How’s that for being intuitive and prescient? In addition to being a propellerhead, I am a podcast junkie. I not only queue them up on my iPod to listen to in the car, I also sometimes make them in GarageBand, mainly for family.
One of the podcasts I listen to regularly is Elsie’s Yoga Kula. Elsie Escobar is an Pittsburgh-based Anusara-Inspired teacher, a personal acquaintance of one of my Anusara-Inspired teachers. But she also has a technical background and thus this blog and even her own iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch) and Android apps. While I’ve only practiced one of the sequences, I usually listen to the features and interviews like the one with Donna De Lory, a backup singer for Madonna turned kirtan wallah. The last podcast was back in mid-May, when I was still in the midst of a spring cleanse, and grading papers. It’s been a long time since Elsie has graced my iPod. As I know from the podcast she has a little one, I had the passing thought that she might be expecting another, but dismissed the thought from my mind. Lo and behold, as I was driving around Wednesday morning, I heard the podcast attached to the blog post excerpted here.
I am 8 months pregnant. When I recorded this class I was 4 months along, barely out of my first trimester having gone through a rough and long winter time. My beautiful new little life needed me to remain inward, steady, calm and receptive to allow the growth of light within. The rising of vibrant Springtime was a direct reflection of the power of the darkness.
How about practicing along and dancing with the dark and the light and blossom into the world around you?
Mystery solved, and intuition correct. I am a father of two, and know from experience that each child presents unique joys and challenges. Also, the first sociology course I took as a newly minted undergraduate major was Sociology of the Family, and our reading of Ralph LaRossa and M.M. LaRossa’s Transition to Parenthood: How Infants Change Families (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1981) made a lasting impression on me. Even though Elsie’s posting the podcast now is not quite timely, the theme is very appropriate to a yoga style that emphasizes transformation.
I realize that my experience has been only of a highly interested bystander to the real work involved in bringing forth a child, but what also rings in my ears is what my anthropology professor always used to intone, that “all fatherhood is social.” This unique vantage of fatherhood implies choice, a choice to be involved. (Thus, in partial compensation for the physical ways in which we can’t participate, I highly recommend fathers embrace diaper and vomit duty whenever possible.)
Transitions don’t end with the advent of an infant, however. They happen in big and small ways over the life cycle. For my own part, my two are transitioning from teenagehood to young adulthood. This can work me into “tight spots” sometimes, and my practice helps immeasurably with those.
As a fellow blogger, parent, and yogi, then, I extend every best wish to Elsie. I invite you to consider the ways in which yoga has helped you through major life transitions, as well as any “tight spots” you have experienced or envisioned. May each of us savor the fullness of such moments, even as they present challenges to us. Great beauty awaits.