Yoga used to be way too slow for me. Actually, it was more like I was way too fast for yoga.
Back in the early ’90s, yoga hadn’t really hit my city yet. Oh, sure, some choice women friends were in the know and tried to get me to partake. But I was moving too fast at the time. (No, I don’t mean drugs.) But I was on a high, newly having found a self I could connect to after a childhood being the “dutiful daughter:” that of a loving but anxious mother.
I was flitting around playing in bands, finding my voice, finally — here as a violinist who had been raised on classical only. Of punk rock spirit and artistic mindset, I could barely slow enough to even learn of other ways of feeling fulfilled and satisfied and at peace at the time. It was a great time for me. I needed to go at the speed I was going, for I finally had found my peace and joy.
I had grown up with three brothers, I the only girl. And that had suited me just fine; I was innately a tomboy, but one with a nurturing heart. (This is a weird mix, likely due to my watery, dualistic Cancer sign.) So the band thing, mainly all guys, ended up being my speed. Funny, though, how life brings in the next phase even before you realize one season is drawing to a close….
Like I never had in my family of origin, a new sister woman friend invited me to be a part of a women’s creative-processing group a couple years into my just finding myself as musician and artist. I knew immediately after our first get-together with four others that my creative life would be unfolding with an additional energy — other than just the masculine I was in touch with up on stage, as I played electric violin with my first real band, The Feral Family.1
My new sisters, though equally part of the vibrant overall creative scene I was a part of, found serenity in things like yoga and meditation. I for one could never formally meditate, but I come to a place of peace like no other when sitting rooted on my hilltop backyard with my animals around me. There, without forcing it, my mind can focus clearly.
So I let them have their yoga. They had already slowed me down enough to begin to incorporate feminine creative energy into my work life, with more writing, reflection, and thoughts of performance pieces.
Over the next decade, I relied on both — frenetic energy poured into much of my music and activism, and tranquil reflections into my first book and new creative collaborations. Only after I hit, say, 35 or so, did my body tell my mind to heed the wise counsel yoga and slower-energy mindsets can also bring to a person running fast her whole life, for many different reasons. Now, though far from following it religiously, I love it.
- Feral actually means an interesting cross between domesticated and wild. How apropo. [↩]