Monday, May 15, 2006

Can't Keep Quiet About Mother

I got up yesterday morning--it was Mother's Day--and went to Memorial Park. It's a...well, it's a graveyard. And my mom is buried there.

My mom, Raemonda Ruth Perry, died on August 2nd, 2005. So this is the first time I've ever experienced a Mother's Day without her.

I miss her.

My Dad's been out of town, even out of the country, for over a month. So, I've missed him, too. He returned yesterday evening. Maybe there's some symmetry there.

Maybe there's some symmetry in my return, too. I haven't been writing this Daily Yoga Tip for a while. In fact, it occurs to me now that I haven't said anything about yoga here since the day my Dad left.

Honestly, for now, I can't figure it all out. But I think it's about assimilation.

I just checked it out. The dictionary says assimilation is "The conversion of nutriments into living tissue; constructive metabolism."

In my case, it might mean that a lot of change has happened in my life and a period of silence was needed to take it all in, let it sink in.

Lest you think I'll never get to yoga, assimilation is one of the most incredible things I see as a yoga teacher and experience as a yoga practitioner. I get to see it over and over again.

It goes like this. Students practice an unfamiliar pose. They "can't do it" to their satisfaction. They fall, or they can't grab the body part their aiming for, or it's so far beyond them that it's a non-starter.

But they keep practicing yoga. They just don't practice that pose. Several weeks go by. Then, they practice the pose again. Now they can "do" it! We're all suprised. And thrilled.

During the between weeks, something happened.

I say their nervous sytems assimilated whatever information was received when they tried the pose the first time.

This is one of the greatest sources of encouragement for me in my day-to-day life. Below my normal everyday awareness, some pretty incredible things are happening. It's not until I act, until I do something, like try the really hard yoga pose again, that I discover something has changed! Transformation occurred.

Last weekend I was at Masterpeace studios in St. Louis with my teaching partner Sallie. We were teaching the Experience Sanskrit workshop. Things happening as they sometimes do, we got into a conversation with students about the difference between pincha mayurasana and mayurasana.

I've been doing pincha mayurasana for over a decade. But I've never done mayurasana, ever. Never. I haven't tried it in at least six months.

But in an attempt to show people what it looked like, I almost did it. I've never been that close before. Something had happened. I was amazed and encouraged.

So when you practice, take the long view. Practice regularly. And practice patiently. And know that beneath the surface of your awareness, some pretty incredible things are happening. Wait a bit. Keep practicing. And you'll see the results.

Dont' just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., The Sanskrit word of the day from my last Daily Yoga Tip is chatura. Chatura means four, as in chaturanga dandasana, the four-limbed staff pose. It looks and feels like a push-up.

p.p.s., Today's Sanskrit word of the day is mayura. I'll tell you what it means next time.

p.p.p.s, At dinner Sunday, I asked my mother-in-law, Frances Carter Dugger, if she would tell me something about her mother, Ida Lee Carter. Frances told us that her mother was literally a saint. That she always seemed to do the right thing. And that she inspired Frances to be a better person. Wow! I'm glad I asked. Please ask someone about his or her mother today. I think you'll be inspired, too.

p.p.p.p.s., I want to acknowledge here too that I've known Sallie Keeney as a co-worker, friend, business partner for nearly 8 years. All during that time she has told me probably hundreds of stories about her late mother Sally Diane Minter. I simply want to say thank you. I feel like I know her. And I'm honored to know her. I regret that I did not meet her while she was living.

p.p.p.p.p.s., I just realized now that a year ago on Mother's Day my mom went into the hospital with abdominal pain. You can read the Daily Yoga Tip I wrote that day when none of us knew it was liver cancer. It's here.

p.p.p.p.p.p.s., In honor of mothers everywhere, tomorrow I'm writing about "the Mother of All Asanas."

Copyright 2006. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.
Kevin Perry
Mo Yoga LLC
905 Eastland Plaza Suite B, #106
Jefferson City, MO 65101
(573) 680-6737


Anonymous Nora said...

Good to see you back, Kevin. I subscribed to the daily yoga tip just before your hiatus, and was hoping there'd be more.

Thank you for this very moving entry. It affected me in a subtle way - partly because I'd just had a "bad patriarchy day", and it helped to read something by a man who clearly has a lot of love and respect for women; partly because the mention of your mother's death put my problems in perspective.

It also made me think a lot about what I do, which is acupuncture, and how it often works in similarly mysterious ways. When I am treating someone, I have my intention, but the body has its own wisdom, and sometimes things shift for people in a different way than I expected - usually it's still good, but perhaps (for example) their migraines won't disappear right away but they're suddenly sleeping much better. Or they're standing up for themselves more easily, or (conversely) picking fewer fights. And sometimes whatever problem we're trying to address won't change much for a few treatments, and then there's what appears to be a tipping point where the information I'm trying to send through the needles gets - I like your word for it - assimilated.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Todd A. Perry said...

Glad to see you're back.

1:20 AM  

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