projects and writings of Tracy Burkholder
I’m sixteen days in to my month of daily yoga and have run the gamut of emotions from elation to teeth-grinding frustration over what my body can and cannot do. Going to my mat every day gives me the chance to try and move through these extremes of emotion and settle into something a bit more balanced. Showing up and then showing up again and again, either in class or at home, makes this a real practice instead of a series of similar but unrelated events. I’ve heard repeatedly from various teachers how yoga is not any one moment, how it’s not about achieving the perfect pose. I’ve understood this intellectually, but now I’m starting to feel it in my body. This is breath and breath never stops (until it does). Some days those breaths are quick and strained and some days they’re deep and luxurious but there’s always another day and there’s always another breath (until there isn’t).
I’m also sixteen days sober and I’ve had almost no emotional reaction to that fact at all. A brief craving has come over me here and there but I’ve spent virtually no time dwelling on it. For me, it’s easy because it’s only a month. Tell me it was forever and I’d undoubtedly struggle, then mourn. Maybe that means I’m addicted. Then again, I’d struggle and mourn even more if you told me I couldn’t have any more coffee (oh, that hurts just to say) or any more cake, or any more time in the ocean or wandering in the woods. I can think of plenty of things that would hurt more than taking away my bourbon and beer. But just because I’d miss it doesn’t mean that I need to deny myself permanently. This challenge is simply showing me that I can do without for a while and that interrupting a routine is almost always worthwhile.