on the third day of yoga, my true self brought to me


Unless you have problems with your short-term memory, you may recall that on the third day of Christmas the true love came bearing gifts of 3 – count them, three – French horns. One feller who talks like he knows, says the three French horns refer to faith, hope, and charity while another fella proclaims the third day of Christmas to honor the life of St. John, who has the distinction of being the only one of the twelve apostles to die a natural death.

Anyway, in likening my third yoga class to the third day of Christmas, I see some distinct similarities. Given that I am short and round and stiff, not tall and lanky and bendy like most yoga folks, just signing up for yoga shows that I have a heaping’ helping’ of faith and hope. Charity? April (the teacher) provides that.

I tend to hang out with yoga folks online, and I have a few questions – three, in keeping with the title – that came up as I spent time on the mat today . . .

First of all, am I the only one who sweats like a big ole’ glass of sweet tea on a hot summer afternoon? This isn’t Bikram yoga, folks. This is plain ole’ yoga in the Episcopal church.

And does anybody besides me worry about passing gas during yoga class? Or having bad breath? April came over to help me with something today, and when she asked me a question, I just gave her a closed-mouth smile in return for fear I have the post-water-drinking-dry-mouth-means-bad-breath-at-least-for-me-anyway thing going on.

I tell you what, there are parts of me that touched the floor today that haven’t met with the floor in an awful long time. The floor right by the door, where I always set up for reasons I don’t feel like explaining right now. The floor by the door where people tracked in the pollen which I inhaled as the clock ran out on my 12-hour Clairin-D during the Child pose . . . which I thought for a while was “china” pose . . . which set me to thinking about digging my way there and wondering if there are still a boatload of staving children there. Yeah, you could say my mind wanders during yoga. But oh my goodness, you should’ve seen the images that went floating through while we were laying on the floor meditating. I wish I had a camera on the inside of my eyelids.

(Confession: I think I snored there at the end of class.)


  1. angelakelsey

    I love this. Yes, I have worried about all of those things. I think that yoga teachers are comfortable with the ways of the human body, though. Looking forward to the fourth day of yoga! xo

    • whollyjeanne

      i think they are, too, and maybe – just maybe – eventually that will sink in to my deepest pores so i can relax and enjoy getting to know my body again for the marvelous friend it has been, when you get right down to it.

  2. sarah

    not just students sweat in class, says the damp teacher, who carefully keeps her own towel tucked under the mat. not just students’ mouths dry out from too long without food breathing and offer quiet questions whispered sideways behind a warrior pose. about the mind thing… you are on your own wandering around the world with all the other people on earth. yoga teachers do, generally, for just the span of one class, keep their minds on you and your practice. that is, if they are able to keep their own judgments and grocery list at bay.

    i am happy for all kinds of reasons that you are finding your self on the mat. it is a situation that very easily leeks into everywhere else in your life. brava!

    • sarah

      did i say “leeks?” well, you see how it is with me this morning …

      • whollyjeanne

        now that’s funny . . . (laughter, it’s own special kind of yoga.)

    • whollyjeanne

      Sugar, you know I think about you every Tuesday and Thursday that I find myself on the yoga mat. April (my yoga teacher) is fantastic. Such a gentle soul. I can tell she understands and takes things as they come. She’s attentive without being so attentive that she singles me out, if that makes any sense. I’m in a class with 4-5 other gals who’ve been together for a while. I sometimes wonder if it’s unsettling for them to have not just a new face and new energy, but a woman who’s just learned to spell yoga. I do worry about my hands sweating and sliding on the mat. If you have any suggestions for that, please share. I will take a towel today, that’s for sure. I thought about that last week, but nobody else had one, so I thought maybe it wasn’t a good idea for reasons I don’t yet know about. (No matter how hard I try – and need – to stay focused on my own self and my own body, as you can see, I’m scanning. Looking at others to know what to do, listening to my thoughts, watching the crazy interesting images floating through. One day soon I’m gonna’ write you about my legs. Big realization on Tuesday. Words are just coming together about it. Will you understand if I say I find comfort knowing you’re watching from afar? Comfort in taking you with me in my thoughts every Tuesday and Thursday?

  3. jane

    i worry about farting, bad breath and body odour… it is part of the joy of being incarnate isn’t it? and so part of what yoga is all about…xxx

    • whollyjeanne

      oh, sugar. what would i do without you? love you big.

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