Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Come out exactly opposite the way you went in..."

Hello again!

Yeah, that was a long break.  And yes, I am back!

Of course, now it's been so long since I've written that I can't remember where I left off.  Whoops.  Let's back track a bit.  I feel like I need one of those "previously, on [insert TV show title]" montage bits, or something like that.

Previously, on my blog, I was packing up the car and leaving California - not necessarily "for good," but definitely "for now."  That was about two and a half weeks ago, and it feels like it was MONTHS ago.  After 3 National Parks, 4 nights of camping, 5 days of solid driving, 4 thousand miles (give or take a few), various detours, and too many Cliff bars to count, I am now sitting on the couch of my Dad's house in Massachusetts.  Listening to the rain outside the window.  Sipping on a glass of water, after taking class this morning, teaching class this afternoon, and having a lovely glass of Shiraz with dinner.  Life is good.

It's been really fun and strange to retrace the path that I've made over the past few years.  This wasn't the first time I drove cross-country.  Two years ago, almost to the day, I loaded up my brand new car, left from my Dad's house in Massachusetts - I have a picture of the car parked in exactly the spot where it's sitting now - and drove west towards California.  From Massachusetts, my best friend and I drove to Chicago, then took Route 66 and explored the Colorado Plateau, then Vegas, then Calfornia.  This time, I took a different route and had a different driving companion (my sister, actually!), but I hit a lot of the same spots.  Still drove past Vegas (though didn't stop there).  Still had an amazing time exploring and hiking the southwest - Zion and Bryce Canyon this time.  In Chicago, we still went to Millenium Park to take pictures with "the bean" (which hasn't changed a bit), and we went shopping at the same shop on Michigan Ave where I bought some postcards the last time I was there.

It feels kind of backwards to travel the U.S. from west to east.  The classic USA road trip ALWAYS goes from west to east.  Into the west!  Go west, young man!  Ride away into the sunset!  Traveling westwards was always exciting, watching the landscape change from the (less than thrilling) great planes into mountains and canyons.  This time, the scenery got somewhat less thrilling as we went along; we went from Bryce Canyon to the Rocky Mountains to Iowa to the Jersey Turnpike.  Hmm.

The payoff, of course, is that I LOVE the east coast.  Love, love, love.  I'm definitely an east coast girl.  I like the crazy weather, the bluntly straightforward people, the culture, the old cities, and the YOGA.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I still think the northeast region is the best part of the country (that I've experienced so far) for Bikram Yoga.  There are just so many great teachers out here, all of them teaching solid, clean, energetic, DIALOGUE-driven classes.  It's good to be home.

There's this concept that gets floated around a lot at teacher training about "completing the circle."  They tell us that in order to complete the circle (or perhaps The Circle), you have to teach your first class.  Until you teach for the first time after training, you don't have any closure on the whole teaching training experience.

Well, I've taught plenty of classes around California since training, and I guess I completed ONE circle, but it didn't feel like I'd completed THE circle.  Because I didn't learn my yoga in Calfornia; I learned it in Massachusetts.  But now... well, I am coming out from California exactly opposite the way I went in, so to speak.  Retracing my path, retracing my steps.  And naturally, inevitably, my path leads me right back to my front doorstep, and then to Boston, where this whole saga really got started.  Today, I taught at the studio in my hometown.  This one wasn't my original studio, but it's closer to the root of my travels.  And in a couple of days - tomorrow, actually - I will be teaching in downtown Boston and Harvard Square, at the same studio that got me involved in this whole "hot yoga" thing in the first place.

Circle completed?

I'm not convinced that "circle" is the right metaphor.  If you travel in a circle, don't you end up exactly where you started, like nothing ever happened?  That's not right at all.  EVERYTHING has happened.  And a circle is too linear, too one-dimensional.  You just go around and around, clockwise or counter-clockwise.  Simple.  Boring!

Maybe this whole thing is more like a web.  We travel on all these different paths, circling around each other, intersecting and diverging.  No matter which way we turn, we always get drawn back into the center.

Or maybe it's a spiral.  We go around and around, but every time we loop back around, we end up at a different point.  A little higher up, a little farther out, every time.  That wouldn't be bad.

Anyway.  That's what I've been doing.

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