you moron

The yoga studio has a little retail rack of garments (yogawear, I guess) and books. One book stands out as a little incongruous: “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chakras”.

It stands out because, after almost eight years of sporadic yoga practice, none of my instructors—even the gruffer ones—ever uttered the word “idiot” or any of its synonyms. Yoga teachers are usually pretty mellow and non-judgmental. Listening to them sometimes I wonder if they think there is a right or wrong way to do anything.

“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chakras” seems like a mismatch between marketing hyberbole and the inner peace yoga is supposed to provide.

Return to yoga

Lore and I returned to yoga a couple of weeks ago after a hiatus of several years. There’s a downtown studio that offers a two-week trial period, so I have been trying the different classes at a flat rate.

The difference between the different styles of yoga are imperceptible to me sometimes. When I lived in Mississippi I practiced Ashtanga yoga, a structured and vigorous style that I really liked. Even though yoga is wildly popular here in Iowa City Ashtanga instructors are scarce.

The instructors are all very nice—the usual buoyant females one expects to find at the head of a yoga class. The class I attended yesterday morning was pretty crowded, about twenty people in a room half the size of a tennis court. There was one other man in the room.

February dreck

I’ve been in a bad winter funk lately. I’ve just been indoors way too much. The weather sucks. My job has been way too sedentary and slow-moving for my tastes. I’m gaining weight again after losing a bunch of after the holiday. My bicycle is outside rusting because I don’t have room for it in this tiny apartment, and so I won’t be able to just jump on it and start riding when the weather turns nice. Fortunately it’s a cheap bike, but I still don’t have room for a better one.

I feel a little better this evening after yoga, and a good dinner. I made a spinach salad for the first time in a while. I think I bought a bag from that company that poisoned a bunch of people last summer. Anyway, it was a good salad even if it kills me.

The Girl Scout cookies both help (they taste really good) and hurt (they make me fat). The dualism.

Yoga, level 2

I started the “Level 2” class tonight, and actually broke a sweat for a change. I can’t even describe the ways I was trying to contort myself, but they all have names in Sanskrit.

This class is much different from the Level 1 class. It’s smaller, for one. Some of the people in that class would drive me bezerk because they knew the room would be full of people but they didn’t space themselves out properly. They’d sprawl out over two people-spaces. The people in tonight’s also talk to each other.

Grateful Monday

I’m glad the weekend and that event is over with. Man, was it cold this weekend. It was about 20 degrees yesterday afternoon. I spent part of it on a street directing traffic. The evening before I spent three straight hours on a horse-drawn wagon. It was even colder. The event was well-attended. It’s funny that there is no carry-over effect for the town. When there’s no event, the town is still dead. In fact, even though we had about a thousand people in the visitor center this weekend, only three people came in today. Sigh.

Yoga was pretty rough tonight. I stood on one leg and one hand with my other leg and hand in the air at right angles.

Sunday in slow motion

Since I don’t have to go to work until 10:30 on Sundays, I decided to go to yoga this morning. Sunday mornings are the full Ashtanga series, something I’ve never done before. It was brutal, especially because I didn’t eat anything until after class. I was beat all day.

The ferry was cancelled again because of high winds and rough surf. So I spent a very long and boring day in the office. I worked on our little john boats a little, meaning I trailered them to a place where I could drain them out, then I replaced the tarps which had blown off. So today was cloudy, humid, rainy, and hot where the wind wasn’t blowing. Biting gnats, deer flies, and mosquitos were all out and biting. My forearms are covered with itchy little bug bites. In other words, another day in the bayou. I betcha I’ll have plenty of little peccadillos in Iowa too.

Rain today

I didn’t ride my bike into town anticipating it, though I would have been all right had I gone around lunchtime. I’m feeling really sluggish anyway. I feel better after yoga, as usually. I’ve been making half-asses stabs at getting ready for my move. I don’t want to move stuff I don’t want to keep, so I’m purging my files of old bank statements and such. My little shredder isn’t cut out for heavy-duty expungings of the record. It keeps overheating and shutting off.

At the grocery store tonight I saw a guy with a swastika tattooed on his forearm. He might as well have had “I am an ignorant dickhead” tattooed on him.


For the second time this week I had to swerve my car to avoid death. This time for a jackass who started to make a left turn right in front of me. Not only did I deftly evade a collision, but I managed to share my thoughts with him (“Fucking idiot!”) as I did it. This was strange: at some point when I swerved the car shifted into neutral. I don’t remember hitting the gearshift and didn’t even notice until I tried to accelerate again. In fact I couldn’t figure it out until I pulled over.

I was a disaster at yoga tonight. I’m still a bit congested, but even a bit congested makes yoga difficult since it involves breathing through your nose. I also drank too much lemonade before class; it started gurgling up every time I bent forward which was like every five seconds. Not to be disgusting but that’s what happened to me at yoga tonight.

Move date

I am moving to Iowa on May 14.

This weeks some design specialists are in the park. They are going to help us replace all of our wayside exhibits, plus design some new ones. I was looking forward to this, but it is pretty tedious. I’ll be doing the same thing in Iowa. The weather (wind, really) might keep us from going out to Ship Island, and of course that’s what I’m most interested in.

Yoga tonight. I was a little stiffer than usual.

Good and bad reviews of Iowa

Yoga tonight. I felt pretty good. I hope I can find a good yoga school in Iowa.

A couple of former volunteers visited us at work today. They’re from Illinois. When I said I was moving to Iowa, one of them went into this diatribe about how awful the weather was: steamy hot in the summer, bitter cold in the winter, wind blowing all the time. He went on and on. Then he started telling me all these good things about Iowa, the riverfront in Davenport, the rolling hills, a funky college town that starts with a G, dozens of little colleges, some really good Amish baloney, and so forth.

I work with several Midwesterners, so I guess Iowa won’t be too shocking.

A-okay today.

I actually had a pretty good day. What’s going on? My boss gave me a good year-end evaluation and I now have a work plan for the next year. This is the first real direction I’ve gotten from work since August 27, 2005 when they said, “evacuate.”

Went to yoga this evening. I am sore, but good sore.

There’s a funny song playing on the radio here. It is called “Downtown Got Run Over by Katrina (to the tune of “Grandma Got Run Over…”)”, recorded by the Pascagoula High School Chorus.

More of my life

We’re starting to put our temporary visitor center together. It’s still a mess. I’m not looking forward to months of boring hell in there, and I don’t feel like I’m busting my ass to get it done.

I misread the yoga schedule and showed up for the Ashtanga (the really hard) class. It wasn’t too impossible.

I’m flying to NY on Saturday for my monthly much-needed break from Disasterland. I still have to coordinate a transfer out of here. So far it’s not going too well.