Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yoga Passbook 2011 - (Move With Grace/From No Pass to Much Class)

Sunday September 11th

Rendering of 9/11 Memorial at Night

This was an interesting day. While the world was mourning I started doing laundry. I had planned to get my haircut, go to yoga and NOT watch the 9/11 memorial coverage. I know it might sound harsh or like I have no heart, but it’s really the exact opposite. For those of us New Yorker’s who were here in 2001, we were here. I mean after the world stopped watching so much, we were still here with the smell of it and the smoke still billowing and the energy of knowing that Ground Zero was not just a burial ground now that 9/11 happened, but it was a burial ground to the African-American people of New York first. A burial ground that had been thoroughly disrespected by the city of New York, but that’s another blog.

As I was doing my laundry I did happened to pull up ABC News on my computer and it was just in time for the moment of silence for when the second plane hit. Of course they showed the actual footage of it either right before of after the moment of silence and all the feelings came rushing back. Then the names. The names. The names. Then they showed an aerial view of the actual memorial. Whew! Damn that memorial is intense. I mean really, really intense. I have never wanted to go down there. I didn’t even want to drive by there. Visiting friends and family tried to get me to go down there in the months after and I just wouldn’t do it. I would tell them they could go, but I wasn’t going.  


I turned off my computer probably around letter L of the roll call. I finished my laundry, got myself together and headed out to get my haircut. I talked Candace who cuts my hair a little bit about our 9/11 memories and I felt like yoga was the best way for me to honor those senselessly killed 10 years ago.  

[Breath. Life.]

After my cut was done I headed to Clinton Hill and Move with Grace. Class wasn’t starting until 2:30pm so I had some time to kill. I walked around my old neighborhood that has changed so much and then headed back to the studio. Turned out my girl and superstar in her own right, Tamar-kali was there. She teaches belly dancing at the studio so she was helping out that day. I was still a little early so we chatted for a while until people started to show up. I pulled out my Yoga Passbook for her to sign the pass when she informs me that they don’t take passes anymore. What??!! It turned out that Grace, who owns the studio, had asked the passbook people to take the studio out last year but they didn’t do it. So the passes were in there, but they were not being honored. Oh well. I guess there wasn’t going to be any yoga for me at that studio that day because I didn’t have the $16 to swing it. Just as I was getting ready to pack it up and look in the book for a class later in the day somewhere else, this woman behind me says that since I traveled all the way down there for class I could come as her guest. Turns out it was the teacher Raquel! How sweet was that? So I got to go yoga that day.

Raquel’s class was an hour and it was an open level Vinyasa Flow class. This was another class that was right on time. Even though the class was flow she held the poses for a bit longer than usual. That class was all about the breath. Not that all yoga classes aren’t, but all of you yogis know what I mean.

There were probably about 10 people in class that day, which is a good size. Raquel was hands on and would come around and give suggestions on how to improve your posture and have a bit more ease in the poses. I was starting to feel my shoulder in this class (old war injury). But really I had surgery on it in 2003 and it’s like a grandma shoulder. When the weather is overcast or raining my shoulder hurts and it did rain that day. I just had to be mindful of the shoulder. We did some shoulder stretches in class, which helped.

Me & Raquel

After class was over I had fully planned to get on my bike and head home, but Tamar and I started talking. Class let out at 3:30pm and the next thing I knew it was 5pm and time for Tamar’s belly dancing class. She encouraged me to stay because the first class if free and as tired as I was I stayed for her class, and what a class it was.

I had never taken a Belly Dancing class in my life. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy even though the women who do it make it look super easy, Tamar included. It was a hell of a workout and the biggest thing I learned is that I’m stiffer than I thought I was. I go out dancing and I think I’m moving freely, but clearly this is something totally different. I am going to try and find a way to add belly dancing into my life. Besides it being the crazy core workout it might help to bring out more of the lady in me. LOL!

The raqin' Tamar-kali

As I was biking home from class that evening I decided that I want to go to the 9/11 Memorial. I think something opened up for me taking those classes that day. I’m ready to leave my offering.  

The now iconc photo of Robert Peraza mourning his son Robert David Peraza

 [Breath. Life. Spirit.]


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