Shoulder Issues

Cottonwood in winter -- Santa Fe -- March 19, 1993 -- photo by Mark Weber

Cottonwood in winter — Santa Fe — March 19, 1993 — photo by Mark Weber

SHOULDER ISSUES

A Yoga Poem (for my teacher Supriti, who likes words)

There was a merry yogi,
who took the long way around to samadhi,
extra patchouli, Patanjali, Viparita karani,
Leaned his shoulder hard
to the Wheel of Dharma:
…………maybe a little too hard
…………in Vasisthasana

There was a grinning yogi
sitting on a sky blue mat
rubbing his shoulder, trick knee,
rocks & boulders, Ravi Shankar,
Surya Namaskar, get some gas in the car,
remove chaturanga from repertoire

and Downward-facing dog
shoulder grumbling like a broken cog . . . .

There was a gray-haired yogi
contemplating a tattoo in devanagari:
…………L on one wrist
…………R on the other
(for those increasingly frequent moments of doubt)
So, when teacher says something about
right or left, left or right?
you can quit worrying that you have incipient Alzheimer’s

O, would that I could cartwheel,
stand on my head pinwheel,
but, let’s be real:
I’m too old for all that, tit for tat,
I’m too fat,
I’ll stay right-side up
and live another day
to tell of it

Lake Powell, Utah ---- January 1, 1997 ---- photo by Mark Weber

Lake Powell, Utah —- January 1, 1997 —- photo by Mark Weber

The grinning yogi ---- August 25, 2o12 -- photo by Janet -- Flying Point Beach, Southampton NY

The grinning yogi —- August 25, 2o12 — photo by Janet — Flying Point Beach, Southampton NY

6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the fun poem and beautiful photos, and send my love to Supriti as well. Hoping this will be a wonderful new year for all.

  2. I’ve always thought it was the posture/asana Vasisthasana that took my shoulder out about 5 years ago, Oh, it’s still more-or-less functional, but I have to go easy ——- Let me see if I can describe Vasisthasana: Laying on the ground on your side perfectly straight then lifted up on one arm your straightened body, you kind of look like the cross of Jesus laying on its side —— Well, I can’t put my entire 180 pounds on that shoulder, not anymore. And then the moving posture of Chaturanga in a Vinyasa practice done repeatedly wasn’t good for me, either. I hope I don’t scare anyone off from yoga, it’s the greatest, I’m in my tenth year of practice and am not turning back, they can put me in my coffin in Savasana (that’s an inside joke)(look it up).

    I started working on this poem back in October and have tinkered with it off & on for 3 months —– Hard poem to get right: Written in a tri-syllabic assonance pattern that I discovered in an old poem “Errantry” written by JRRT. I’m happy with it.

    *That crow in the photo is NOT PhotoShopped in. (Looking at it a minute ago I realized in this day & age that could be the case.) Thanks as always to Cal Haines for maintenance on my photos and to Klaus for design & layout of the pages at JFM. I’m just the content schlub, they do all the work.

    “Surya Namaskar” = Sun Salute. It’s a sequence of poses and movement, you do it left side, then right side. The first time I did one I was drained, and then the skinny instructor guy says for the class to do ten in a row. It looks so simple but for me it was exhausting. Curiously, nowadays, I have no problem wailing through Surya Namaskar, I do them every morning and also ten minutes before I go on the air on my radio show. It’s the stuff. Those ancient yogis figured all this out and it’s a blessing.

    For instance, if you have sleep issues (insomnia) try Viparita Karani. Again, those yogis figured it out right down to the core. You sleep very well.

  3. And Caw, Caw, Caw………..

  4. I wish I weighed 180.

  5. At dare yoga’ll keel ye.

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