It seems like now is the time!
I started this blog several years ago. A whole lot of water has gone under the bridge. I have learned a little bit more about people, life, yoga…My dear friend Daniel is constantly reminding me that I will be a ballerina forever, so I think it’s time I look seriously at yoga thru the lens of who I really am: a ballerina, an artist, a seeker, a spirit junkie….just plain old me. No different from you or anyone else. Here’s my journey.
It’s my dance thru life, one step at a time and sometimes, well quite a lot of times, with 2 left feet 😉
Here’s how it all started:
I dropped into an Iyengar class in the People’s Republic of Cambridge. We did a pose for a while and then we would lie down to rest and see how it felt, ugh, I was 20 yrs old & I didn’t want to lie down and think about how I felt I wanted to keep going and going and going. And so I kept going as a professional ballerina with Boston Ballet. For 17 years my life was about being thin looking in the mirror & measuring myself against others, basically judgement with a large dose of self judgement. Despite that or because of that dancing was its own spiritual journey. I was living every little girls dream but still searching for something more. When I turned 35 I quit. And it was not long after that I stumbled into my first hot vinyasa class. It was love at first savasana!! Finally I had found something that focused my attention and challenged me physically. When I moved back home in 2007 there was great Anusara studio, but no great vinyasa and definitely no hot vinyasa! As my life and my marriage began to unravel, my teacher Rolf Gates did what he lovingly refers to as “I commanded Kyra to open a studio”
So here I am… I had no idea that I would ever quit my “real” job to teach yoga, but I did! What I have come to realize is that this “job” of running the studio has always felt like home even in some of its most uncomfortable moments. I had no idea how much it would help me grow as a teacher but more importantly as a person. It has cemented in me the power of love. We can do anything we choose as long as we do it with love and do the loving thing. I love yoga with all of my heart. I love every person that walks thru the door that is brave enough to step on their mat. I love them for their courage. Some days it’s beautiful and easy and others it totally sucks. And each trip on the mat I remember what I have forgotten, love. Only love is real .
My New Years intention has been to do just one thing at a time. As a Mother that is next to impossible. Throw on top of that owning a business with 2 locations, having children in 2 different schools with 2 different start times, an 89 year old Mother in mourning and one crazy beagle/pit mix! Oh yeah, and I’m single!
When my Father died, I became paralyzed as did all of us. There was this emptiness that pervaded everything. Where there were phone calls and text messages about this diagnosis and that doctors appointment there was silence. In the space of one breath we all had more time on our hands. I personally didn’t know what to do. It took me by surprise. I had not planned on it being so final and I am a planner. In the days and weeks immediately after he left us, I could only do the one thing. I was no where near able to teach. To guide others into a felt experience that is meant to be healing was off the table. All I could do was put clothes in the wash, make a cup of tea and hug everyone who stumbled onto my path. That was it.
As New Years approached, I realized that in my stunned and slow existence, my one thing at a time actually felt good. There was a sense of accomplishment because something was getting done and yet there was no anxiety swirling around me about needing to get it ALL done. In this semi concious state, less was most certainly more. It made sense. I was enjoying the small victories. I got dressed! I washed my hair! I folded laundry!
My Father spoiled all of us with his time. He always took the time to talk to us about anything we needed. When I was younger I used to say “I don’t want to talk about it now.” Of course now all I can think of is how much I would give for one more conversation. As I got older I would spend hours talking to him about politics, the value of a good liberal arts education, religion and dreams. I can’t thank him enough for the steadiness of his listening ear and open heart. As the dialysis strip mined his body our conversations lagged. He was exhausted after each skirmish with Fresenius. He could only do one thing at at time and he did it with his whole being. Some days we talked, others he slept. He did what he needed to do, one thing at a time.
As a ballerina I danced with my whole heart. To honor my Father and everyone in my life, I intend to continue this practice. This way of being. When we do the one thing we are committing to the moment and connecting to ourselves and others with our whole hearts. Since Life is one big beautiful dance, it’s time for me to start dancing again. Dancing with my whole heart.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the beauty and challenges of doing one thing at a time….
The heart is the muscle that runs the whole organism. It beats, we beat. It stops, we stop. Is that why we use the shape of the heart to equate love? Is it because love is the “heartbeat” of life? Is it that without love we have no life, no breath, no way to live?
There are many types of love. I love them all. My precious daughters whose smiles, innocent remarks and hugs slay me. The love I have for my brothers who are forever surprising me as our relationships unfold with age. My Mother, my sweet little Mother who’s devotion to my Father was and is the greatest love I have ever witnessed. My friends whose love I feel across oceans and continents and their uncanny knack of knowing despite distance and years just when to reach out that hand to hold.
I loved a man recently.We seemed to have it all. Same age, children, passionate about work, creative, intellectual, respectful, devoted, worldly and between us enough scars and warts to humble us both. When my Father died my world was shattered and I ran. First I begged then I ran. I begged for arms to circle the God awful hole that was in my heart. When that didn’t work I pushed him away. He saw it and tried to stop it but I was already onto the next dance. I needed to feel my way into being me without my Father. I needed to heal. I needed all the love I could gather from the corners of the earth to hold me up. I needed the huge tapestry woven from the old friends compassion to hold me together until I could hold myself. The love I felt from so many people was the nourishment I needed. It gave me strength to grow roots into the soil of my new world.
Sitting by the shore I see repeatedly with imperfect precision the oceans unwavering love of the sand. The waves return again and again. Each time just a little different from the last. A dance like no other. A dance of steadfast commitment.
As a ballerina I was always changing roles. Just when something got comfortable it was on to the next. Our repetoire was ever changing and it was often years before we were given another chance at the same role. It seems I love that way too. Just when things get comfortable, I fall apart. I push them away. In lasting relationships you can’t do that. My friends, my brothers and my parents all managed to be like the ocean. Returning again and again. When my heart is heavy and sad I run to the ocean for its steady beat. Maybe I need to dive in………
What is love? How do you define love? Where does it begin and where does it end? How does it start? And does it ever really end? Would you share your thoughts on love?
I discovered something interesting. It’s nothing new, but it’s the steadfast practice of yoga and meditation that has created this new “awareness” for me.
Whenever I let my ego out of the gate first, well, I am wrong. Yep. Plain and simple. The epiphany came to me as I was brushing my teeth tonight. I have this horrible shameful secret. I am so insecure that when I am faced with new situations, new people, or just about anything that makes me feel uncomfortable, I pre-judge and I am always wrong. Somehow my ego thinks that everyone is out to get me. Me. Me. Me and only me. Right? Because that is how big my small self feels it is. Can any of you relate to this? When someone approaches me about something that my ego isn’t prepared for, the moat fills, the gates draw down fast and the archers are ready in the turrets. I cannot possibly deign to help you or anyone else until I know all the facts. Let’s not forget that before I can consider answering, I must have time to contemplate the outcome for me. Me.
I keep having this theme run over and over in my Life. I am always wrong in my prejudgement. The person rarely if ever has it in for me. What could have been simple gets turned into an epic the likes of the Twilight Saga. Wasted time, wasted energy and “bad seeds” that will take a lot of good seeds to stop from germinating. One would think that after all these years I would get it. I don’t. I keep sitting on my cushion. I keep practicing my yoga. I keep teaching yoga. I keep on because that is what I must do. I have to learn this strange dance I have choreographed and change the beginning. The end is always better than my small self could have imagined. It’s time for me to start with the first step. As they say in the ballet world, “it’s how you start and how you finish.” What happens in between the audience will forget if you don’t start strong and finish solid. I love to dance. It is in my blood and bones (and bunions). It’s my passion. What I need to learn is that passion is fueled by love. What would happen if in all those ego-driven moments I went back to love………. after all that is what dancing is actually that’s what Life is.