Open Eye


I got sleep—tons of it, several days in a row. I knew that whole insomnia thing couldn’t last (though it did, for about six weeks). You shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery when you haven’t slept, and the simple fact is that you shouldn’t blog, either. Sometimes we have to put on hold the thing we think we should be doing till we’re in a better position to pull it off.

Or maybe that’s just the line I’m feeding myself to make myself feel better about postponing my yoga teacher training.

When I quit my job last spring, I had a vision, man, and I was going to make it happen. I was gearing up to apply for graduate school, and meanwhile, after nearly a decade of yoga practice, would get my teacher certification. I’d then support myself as a writing student without having to also do marketing writing (which would mean writing round the clock). It was all about the balanced lifestyle.

That was the plan. Then we found out that we were moving, which presented more than just a bump in the road.

Since then, what has happened to my beloved yoga practice? Oooooh … it’s fallen into a slow, steady, ugly decline. For a long while I’d integrated a gentle yin practice to properly gather the energy for my more active yang practice (still with me?). At my peak, I practiced for three or more hours a day. Now all that’s left is a tiny twenty-minute thread of restorative yin, which lately I’ve been doing while I watch Ken Burns’s The War. (The documentary, by the way, is damned good—but the invasion of Iwo Jima is perhaps the most inappropriate background noise for yoga, ever.)

As for my writing practice, it’s dropped off a bit too, but MFA application deadlines are drawing near, so I am motivated to salvage that practice, and fast. Yoga certification is officially taking a backseat.

And I’m okay with that. As much as I would love to spend the month of October in the Berkshire Mountains chanting kirtan with Jai Uttal, soaking in a hot tub overlooking the fall foliage, and learning to properly stand on my head, the timing’s just not right. Yoga itself taught me to show up and work, to stay dedicated, which is why I could really feel guilty about slipping in my practice. But yoga also taught me—after a lifetime of kicking myself for one reason or another—to be more forgiving of myself. So that’s what I’m going to do.


Besides, life gets extra-juicy when it doesn’t go as planned:

“A person is a poet if difficulties inherent in his art provide him with ideas. He is not a poet if they deprive him of ideas.”Paul Valéry

Personally, I know which one I’d rather be.

2 thoughts on “Awake

  1. benares says:

    hey amy,
    i didn’t know you were applying to grad school to get an mfa! that’s great. will you stay in the atlanta area? how is everything down there? we’ll be back that way in november, so i hope we’ll get to catch up then. meanwhile, best for all your practices.
    p.s. i really love your blog and your writing.


  2. larissa says:

    Glad you got some rest! Insomnia is the worst. I think you’re right in seeing it as prioritizing. You really can’t do everything at once. I know my grad school experience was anything but a balanced life, however it had a lot of intensity and focus which I really enjoyed. Good luck with getting settled and getting those applications in!


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