Thursday, June 23, 2016

why i stopped teaching. let me count the ways...

let me give you a brief background.  i’ve been teaching approximately 17 years, practicing daily for 20.  i’ve taught everywhere in chicago & overseas.  i have spent 11 months in india in addition to tons of trainings & workshops by certified astanga instructors over the years worldwide.

a couple of months ago, i stopped.  

a number of conflicts had harbored inside of me since i stopped teaching traditional astanga & began teaching modified methods at clubs & private companies 8 years ago.  they all came to a head when i had a public nervous breakdown & quit.  

why did this happen?  part of the reason was my recent diagnosis of stroke, epilepsy, & anxiety.  it made me vulnerable & it was hard to hold my shit together in the middle of conflict.  during this quiet time  i have had lots of time to contemplate.  
the list is vague-i could go on & on & on….but i’m not a hater, i’m not angry at the yoga world.  in fact i’m glad people are doing SOMETHING to move their bodies.  & yoga is the greatest gift to the planet.  i respect it more than anything else.

some of the reasons i stopped 

-the impossible large corporate rules & hyporcracy (far too much to go into right here)

-the hideous atmosphere of the health club is not conducive to yoga (mirrors everywhere, blasting clubbing music, everyone plugged in, tv everywhere, dropping weights….)

-having 20 years experience & 20 minutes is equal in the world of yoga teaching.  both pay the same. in fact if the latter is hot & can easily do a handstand, they will become a yoga star.

-the inability to teach correct method to the masses because most people take a one hour yoga class once a week & refuse to practice outside of class (i have done my best with the latter-it’s their loss)

-teacher trainings - you can’t possibly teach yoga after taking one $3500 teacher training

-the disgusting focus on sex & posturing all over the internet

-the MASSIVE EGOS that self promoting yoga teachers have who are more than happy to spam everyone's page & every group they can get into.  i have always been taught that yoga is supposed to destroy your ego.  hmm...beware the egotistical narcissistic self promoting "teacher"

-the selling out of yoga.  selling out.  selling……

i’m out.  

at least for now.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

love this blog but i'm moving out

dear readers-

because blogspot has been causing me much unwanted stress-it has been difficult to impossible to use lately- i have decided to move to wordpress.  i am keeping this entire blog up because it's well over 500 posts, but will no longer be posting here.  the new blog will have the exact same title and can be found at
bindi fry's itty bitty brain basket

it will be networked on facebook & will show up on your page when posts arrive.
those not on facebook with me can just go to the new addy.

this makes me sad because i've used blogspot for many years.  i currently have 3 blogs here on blogspot
bindifry's itty bitty brainbasket
adventures in tokyo
adventures in india

my food blog,
a taste of the fry

which i started on wordpress, has never given me a single problem.  i really don't know why.  it's possible that mac/safari is more compatible with wordpress & blogspot is better used with pc/explorer?  no one has given me any answers.  anyone experience this or know anything about it?

i hope to see you at my new diggs.

bindi fry

Thursday, July 8, 2010

i finish things.

the moment i woke up this morning everything became clear.  i was feeling unsure about committing to another vipassana course for reasons stated in my previous blog post.

i  confirmed because, like clint eastwood said in "gran torino"

i finish things.

it's true.  i signed up a couple of months ago already. i had been longing to return, (it's been 1.5 years).  i was making excuses because i  remember how difficult it was.  there were times i wanted to flee in terror.   the pain.  the very unpleasant memories surfacing from the depths of my loins.  stuff i would rather not remember.
the teacher was right when i asked him why my fingers were paralyzed after only 40 hours of meditating.  and when they would get back to normal.  his response

"maybe 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months or 5 years"

it took 6 months.

this morning i remembered how powerful it was.   how much i learned.  how much my mind has changed.  i realize that one course is only the beginning.

i often think about anicca and relate it to many things in my life.

all things must pass
all things must pass away.

i see s.n. goenka's face in my mind & remember

"may all beings be happy"

i'm an old student now, which has it's privileges.  the definition of "old student" is someone who has completed a 10 day course.  we are allowed to take shorter courses.  this one's a 3-day.
this time dinner is herbal tea without milk, sleeping on the floor, & not being able to be decorated-meaning no jewelry.  i'm cool with all of the above except i have never taken out my nose ring since i got it my first trip to india 7 years ago.  there's no gem in it.  i hope i can keep it in.   toe rings that have not been removed in a long time. i suppose those can go.  i get my own room, too.

the only thing that can stop me from this is if i can not cover my classes.

buddha willing i can.

bindifry's vipassana experience january 2009

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

life must go on

21 grams refers to the cultural meme propagated by the 1907 research of physician Dr. Duncan MacDougall which purported to show scientific proof of the existence of the immortal human soul by recording a small loss of body weight (representing the departure of the soul) immediately following death.-wiki-

 it's also the title of a 7 year old film i had never seen until 4 days ago.  i watched it immediately before sleeping & woke up crying all morning.  it affected me deeply & still does today (i cry as i write this).  i don't really know why except part of it has to do with organ donation.  kate, our yogi pal who recently passed, had been waiting for a liver for many years.  another friend is waiting for bone marrow.  i used to think that it was unethical to give away our organs.  unnatural.  i mean, if god intended us to just keep replacing body parts, wouldn't we all have been born as robots?  that is one theory.  however, this film & knowing others who need blood, eyes, organs, etc. makes me think differently about it.  it's something we all must make a choice about now-before we die because if we wait too long, it is too late.  

this film, was was directed by mexican film maker Alejandro González Iñárritu who also did another excellent & profound film amores perros-another film that took me a long time to shake off.  it has an unbelievable cast-sean penn, benicio del torro & a STANDOUT performance by naomi watts.  the entire film is out of order.  it takes patience to figure out what the connection of these 3 characters will be.  

penn, almost dead,  waits in a hospital for a heart.  del torro, a converted christian x-petty theif trying to get his life "right" accidently runs over watt's husband & 2 young children.  penn receives watt's husband's heart.  penn hires a detective to find out where the heart came from.  that brings him together with watts & del torro. then comes revenge, love, devistation & salvation.

i don't want to reveal any more because i think everyone should watch this.  i already spoiled it for a friend because i just can't stop talking about it.
or thinking about it.

it's about people trying to do the right thing.  it's about death.  it's about life.  

life must go on.

all 21 grams of it.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

yogaspeak, meditation & GUITARS

2 of my favorite guitar players were under one roof on saturday.  this is john mooney who learned delta style blues from son house and combines it with the new orleans second line.  i think he is one of the greatest living slide guitar players.  i have blogged about him before.  i never miss him if i'm in new orleans or if we are lucky to have him come to chicago.  i guess he was added last to the festival. he was on the finale of treme.   a lot of people do not know about him.  that's how new orleans musicians are.  they are pretty much known by the locals, by lovers of nola or europe.  he finally has a website you can go to above.  he's been at it over 30 years.

dave alvin, who is exactly the same age as john (55) and a scorpio like me, is the other one.  i've seen him play with "the knitters" several times (basically X without billy zoom, who he replaced in X when billy left) playing country & rockabilly, "the guilty women" an all girl country band & finally the blasters with his brother phil, who is an awesome front man.  i got all gussied up which kind of proved a bit disastrous.  i decided to pull out my 4 inch vinyl black & white wedgies (so i could see over the crowds cause i'm short) & put on {{{gasp}}} some eye makeup, which i haven't done in over 20 years.  i still had the same makeup from back then & low & behold, now i have an eye infection!  i deserve it.  AND my vintage shoes decided to melt in half as soon as i got to the festival.  thank god the colonel suggested keeping the ugly sandals in the car "just in case" those tall shoes would begin to hurt a few hours into the show.  so i ended up looking like a red-eyed slob.  oh well.  the fantasy is all in my head anyhow so i guess it serves me right.


i am trying to make an effort with yoga speak.  just because i know most of you could give 2 shits about the music & other stuff i write about.  i have, after being away from classes for over 2 years, started practicing with old friends once a week who are also teachers.  i did not think i ever wanted or needed to do that again, & part of the reason is that i am extremely sensitive to the group in which i participate. although i can tollerate anything, many thing's i would rather not.  the group is "invite only" for a reason.  i have never felt like i have fit in anywhere i have taught except my original yoga studio, which i still call by it's old name N.U. chicago yoga center.  this group is composed of other's who i've known for 14 years-since i began doing yoga.  & they all come from N.U., which was here in chicago long before the other ones.  even though i ran the mysore programs 6 days a week at 3 other studios, i never felt a community bond with it.  i always felt like an outsider.  that's just my personality, which is why there are so many studios to choose from.  if you are trying to find a studio to learn in, the most important thing is not location.  it's how comfortable you feel. because yoga is very personal & if you share it with others, they better be the right people.  the energy gets more important as time goes on because the longer you do yoga, the more sensitive you become.  you can pick up on very subtle things & absorb them.

meditation dilemma
the last thing is this.  i am a firm believer in following ONE path-for yoga, obviously it's always been astanga.  i have not picked between 2 forms of meditation & i have 3 days to figure that one out.  do i go back to my vipassana (i have to take off 5 days in august for another silent retreat) or do i return to my original method-the japanese zen buddhist meditation.  both are great, one is more accessible.  meaning there is a good place nearby that has been highly recommended by friends whose opinions i respect-ancient dragon zen gate.  in vipassana, they strongly discourage mixing techniques.  i can not go to a zen temple & use my vipassana technique.  or vice-versa.  i'm really not sure what to do.

can any kind soul out there give me some constructive advice?  i know ultimately it's my decision, but it IS hard to meditate alone ALL of the time, which i would not have to do if i choose to switch back to the zen technique.  nor would i have to take off 5 days of work.  however, being on a farm away from home in a silent environment meditating 10 hours a day is highly effective.

i'm hoping the answer will come to me in some kind of sign.

Friday, July 2, 2010

i plan on dying here

i don't always go early to shows but i had heard that the opening band david vandervelde was supposed to be really good. he used to play with jay bennet from wilco. a simple trio, they had tons of chemistry & he plays guitar in a totally unique way. i actually liked them better than the headliner, who i bought tickets for months ago because it was important for me to see them. lucky for me i was there early because again i staked out my spot close enough to touch the stage-no one in front of me. i love being that close even if the sound isn't as good. the energy, if it is good & special, kind of feeds me & i leave my body for an hour or so. i also like to watch their technique closely.

the headline band was black mountain -a heavy psychedelic band i have missed twice before.

they rocked pretty hard & i like the guitar player. he changed a string & tuned up without ever stopping playing. even the colonel was impressed. here's his pedal board

we got friendly with 3 people who also were heavily guarding their front & center we-can-touch-them spaces. with good reason. they drove 13 hours from tulsa, oklahoma to see black mountain. one was a tattoo artist who gave me his card because obviously i need more tattoos. so we decided to take them to the hippest bar in the city not far from their hotel-delilahs. this bar is #1 in bourbon, cool dark atmosphere, vintage b-movies, pool table, great djs & a wonderful selection of beer. and what did they drink?


they drove home today. how crazy is that? unfortunately my camera is on it's last leg & it's hard for me to get good photos that aren't blurry. here's a crappy photo of 2 of them

i guess some people love black mountain more than i do. i'm trying to think who i would drive 26 hours in 2 days to see. probably somebody you would have to dig up.

i'm very jaded living in one of the greatest cities in the US.

i was born in downtown chicago. on madison avenue.

i plan on dying here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

i'm turning japanese i really think so....

underwater selfportrait

spending so much time in asia has made me extremely foot conscious. it has become normal for me to remove my shoes before entering ANYONE'S home. i also scrub them before teaching so as not to offend anyone with dirt. one of my teachers washed their feet in bleach. i was surprised that was shared. it made them "human." and definitely made me laugh. i'm sure i would not feel this way had i not spent so many years in asia. the japanese are the cleanest damn people i've ever taught. they smelled like flowers, their feet were always perfectly cleaned & the studio had natural cleaning fluid so everyone wiped down their mat before & after practicing. where i work people crumple their mats up all sweaty like a used piece of tissue. gross. no wonder there's a lack of respect for yoga here.

at kate's memorial i immediately removed my footwear. a child ran up to me & squealed with delight.

"you are the only person who has taken their shoes off before entering!"

then he danced around the house. hmmm. because the house was gorgeous lined with kashmiri rugs i was NOT going to put my shoes on those. i have a couple & know about silk.

i was always completely blown away when people would come to my mysore class with black feet & not showered. it's an enclosed space. me & everyone else can smell you. wash your ass. i even would refer to some students when discussing them as "dirty feet girl" or "dirty butt boy."
really, people. everyone CAN smell you. & it's gross.

another asian thing i've started doing is sweeping out my floors in the morning every day. i notice indians do it, why do i only clean my house once a week? it should be done every day. it reduces stress for me. clutter & dust is not good for the soul. i also only sit on the floor when possible because chairs hurt my spine & hips. & i sleep on the floor because i loathe beds. also very japanese.

i'm turning japanese oh yes i'm turning japanese i really think so.....


then i started thinking about this yoga thing-someone commented on my last post

"more yoga please"

there you go. the main thing that has been central to me & my personal yoga world as of late is pranayama 1-2 times daily, 20 minutes each sitting. morning & dusk. i NEED that. it grounds me. i would rather do that & meditate than do asana. but i try to squeeze it all in without stressing about it all. so far, so good.

thing is this. after 14 years of daily practice, the siddhis begin to activate. google it if you don't know what i am talking about.

anyhow, i realize that if your yamas & niyamas are not in place, that power is difficult to harness. i might have to become a veg again after all.

this probably sounds ethereal, but if you are serious about yoga, surely you are aware of patanjali's "yoga sutras."

read one of the later books (book 5) & it discusses a fascinating subject-siddhi. i used to read all about them when i first started doing yoga. it seemed so mystical to me. now it's part of my life.

on another note, i was just telling the colonel how proud i am to have achieved convincing 3 of my corporate classes to practice mysore style. of course everyone freaks out at first but once it starts going, thats what they want to do. they can get a lot more individual attention, they get empowered. i tell them

"now you don't need me anymore"

to that my tuesday class replied

"but we love you"

i cried a little. privately. that was a very nice thing to say to me.

i try to empower all my students to learn the sequencing-just the salutations & standing postures. some inversions. because i never ever wanted to help people & make them dependent on me like chiropractors do.

i want to help people help themselves.
that empowers me.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

private dance

i don't know what to write about lately. or even what the point of writing is. why? why do i share private thoughts with perfect strangers? allow myself to be judged? misunderstood? what does this do for me?

i'm a bit creeped out that i just put my shit out there without too much self editing. and i'm shy in person.

i think about that sometimes. blogging is a strange thing.

i have always loved writing. and what is the point of writing if no one reads what you write? it's like playing music on your futon. i have more fun sharing music with others, both playing with & for.

or dancing alone.

there's NOTHING wrong with that. i have very serious bollywood routines memorized that few will be allowed to participate in or view. HOWEVER i would WAY rather have a partner to dance with. salsa days are very fond memories.

i don't want to cook a killer meal & eat it alone.

the point is this. if it can not be shared, it is not as much fun.

enjoy this clip. it's my private dance.
and probably more than a billion other's too.

on top of a train the film is called   dil se (from the heart) starring   shahrukh khan
&   manisha koirala 2 of india's finest. this   a.r. rahman song is pure CLASSIC.

जिनके सर हो इश्क़ की छांव
पावों के नीचे जन्नत होगी
चल छैयां छैयां, छैयां छैयां,
छैयां छैयां, छैयां छैयां
गुलपोश कभी इतरायें कहीं,
मह्के तो नज़र आ जाये कहीं
तावीज़ बनाके पहनूं उसे,
आयत की तरह मिल जाये कहीं

Chaiyya Chaiyya-(walk in shade)

Whose head is in the shade of love, heaven is under his feet.
Walk in the shade, remain in the shade,
remain in the shade, remain in the shade.
The flower-wearer walks around self-assured, I can spot him by the scent,
I can wear him like an amulet, sometime I encounter him as a hymn.

Like the songs of Mirabai or works of several sufi poets, this song is dvayashraya kavya, it can be interpreted in two ways; as a worldly love song, or a song for the beloved lord. -wiki-

Friday, June 25, 2010

do you feel the energy?

i went to see raavan yesterday alone . until satya cacananda made a surprise showing. she's about the only one aside from the colonel who will sit through 2-4 hour bollywood filums with me.
we were the only ones at the 2pm showing. the theatre did not bother to put on any air conditioner for us. so it kind of felt like india. she brought samosas. such a treat, because that's what you eat during intermission at a bollywood film in india. or pineapple upside down cake. or chai.

i could not stop thinking about the filum all day. because it was a modern day version of ramayana which is funny because i spent a lot of time laughing at poor abishek who can't act, which makes me feel like he is adopted by his famous dad amitabh who is one of the best ever. & being annoyed with the constant matrix style stop action & slow motion falling & fight scenes. they watch too many american blockbuster action movies & think all that crap makes a film better. unfortunately most bollywood films being made today are total crap. but i watch anyhow because it's the easiest way to teleport back to india without physically going there. i had to pull out my copy of "the ramayana" because i need to read it again. there are so many layers to it & having it re-created many times given the bolly treatment, it just makes me think. a lot. it's an amazing story that is woven in the lives of all hindu people. i saw live performances in bali of their version with the same story but different names for the characters. bali is the only place in indonesia that is almost all hindu. i went there as a preparation for india. cushy india-indonesia. when we pulled into the airport, the first sign i saw was ,


we also were not admitted until we paid off the police. because the colonel's passport did not have 6 months left on it.
then we lost the camera. got our room, & immediately invaded by wild monkeys who stole our complimentary basket of fruit.

despite all of that, bali IS a cushion compared to india. so i do recommend going there first if you were like me-afraid to go to india. i'm not anymore. i crave that place terribly & it kind of pisses me off.
cause i don't have the means to keep returning.

i wedged this 3 hour film in between teaching 2 yoga classes, then rode through rush hour with a tsunami of humans crossing the street like cattle because of all the stuff going on in chicago this week. i heard bones crack & people gasping. a woman had been crushed between 2 cars. almost late for the 3rd class & a bit freaked by the traffic, i accidentally taught too quickly. which is not a good idea seeing there is a huge amount of wild energy with the full moon & the half eclipse tomorrow. i'm definitely having a little issue with it.

then to summerdance, which is a place by the lakefront in a garden that has an hour dance lesson & then hosts a band from another country. yesterday it was from syria & everyone came out with their belly dancing belts. omar souleyman . all free! every kind of person, lots of kids happily running around flowers & playing with chalk, & perfect strangers dancing with each other. i felt so happy being in the middle of it all.

are you feeling this wild & crazy energy?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

10,000 opportunities

so much to reflect on lately. much of it has to do with how i feel about myself as a person, & how it reflects how i feel about other people. my entire life i've been shy, sometimes fearful of people. i experienced anxiety in crowds of more than 3. this continues to happen, although i've actually been working on my social skills a little bit more lately. now that i'm middle aged i realize that change does not just knock on your door. you have to meet it half way. i also have a strong belief that

god helps those who help themselves.

the reason i believe this is because every time i have made a conscious decision to do something, do the work & work my ass off, god has met me half way & helped me out. the place i end up often is not the "goal." sometimes it's SO much greater than i could have ever imagined. sometimes it's SO much worse than i could have ever imagined.

i'm trying to stop "imagining" the outcome of anything anymore. all i can do is the work.

life presents, as a good friend said so well yesterday, at least 10,000 opportunities a day to make a choice. those choices add up. a friendly gesture, the decision NOT to ride the bike in the thunderstorm, the decision TO ride the bike in the thunderstorm. the choice to complain about every single freakin' thing (these people are exhausting). the choice to give a fin to a homeless person who probably would rather not have to sit on the ground unbathed for days hungry, maybe drunk (i know i would be) wailing for some change.
some say this-

"why should i give him anything? all he will do is buy liquor."

those who say that to me are ass-hats. when you give, it's gone. none of your damn business what happens to that sawbuck.
(i love the old american money slang)
of course there's the choice of what we put inside of our bodies. the choice to change our lives when we are unhappy.

there's the rub. are we REALLY supposed to be happy?

many of us are chasing that. can't help it. it's like chocolate. feeling good is what the big goal is.

but is it really? i mean, i learn FAR more & change for the better FAR more when "bad" things happen. when i am angry & own it. when i am heartbroken. pissed off. confused.

and devistated.

chasing happiness leads to despair. i'm pretty convinced of this. meditation has taught me to learn to ride the middle path.

try not to revel in too much joy & happiness
try not to wallow in too much despair
just notice these things & be neutral. the ups & downs are SO jarring on the mind. which affect the body.

sounds like a good idea in theory. but just TRY to put it into practice.

i dare you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

some humans that i ♥ ♥ ♥

we all express our love differently. i have a hard time receiving love. so of course it's hard for me to give. not wanting to psycho-analyze this, i just felt like sharing with you some of those "special" people who are rare, like kate, & who i love & am inspired by.


derek is from nola. he's a musician who played with the iguanas for many years. i love being around him.


siva, my computer saavy pal from kovalam. adore him. now he has his own computer kiosk.

michiko & son

michiko from kyoto, japan. i taught her in thailand. she met her husband in japan, had a child & followed him to thailand. he recently left her for a thai woman. she is now hard to contact because i don't know where she is. my heart is heavy for her.


nagraj (i cal him raj) from kovalam. i don't need to explain this one. everyone loves him. it's contagious.

me & mindy

mindy. she moved back to tokyo after living here 14 years. i love her & miss her very much.

hat store

KATSU! like the male japanese kate. lovelovelovelovelove him & miss him TERRIBLY.

loving the guru

cara & guruji. i've known cara since the beginning of my yoga journey. she helped me on my path & still is a friend. guruji was love personified. it was impossible NOT to love him SO much.


the machine. because i had someone to practice yoga with every morning at 5am. it was impossible for me to be lazy cause he never was. i shared everything i ever knew about yoga with him. i used to call him my yoga husband. but those days are gone.


doris. she is human enough for me. i can not live without her.


kelly. i taught her in several studios for years. i enjoyed photographing her with child. it was my pleasure.

sharaf & me

sharaf. also from kovalam. we had some serious fun. india is packed with wonderful humans. unfortunately he tried to get a little too friendly. oh well. i still have great memories.


ania-a math genius from russia. fell through the cracks repeatedly but kept coming back to mysore class & ended up taking it further than most anyone i have met. she is a huge inspiration.


the colonel eating durian when i was studying in bali. i suppose we wouldn't still be together for 17 years, you know?


my oldest & best friend jill who is rick bayless' sommalier. she is about to get signed for her own tv show. she's been on rick's already. woo hoo!

me n tina

tina from byron bay, australia. my house in oz (i studied 3 months with dena kingsberg in australia) was close to her hawaiian restaurant. she always cheered me up because i got lonely so much. she lost her restaurant & had to move back to hawaii.


rosie. i met her in thailand. she went to india right afterwards. a true pure spirit, which is extremely common for thai people.


my family in thailand. they own the spa i worked for. every single one was in mysore classes except the boy. i love them.


ALL my students in tokyo.

dog wash

my mother in law. that's a tough one because of my personal family issues i've written about in the past. but i do love her.

dave & lili

dave & his daughter iilly. i played in dhamba8 with him for many many years. he is a bass player. he was the best man at my wedding. he inspires me so much. he is not afraid of anything. i learned from him that i should NEVER be afrad to screw up LOUDLY. i'm a better drummer after following that advice. he's also the best father i have ever known. and a damn good cook.


adam. accomplished artist & teacher at the art institute of chicago. i taught him & his wife yoga for 2 years in exchange for 2 paintings. he is super rad, happy ass, & really fun. oh, he also plays a mean guitar.

joe patt

joe. also an acomplished musician, he plays with the royal pines. he is very sweet to hang out with. i'm not sure he knows how fond i am of him.

another guitar god

DAVE ALVIN!!! i told him i loved him when i met him a month ago playing with the knitters. he thought i was an ass-hat. however, i can make up for it by cooing over him on the fourth of july at fitzgeralds when he plays with THE BLASTERS!!!!!

johnny v!!!

johnny vidocovich!!! he taught me (along with zigaboo) how to play second line drums with his educational vids. i am not afraid to talk to him when i'm in new orleans. very approachable man. he even played with fess!!!


THIS one i'm still working on.

Friday, June 18, 2010

streetwalkin' cheetah with a ♥ full of napalm

after kate's memorial yesterday i went with the colonel to the whistler-a tiny cocktail bar in my neighborhood that understands, like the japanese, that ice matters. in japan they take a giant slab of ice out & carve you the perfect cube for your particular drink. anyhow, we got to talking about what song (s) we would like played at our memorial service. kate chose "you can't always get what you want," and jimmy cliff's, "many rivers to cross" which makes sense. she had lots of jamacian friends & the stones appropriate. like me, she liked iggy pop. kate was a self-described

streetwalkin' cheetah with a heart full of napalm.

"search & destroy" (in case you are iggy ignorant)

I'm a street walking cheetah
with a heart full of napalm
I'm a runaway son of the nuclear A-bomb
I am a world's forgotten boy
The one who searches and destroys
Honey gotta help me please
Somebody gotta save my soul
Baby detonates for me
Look out honey, 'cause I'm using technology !
Ain't got time to make no apology
Soul radiation in the dead of night
Love in the middle of a fire fight
Honey gotta strike me blind
Somebody gotta save my soul
Baby penetrates my mind
And I'm the world's forgotten boy
The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy
And honey I'm the world's forgotten boy
The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy
Forgotten boy, forgotten boy
Forgotten boy said
hey forgotten boy

most excellent.

now i see the connection.

too fucking bad because iggy & the stooges are coming to the absolute shit-hole vintage "aragon ballroom" in august. the place back in the day that served beer in giant bowls. the acoustics are crap.


she loved X & i tried to drag her out to see "the knitters" without luck. another friend tried to drag her out to see "the buzzcocks" the same week.

would the punk music have helped?

we will never know.

back to the point of this post. what song would YOU like played at your funeral?

the first song that came to my mind was by arthur lee who lead one of the greatest bands in history- love .

Everybody’s gotta live
And everybody’s gonna die
Everybody’s gotta live
I think you know the reason why
Sometime they go and get so good
But then again it gets pretty rough
But when I have you in my arms baby
You know I just can’t, I just can’t get enough
Oh yeah

Everybody’s gotta live, yes they do
And everybody’s gonna die
Everybody try to have a, a good time
I think you know the reason why

I saw a blind man standing on the corner yesterday baby
He couldn’t hardly tie his shoes
But he had a harmonica and a guitar strapped around his neck
And he sure could, he sure could play the blues
Oh yeah

Everybody’s gotta live
And everybody’s gonna die
Everybody try to have a, a good time
I think you know the reason why

I feel like I’ve seen just about a, million sunsets
She said if you’re with me I’ll never go away
That’s when I stopped and I took another look at my baby
She said if you’re with me I’ll never go away

Everybody’s gotta live
And everybody’s gonna die
Everybody’s gotta live
Before you know the reason why

I had a dream the other night, baby
I dreamt that I was alone
But when I woke up I took a look around myself
And I was surrounded by fifty million strong
Oh yeah
Everybody’s gotta live
And everybody’s gonna die
Everybody’s gotta live
Before you know the reason why

i actually think this song would also have been appropriate for kate's memorial.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

it's a cold world without you kate

i seem to have all kinds of feelings running through me lately.  i'm just trying to accept them.  no judgment.  death is such an unpredictable prediction.  we all know it's unavoidable but when it happens suddenly (or not) how you are going to feel is nothing you can prepare yourself for.  i think it's natural for the survivors to feel like maybe they could have done something more.  i feel like i should have meditated in her garden with her.  i should have gotten to know her even better.  she was so into hearing about others she hardly cared to talk about herself. 

the classes i have taught since this happened saturday have changed.  the way i teach.  the way i take my time even more than ever.   more snippets of wisdom.  and no more music.  all music is distraction.  breath (and grunts as one student put it today) is much easier to harness. i think about kate when i teach. and how she did her yoga. and her enthusium & gratitude that surpassed everyone elses. i've been teaching the dreaded "center of the room" headstand more frequently.  it IS changing people.  joy seems to be easier to grasp.  thing is this.  i am a SUPER cautions teacher, as a result usually end up working deeply on the basics-mostly salutations & standing postures.  and breath.  that is plenty for one hour imo.  navasana is a good one to put in there as well for obvious reasons.   backbends & inversions are very risky, but depending on who shows up, it is possible.

i don't want to go into kate's private details.  i do understand why.  i'm just having a very hard time with it. 
i'm pretty sure i needed her more than she needed me.
she was one of the good ones.
her spirit will live on in the hearts of all who knew her.
even when i ride past the studio i no longer teach at where kate spent most of her time, i can feel her. i have a hard time even looking at the building.

after begging repeatedly to the subs of my job i finally got my class covered so i can go to the service.  which makes me sad because once again it's impossible to get people to help you out.  no matter what you do for them.  you can sub their classes for months & when you want one class covered, no one wants to help you.  the outpouring of teacher trainee graduates is astounding yet i have to saw off my left tit to get someone to teach one freakin' class for me.

it's a cold world. 
kate made it a lot more temperate when she was here.


Monday, June 14, 2010

baptised by the fleshtones!

according to their myspace page, the fleshtones are influenced by

The Fantastic Johnny C, Freddie 'Boom Boom' Cannon, the Incredible James Brown, Roy Brown, Chuck Brown, The Rev. Richard Penniman, Elvis Presley and all the Kings of rock'n'roll. Lou Costello, the Intruders, the Illusions, Eddie Cochrane, Buddy Holly, the Delfonics, Del Fuegos, Del Shannon, MC5, the Velvets, the Stooges, Louis Jordan, Rosco Gordon, the Raiders and the Wailers and the Kingsmen and the Sonics, Phast Phreddie and the Last, the Unclaimed, the Plimsouls, the Lyres and the Real Kids, the Modern Lovers, Alan Vega, Los Lobos, the Dantes, the Gentrys and the Headhunters too. Mitch Ryder, Ritchie Valens, the Osmonds, the Parliments and the Jackson Five, the Rivingtons, Donna Summer, Martha Reeves, Richard Berry, Berry Gordy, whooo... Chuck Berry and... Louielouielouielouielouielouie whooo.... come on Louie... Louielouielouielouielouielouie...

i had the pleasure of seeing them saturday. no wonder they were SO good. they can play just about anything, groove serioiusly, still have skinny rock bodies in their 50s & most of all...

they KNOW how to have fun!

playful & adorable. formed in 1976 from queens. just like the ramones. must be something in the water there.

one of the best live shows i have ever seen.

towards the end, i was lured into the eyes of peter zaremba. obeying his command, i walked to the front of the stage & he put his entire hand on my head & held it there.

i was baptized by the fleshtones.

then he used my head as a brace to jump off the stage.

me. the chosen one.

go see the fleshtones if they come around.
unless you are allergic to good clean fun.
or you don't like great music.

below is from 2010. their 30th anniversary show.

ride your pony...get on your pony & ride

and zeppelin's "communication breakdown"

missing you kate

there are few people on this planet who embody total graciousness & kindness. who never show their pain no matter how much they are dealing with. who live simply.

kate maguire was of those few.

i first met her at yogaview in it's original location. she worked the desk & sometimes came to mysore class. after finding out she had been practicing yoga for 6 years & was unable to do a headstand in the center of the room, we decided to get rid of her wall once & for all. success.

she was so grateful for this that she gave me some spending money for one of my overseas trips. she insisted. then she joined me in kovalam to study with lino on my 4th trip. i got to know her better. i learned about her family, her illness, her heart. yoga was not always easy for her yet she stuck with it & accepted it for what it was. she was incredibly generous & thoughtful towards others. i was often astonished how she never seemed to feel sorry for herself.

she had a little dog named champara (shorty or chompi) who needed a wool sweater for the cold weather, so i knit one for her & a hat to match for kate in japanese yarn. chompi enjoyed his sweater a lot. he never left her side.

kate made yogaview the most beautiful studio i've ever seen. her taste & talent with flowers was unbelievable. i never got to see her garden yet we live in the same neighborhood. we were trying to schedule some buddy meditation in her rose garden but things got complicated in her life.

kate lived righteously. without any ego whatsoever. always a kind word. always listening to what you have to say. compassionate. giving. an awesome role model & inspiration to all that knew her.

and completely down to earth.

missing you kate