Writing and editing

The Dalai Lama is in Bangalore on Sunday, and so Sharath cancelled class on Sunday and instead put led primary on Saturday.  I was in a great Yummy Mummy spot up front. The person next to me even apologized for bumping into me (which he actually never did). Huzzah!

With David not working and not being around the studio – I suddenly have some time on my hands. I have that kinda twitchy feeling when you are really busy and then abruptly not busy. But I like it. I should be napping, but instead I have been reading recipe reviews on the Food Network. Amazing!

The first one is this recipe from Rachel Ray for “Late Night Bacon”


  • 8 slices of bacon

Place 2 sheets of paper towel on a microwave safe plate, lay the bacon out on the paper towel not overlapping the slices. Place 2 more sheets of paper towel on top. Place in the microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes.

And the reviews:

“I got stuck with this recipe. I could see the bacon in the package and counted 8 pieces, but I couldn’t get them out of the package because Rachael didn’t provide instructions. I’m really craving bacon. Please advise.”

“Hey Ray Ray! I loved the recipe, but thought it needed something to be a late night meal. Could you please post your recipe for toast? I’d like a recipe for a glass of milk as well, but I don’t think I could do all that in one night.”

“Personally, I think this recipe could be improved by the addition of a bit more bacon and a bit less paper towel. The taste of the towel was pretty good with all that bacon grease on it, but the texture was *awful*. I’ve tried this preparation a few times for my guests, and they always leave the towels behind. Sometimes slightly gnawed, but it’s clear they don’t enjoy them.”

And next up is Ellie Krieger’s “Dark Chocolate as a Snack”


  • 1 ounce dark chocolate

Lots of funny people wrote in:

“Ellie, I would like to double this recipe, as I’m married. Do I need to make any adjustments?”

“After scraping the chocolate shells off of a box of malt balls, I gathered the flakes into a small saucer. Confused as to what utensils to utilize, I decided to bend my neck, open my mouth and gather the flakes with my tongue. This caused my neck to go into spasms, and my taste buds to become numb. You will hear from my attorney next week regarding my injuries.”

“not easy! for starters, whats this ‘ounce’ amount you speak of? I dont work for the weights and measures department! easy recipes should use easy words.I didn’t come here to marvel at no fancy-speak”

David and Laruga left today. BOO! David is authorized level 1 and Laruga level 2 on this trip! They are going back to Stockholm to be an unstoppable duo of Ashtanga power! I am really excited for them.

But really, they should have stayed an extra month and kept us company.

Yesterday, I had an *intuition* during led primary that I need to eat more. I told David when we were out for a walk and he said we should go get a dosa immediately. I ate a large bowl of oatmeal, idly, cookies, chocolate, 3 pieces of fried bread, miso soup, and brown rice with veggies and tofu.

This morning, I’m not actually sure that intuition was 100% correct.

Led primary was hard but fine. I held my headstand and uth pluthi, which made me proud and happy and deserving of a third piece of fried bread.

So, it is Yoga Spot Terror Chart time! Just to recap:

Booberry Severe Yoga Terror: Next to a door that opens suddenly and often and on the marble. Person beside you is always on your mat

Frankenberry High Yoga Terror: Squished between two tall angry students in Led primary.

Count Chocula Elevated Yoga Terror: Next to a busy passageway between the changeroom and the practice space. Person in front of you lands on your mat frequently.

Fruit Brute Guarded Yoga Terror: The person next to you insists on lifting their hands up to the side and almost smacking your face every sun salutation.

Yummy Mummy Low Yoga Terror: You are in the middle of the front row next to two small polite students.

Yesterday was absolutely Yummy Mummy terror. It really helps that I am not pregnant and I can direct my neurosis towards my baby.

I like the energy in the shala this year, but it always makes me miss the community we have in Toronto. I love the people I meet in Mysore – but occasionally there is a bit of attitude here that is kinda funny. I mean, I thought doing this practice would dispel any belief you might have held about yourself being hot shit – but apparently that isn’t totally the case all the time. I know it is shyness and nervousness most of the time and I should be a more forgiving.

Speaking of thinking you are hot shit, I was reminded of something by Liz’s comment in the last post. I had initially written, before editing to “I was paranoid that Sharath was looking at me.”, “Sharath was staring at me.” I realized after I wrote it, that I had no idea if he was looking at me or not considering my face was pushed up against my mat. Also, if he was, in fact, looking at me – most likely he wasn’t like, “Wow, can she do it?” But more like, “And then there was that cricket match…” Not that Sharath is distracted, by any means. But it is so easy to get carried away and put stuff on him that isn’t really there.

Do you feel like a poll?

Don’t feel like a poll? Here is a picture of The Baby in his new Indian bathtub.

We made it. Bonus: at no point did I want to throw the baby out the window. Holden was great, he didn’t cry – he just stayed awake for most of the 24 hour journey. We managed to keep him up yesterday afternoon and last night he had some trouble staying down – but he slept (with a few breaks for food and fussing) from 6p – 4a. I know to most normal people that sounds crazy. But in yoga-land that is perfect baby schedule.

We registered with Sharath. It was lovely to see him – he seems well rested and in a great space. The room is very calm this trip – a huge change from last year. The addition of the assistants is nice, and one of them assisted me in final backbends. Practice was very healing, I could feel my hamstring relax in the heat. I got both of my feet behind my head and off the floor in supta kurmasana, because I was paranoid Sharath was looking at me. That hasn’t happened since I was about 5 months pregnant. Woot.

Here we are at Heathrow airport eating the most unfortunately named, “Hip and Healthy” meal.

Last year we took this photo in the same spot. I was 5 months pregnant and I had time to do things like brush my hair and eat uninterrupted meals.

I miss brushing my hair and being able to watch 15 movies on the flight to India. I know everyone talks about how your life changes and how hard it is to have a baby/toddler/teenager. And it is hard and really not at all glamorous. But babies make life way more fun. I can brush my hair again in 15 years.

Landing in Bangalore, David turned to me and said, ‘So, this is your third trip to India.” How did that happen? I mean, I’d really like to see Morocco, Australia, or Japan. I haven’t been to Chicago, but I’ve been to dusty old Mysore three times.

Even just at the airport, I am reminded of what a fantastically different sensibility there is here. I stared at this ad asking for consumer input into ameliorating Banglalore airport for 15 minutes waiting for my luggage.

The sense of humour is so sweet, devoid of irony – but it makes my Canadian mind twitch. Do they actually want serious suggestions or is this just a joke? Because a change room for humans might be a better start. Or, I don’t know, clean drinking water.

And then all the little things about the shala and being in Mysore flood back. The shala clocks that are inexplicably 15 minutes fast, the barefoot police officers, and the animals sprawled across the roads narrowly avoiding calamity over and over again.

But there is no subterfuge. Everything is just how it is here. And that is strangely relaxing.

By contrast, on the British Airways flight, David and I were laughing at the different names for business class travel – “Gold members, Silver members, Safire members and Emerald members”. Honestly, Emerald members? Is an 8-year-old boy running BA? In India, it is just people who have paid more money. That’s it. You can’t be in this line/chair/lounge. You have not paid enough.

Don’t get me wrong – the grossly unfair divisions between have and have not here are deeply troubling. But all that inherently middle-class yoga practicing, air travel honesty is pretty funny.

Led class tomorrow. I am so glad I’m not pregnant.

We are leaving for Mysore on Monday and I have completely lost my mind. I like lists, and for the past two trips I have studiously written down each item of clothing I hope to squish into my carry-on only luggage.  This time we bought a piece of luggage. And the list is so long. And that list contains not one item of clothing for me.

So, I am going to be naked in Mysore. But the baby will have a gajillion toys.

I am still a fairly traumatized from our last flight. Why can’t babies just go in the baggage hold? Imagine if there was a baby-only flight to India? That would be so excellent. We could leave at the same time and kiss each other at the gate and then baby could cry with all the other babies for a million hours and mom and dad could rub their feet and watch Fubar 2.

Today, I got a new toy for Holden to play with on the plane. It is a vibrating bunch of grapes. I don’t know – babies like the strangest things. Anyway, at the toy store I found these:

The answer to my dreams in India. I was sort of excited so I called David while he was teaching today to let him know.

Stan: I found toy wipes! And they are food-grade and everything for when the baby drops a toy on the floor.

David: We have crossed the line, and are now officially yuppies.

Ughhh, please save me.

Do you know who isn’t stressed?

He is the best.

Here at Miss Stan dot com, I like to keep it light. My forays into darkness (exhibit A – hey don’t judge I just gave birth!) are met with a bit of reader brow-furrowing. And really they should be. I didn’t want this blog to be about how crappy or hard my practice is. I wanted it to be about how the practice has helped me lead a positive, healthy life. I am a lucky girl. I do think that you make a small piece of your own luck and this blog is all about the small part of my luck that I work for every morning.

I was reading Kapo is My Bitch last night and it prompted a discussion between David and I this morning about tradition. There are some old school teachers who teach the Ashtanga technique how it was taught to them in the 70s and 80s. When we use that word, “tradition”, that is exactly what comes to mind. A practice that was originally taught and handed down from generation to generation. I guess like most traditions, Ashtanga has changed, many times, even within this generation. And while it might make sense initially to follow whatever was taught 30 years ago and carry on that tradition, it was the Guru himself who modified it.

I can see if you learned a technique at a pivotal moment in your life, and that technique changed everything for you – it would make sense to want to replicate that experience in teaching others. I would argue that it isn’t the sequence of poses, although very elegantly and intelligently stacked, that changes us in Ashtanga Yoga – but accepting and trusting a teacher.

David says you wouldn’t go see a doctor who only used medical information she learned thirty years ago because it was empirical knowledge then and therefore must be empirical knowledge now. I think tradition is a clumsy word in this case, maybe technique or method is better suited because the whole thing is so mutable. I’m pretty sure that is how Sharath describes it. I’m not sure if I have ever heard him say it is “Traditional Ashtanga”. And yet we seem to use that word all the time to describe what we do.

Coincidentally, there was an article about Sofia Coppola’s new film in the paper today. She used camera lenses from her father’s film Rumblefish to shoot her movie. She talked about loving the warmth and soft quality of film. But she also mentioned that her father is really into HD, and won’t shoot on film anymore – although he does think it is cute that his daughter is so fond of it.

I have listened to different yoga teachers speak about yoga like it is an art form. And from that point of view, I think I understand. You have a story to tell or an idea to express and using a traditional process can add meaning and texture. A friend of mine shot the cover of her book on a pinhole camera. It is gorgeous, but the murky-sepia tone of the photo also adds a layer of meaning to the narrative. Maybe more so then the same shot taken with a digital camera.

I guess I can’t get my head around the whole yoga as art thing. I just don’t see it as a dance or creative expression. I don’t really understand when people describe a vinyasa sequence as artful either. I mean, you would only put a series of poses together because they complement each other in your body, not because it looks cool in front of the mirror or whatever. It is interesting to me how different bodies “express” a pose, but that seems more like anatomical geometry.

But maybe I am missing something. I know this isn’t Sister Wives, but if you have an opinion – please share it!

Next post: Don’t EVER let your kid get a cold. Unless you hate sleeping.