I keep telling myself that all I need is my prayer mat. Mysteriously travelled here from Barbados, nestled in the belly of my brother's Djimbe, during his last trip there. My mother had put it there, either by accident or design to protect the drum from damage. This is a the prayer mat that I thought I had packed, yet somehow also mysteriously vanished into the abyss that is my mother's house in Bim. I'm also quite glad it is Trinidad now, because I can acquire it from the house in St. James, and I can use it.
So why haven't I gone to get it.
My neighbour has a Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies on DVD; I have a Living Arts tape and a Power Yoga workout. I also have two old, old Richard Hittleman books that I have been using since 1997.
I am procrastinating, lingering in some unhealthy physical state, because..... why?
The thing is, I'm not really putting on weight, but I'm not losing weight either. I have a few extra pounds, but I am not what is considered fat. I very much want to tone and strengthen my body though.
Part of this procrastination is based on real fear.
I spent between November of last year and the end of February, early March of this year, struggling with a deep, deep pain in my knee. I was hobbling around leaning on a cane; travelling by taxi to and from work, and everywhere else in a good deal of pain.
The doctor was telling me that I had a frayed ligament in my knee aggravated by a flare up of chondro malacial platallae, a condition I have battled since puberty, In fact yoga is the only thing I know of that has ever completely eradicated all my physical aches and pains.
I am also currently in pain in my right arm, because I have acute tendentious a symptom of my programming-induced CTS. So mentally, it's not like I don't know yoga will strengthen my body and balance my physical self with my spiritual self.
I am also remembering my yoga class.... the one Keffi and I attended twice a week, a gift from me to her and from me to me. We did it for about three months, just months before she died. I was glad to have shared that experience with her.....
Keffi and I are sitting on the bench outside the dance studio where our yoga class is conducted. It has been raining earlier and we are both waiting for UT to come and pick us up. All the other people in the class and the instructor have gone home.
The two of us sit there, smoking cigarettes while the rain that has been coming and going, comes back. Hard and in spades. We have two large umbrellas between us. We overlap them, because the wind is driving rain into the shed-type thing that covers the entry way into the dance studio, and there is nothing that we can do anything about the raindrops that are wetting our shins, calves and feet. The umbrellas protect everything else.
We are talking about life, giggling. It is cold, so we kind of cuddle closer while we wait; it took UT more than an hour to get there, I believe he forgot how we were getting home (namely with him).
These are the moments I remember.
These are the exhortations that keep me striving towards honouring my sister's memory, as well as developing myself.
It's such a simple memory, a rainy night after yoga class, but when someone dies, all those memories take on this lustrous quality and sometimes become the anchor that keeps you connected to this persons life, their dreams. Your memory becomes the only place these people live.
Keffi is alive in all my memories. She lives there and I can almost hear her whispering, "ndela, get your ass up and do the fucking yoga!"
So that's where I am right now.
I have my mat, I have my tapes and books, all I need now is for Keffi's memory to kick my ass into compliance.
It's not even about Keffi, it's about me, me, me.
It's about balancing and strengthening my body to go along with my mind.
I went out and bought a yoga mat a couple of weeks ago, but I have not really begun a regular work out.
A couple of years ago, I went to see a seer. She told me I was a high priest in another life, a teacher and a thinker. Don’t know if that has anything to do with Orunmilla being my supporting Orisa.
She told me I was drawn to all things Egyptian and that yoga was one of the paths I had to follow to find enlightenment. At the time, I was practising five to six times a week.
Then I had this daunting experience with KSS, which kind of bruised me. I mean literally! That brother worked me over so much, sexually I mean, I had a deep ache in my thigh for weeks and weeks.
Somehow my routine stopped and never started again.
The fact that I bought the mat is encouraging. I never, ever spend money on something and not get my money’s worth–I am quite pragmatic in that sense and in Barbados there is a saying, “My money has sense, you know!”