• Putter Mode | Bernadette Birney: It's about yoga (sort of)

    Putter Mode

    Lately I am thinking a lot about the cycles of things.

    2012 was all about upheaval for me. It was an onslaught of turmoil, endings, goodbyes, stands taken, travel, identity, dissolution and that vast, uncomfortable terrain that lies in-between endings and beginnings. There was no way around. Well, maybe there was but it would have necessitated more tap-dancing and denial than I am willing to tolerate.

    2013’s inception finds me in a vastly different place. It’s time to slow down. I’m not talking about the exhausted collapse that’s the result of having to redefine myself. I mean a deliberate easing off the gas pedal. A considered deceleration.

    I don’t want to conquer the world. I don’t want to meet it with raised fists.

    I am officially in putter mode.

    Right now, I want to be home. Particularly, I want to be in my kitchen. I want to continue to experiment with almond flour. I want to play with coconut flour and palm shortening. I want to welcome the day with green juice and put it to bed with sleepy time tea in my special sippy-cup-mug. I want roasted chickens, the aroma of garlicky, buttered mushrooms. Nigella seeds sprinkled on just about everything. Addictive, tart lemon applesauce.

    I’ll probably gain 10 pounds. Don’t care.

    I want fried eggs and sweet potato hash for dinner. I want to eat it in my pajamas. I want spoonfuls of dessert.

    (Have lost track of how long it’s now been but am still doing that Paleo thing.)

    Intuitively, I’m spending less time online. I still look forward to daily check ins with loved ones from near and afar but for now I’m opting out of spending all my time on the internets.

    I want to practice sunrise yoga. The kind of asana that interests me right now is slow and deliberate. Dreamy. I care less and less about advanced asana. Less and less about tricks. I want to do the kind of asana that makes my body and my psyche feel good. More power to you if advanced asana is your thing. It’s just not mine. At least not right now.

    My radio is tuned to the classical station more often than to XMU. I’m gobbling Chopin’s Nocturnes and Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I appear to be on a classical music bender. I’ve no idea if it will last or how long. Don’t care about that either.

    I want to lie on the couch and read books. In addition to my ridiculous personal collection, I have amassed stacks and stacks of library books. I’ve taken out inter-library loans. Making time to read again has been a homecoming.

    I want to make the time to enjoy my relationship. I want home cooked meals. Laughter. Movies on the couch. Snuggles.

    Professionally, my big goal right now is simply to encourage my students to attune, recognize and attend to their own individual cycles–even as we must surely receive the world that presses in upon us too.

    Happy 2013 to you! Tell me–what’s on your radar for 2013? How are you feeling? Are you making room in your life for that energetic quality? How? Leave a comment and let me know.






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    6 Responses »

    1. I am with you! So so so feel the same. I bought fiction for the first time in YEARS and actually read it. I have made more homemade food (granola too) in the last two weeks than I can remember. And the pose I’m doing every day on this month and for my blog is Sukhasana. All I want to do is sit silently, take it in, and breathe.

      I’m a totally over advanced asana. totally.

    2. I’ve been in total nesting mode the entire holidays. While everyone is flocking to Tulum to frolic on the sand and in the gorgeous Carribean sea, have lavish dinners and dance the night away under the stars, I’ve been baking banana bread, big pots of homemade chai, and homemade eggplant parm. I’ve been lighting candles all around my small casita and cuddling with my furry friend while lost in episodes of Homeland. I’ve been writing more and stretching just where it feels good as I sit in front of my altar. Sometimes I feel conflicted…that I should be out and about, meeting and greeting, but then the inner voice tells me this mode is just perfect for ME right now. These days, I love sinking in to what I “feel” to do rather than what my mind tells me I “should” do. Thank you for inspiring us to listen in. Thank you BB. LOVE you.

    3. PUTTER! perfect! I think 2012 was about upheaval for all, in many ways. Teaching-wise I feel like the most valuable skill I can give the yogis right now is the ability to rest & accept where they are in their cycle. Forget the freakin galavandasana, just breathe. Luv you Bernadette. Not in a creeper way!

    4. B, I loved this. Thank you.

      So much of all of this bubbling up inside of me for some time. I feel the need to slow down – in all areas of life. In practice I would rather restore or sit than do the tricks. In life I would rather bake and curl up with books than be out and about. In work I feel like hibernating and letting ideas percolate.

      Thanks for sharing this and creating the space for all those feelings to be “okay” in the midst of the crazy new year push to do and be more. x, C

    5. I am done with advanced asana. I practiced that way for years, only to realize there was little I was achieving in those arm balances other than a further contraction to the muscles in my back and a practice that felt performative, more circus, less yoga.
      Now, it feels good to be in a long- stretched parsvottanasana and really get IN there, to soften the back body rather than contract it.
      Here’s to those simple, slow, listening asanas…


    6. Thank you for this sweet post, Bernadette. I’m all about creating order right now. Into every nook and cranny of my home I am bringing order and the places that cannot have order immediately are incredibly frustrating. But the establishment of order, and the beauty that comes with it… Ah, heaven! (it is the very large creature growing in my belly, and his impending arrival bringing this mood I know it.) Along with it, a settling into rest, releasing, being big and slow, taking the pressure off myself, my girl, my husband. Lots of yoga nidra and wanting to write… but not even wanting to write, just wanting to sit and stare and be quiet without anything. waking up an hour early to sit while the sun rises. An interesting mixture I’m trying to embrace both sides of.

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