Writing and editing

I’m still here.

Practice this week was short, sweet and mostly at home. I did standing, baddha konasana, my baby-prep squats, and then backbends. It is sort of strange for me to launch right into dropbacks, because I don’t have a particularly flexible back. But for some reason, cutting out primary series really leaves me with a ton of energy to do backbends. I’ve been enjoying that part of my practice immensely.

After spending the entire day weeping and staring at clouds in a melancholy manner yesterday, I decided I needed to change things up a bit and I went into the studio. I miss practicing there and seeing my friends. it was so lovely to be in all that great energy again, plus I got an assist in utthita hasta padangusthasana and backbends. It was great.

On the baby front, I have been getting ultrasounds every second day. The biggest drag is that I can’t book an appointment, so I have to wait hours to get a walk-in appointment. I have been to three appointments and so far the receptionist has been polite enough to pretend like I have never been there before. The Russian ultrasound technician, however, hasn’t. “What? You are still pregnant?” she said to me on appointment # 2. “You must speak to this baby.” What is it about a Russian accent that makes you feel like even the most outrageous request is somehow an absolute requirement? “Ok,” I muttered. Me and everyone I know is talking to the baby constantly asking it to come out. I held the phone up to my belly the other day so Monica could have some serious words with it. But that night, I thought to myself, maybe the baby hasn’t come because I haven’t spoken with it yet?

On appointment # 3, I had a different ultrasound technician. She took 30 minutes to take pictures, which is an unusually long time. At one point she told me she had to get somebody – and I got really frightened. Ultrasound technicians are notoriously cagey. There are signs up at eye level all over their offices that say they cannot discuss any findings. As I’m lying there, covered with blue gel and beginning to tear up – I start thinking about the phone tree that will take place before I hear the news: from the technician to the receptionist, from the receptionist to my midwife, from the midwife to me.

And in walks the Russian ultrasound technician. She takes the measurements in her usual brusk manner and then looks at me.

R. U. T.: Your baby is perfect. Just lazy. You can go.

I’m almost tempted to ask her if it is really mine, seeing as I am quite imperfect, and not at all lazy. But I stop myself,and instead spend the next five minutes wiping sticky blue gel off my clothes.

I found a picture of the baby and I the day we left Mysore. I thought I was soooo huge.

Sigh, I didn’t know how good I had it.

Here is a picture of me taken yesterday:

This one was taken the day before yesterday:

From my pictures, you might assume that I am always in the kitchen. That would be an accurate observation. You might also notice that the belly isn’t really round anymore, it is sort of lumpy and baby-shaped which is strange. In the first picture from Mysore, I had been eating gobi manchurian almost everyday. Sadly, I don’t anymore and the baby has used up all my gobi credit. Yesterday, I noticed that I can see my ribs before they disappear under the belly.

I finished reading The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker today. I loved The Fermata, but this one was much sweeter. I am an English Lit major, which means nothing, but I did spend a year of my life tapping out meter on worn out school desks. Even though every moment of that poetics class was like dragging my nose against the sidewalk,  with all that tapping I unwittingly became such a big snob about unmetered poetry, but an even worse snob about badly metered poetry – in particular iambic pentameter. What a life skill, I know – thanks McGill. But this book was all about iambic pentameter, and I felt my snobbery was somehow justified. Here is a little tidbit about sitcoms:

At some point you have to set aside snobbery and what you think is culture and recognize that any random episode of Friends is probably better, more uplifting for the human spirit, than ninety-nine percent of the poetry or drama or fiction or history ever published. Think of that. Of course yes, Tolstoy and of course yes Keats and blah blah and yes indeed of course yes. But we’re living in an age that has a tremendous richness of invention. And some of the most inventive people get no recognition at all. They get tons of money but no recognition as artists. Which is probably much healthier for them and better for their art.”

I wish I wrote that. It did make me feel sort of happy about my desire to write cheesy screenplays and articles about facials.

Critter Corner:

Baby Raccoons in our backyard! Big dum-dums!

Our apartment will be ready tomorrow! We had delicious South Indian Thali for lunch. And we will be starting Sanskrit classes on Monday. Good day!

We also had lemon and strawberry milk-free gelato in the evening. Yum!

I was also sad when I had finished mine.

Today in practice, Saraswathi finished my backbends and chirped,”Light body.” Oh my heart leapt with joy!  But then looking around the room, I see her: 5 foot nothing in her late 60s lifting these huge, sweaty men as they launch themselves up and down into their backbends.  And she does it everyday for hours on end. She is certainly more built than when I last saw her two years ago, but there is something else powering her. A person twice as strong and half her age would have difficulty sustaining her energy level. Saraswathi brings determination to a whole new level, it seems to be in every fibre of her being. You almost can’t imagine her getting sick, or even having back pain.

I guess if you have to deal with all the foreign yoga student’s crap, and the dude-first culture here for over 60 years, you would become pretty bad-ass. She is a force to be reckoned with.

Speaking of bad-ass, tomorrow is led primary. If I want a spot that isn’t in the toilet, I am going to having to pull out some pretty mad skillz. Scratch that, David will have to pull out some mad skillz and get a spot for both of us.  I’m studying this video of South Indian stunts for tips.

YouTube Preview Image

I am considering getting a very small horse, so I can squeeze in between people’s legs as they run to put their mats down. Maybe I just need a flying car. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Today we didn’t need walk around looking for housing in the midday sun, and so we had a bit of a lazy day. We practiced, ate breakfast, made kettle miso, did the laundry, talked AYCT business, hung out and then went out for South Indian thali with gobi manchurian.

gobi manchurian

Gobi manchurian is supposed to be Chinese-style cauliflower. It is actually double deep-fried cauliflower and like most things double deep-fried it is quite delicious. Alice told me that I should be eating deep-fried things to relax my pregnancy induced yang condition.  Therefore, I should be eating gobi manchurian constantly.

At lunch, we bumped into Jenny and Raven from the Ashtanga Yoga Shala in Victoria. This is the second time we have completely invaded their quiet midday meal. They are going to start avoiding the Green Leaf if it happens again, I’m sure.

jenny and raven

One more food related item: bananas. I’m not crazy about bananas in Toronto. I don’t eat them that often, they taste good in things rather than on their own. And unless you are a big geek and own a banana carrier, they always become a little mushy and unsatisfying when they are carted around. In India the bananas are tiny, very yellow, and delicious. You buy about 15 at a time and one goes very nicely with cereal in the morning. I remember coming back from India in 2008 and thinking that a regular banana was a ridiculous amount of mealy yukky food. I think I read somewhere that the right amount of fruit to eat will fit in your hand. Anymore than that is too much.

babybananaBaby Banana = perfect.

Practice today went well. Sharath made disapproving noises as he stood in front of me during my dropbacks. I’m not sure what that means and I think that is OK. I suppose, like most things, it will all be revealed with time.

David, very kindly, put up a link to this blog on ashtangatoronto.com and once I get my rss feed up and working you can be constantly updated on my terribly exciting life.

Critter Corner:

We met a cow a block away from our house that really, really wanted to be featured in this blog. In fact, she blew her nose and sprayed us with snot  a couple times before David managed to get the photo. I feel her pain, this pregnancy has turned me into a snotty mess as well.


Unlike the cow, I will endeavour (however strong the urge) not to shower strangers with mucus.