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September 27, 2013 / Melissa Yuan-Innes

My Year of Yes: The Ultimate Kali Yoga

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I was all excited about teaching Kali yoga x 2 classes on my birthday, but my babysitter had to cancel, so I ended up bringing Anastasia with me.

So, all those pretty plans, my study of Dr. Melissa West’s sequencing, my vision of what we could do together, to celebrate: shot.

Just like Kali.

Just like having a baby.

Just like life.

About five minutes into my class with the seniors, Anastasia said, “Mommy, I poo.”

Clearly, there’s a downside to bringing food for her to munch on during class. I hadn’t brought the diaper bag, so I told her to wait.

Maybe 10 minutes later: “Mommy, I have to pee.”

“You’d better take her,” said someone from the front row. “It’s just around the corner.”

So I took her, and she peed on the potty (she actually had been holding it! A first. If she’d been been sitting on #2, I would’ve had to stop the class and go get the diaper bag from the car), and continued the class. The seniors were fantastic. They applauded me when I told them it was my birthday. One came up specifically to tell me how much she enjoyed having a little one in the class. They didn’t like the weird Kali sequencing, and another told me that I made muscles hurt that she hadn’t known she had, but Glengarry seniors are quite healthy and adventurous. Some of them stuck around long enough for me to take a picture of them.

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Me, A, and the adventurous seniors

Anastasia was tired, and tired of yoga. Toward the end of the class, she said, “I want to go home.” And I said, “Um, actually, we have to teach another class soon.”

Just before the Sunset Yoga class, I beckoned Anastasia into the bathroom and said, “Could you go pee?”

“No.”

Ten minutes into class: “Mommy, I need to go poo.”

Well, I’d brought her farm-fresh raspberries and strawberries and grapes and a cream cheese sandwich, but I’d forgotten the diaper bag again. So I hauled her upstairs to the bathroom, to no avail. Marie-Anne kept teaching the class, and then I came back and did some Kali exercises before Anastasia said, “Mommy, I poo! I go poo right now!”

This time, she actually did poo, and I managed to teach the rest of the class, although with her climbing on top of me. Whenever I closed my eyes, she said, “Mommy, are you sleeping? Wake up! WAKE UP!”

Actually, that part reminded me of Zen Buddhism. A teacher hits you with a stick, to make sure you’re awake and alive in the moment. Anastasia would like to hit me, too.

For the last 15 minutes of the class, she shushed me and tried to roll up the yoga mats while I was still on them (I’d rolled out two, one for her and one for me).

But she was good. When we stood up and she realized class was over, she said, “Yay!” Her little face lit up with delight, and everyone wished me a happy birthday. Marie-Anne gave me a good hug and said she might stop by the party, which would be great.

My Sunset Yoga posse

My Sunset Yoga posse

I thought it was kind of cool that I had a good turnout for both classes, and that I was doing something spiritual on my birthday proper.

A. conked out on the ride home, so I stopped in the driveway and opened all the windows and listened to the wind blow in the leaves and the bulls bellow. I was afraid they’d wake A. up, but she just snorted, sounding rather similar to the bulls.

My little Kali.

I felt the sunshine, looked at the blue sky and clouds, and thought of how lucky I was. So much of my life, I spend rushing around, but today was maybe the last perfect day of 2013, warm and summery but not too hot, and almost bug-free (just flies, fruit flies, and butterflies, mainly).

For so long, I was just grinding through school. And then getting my sea legs as a doctor. Trying to have children. Sending my stories out in vain.

And now, I’m a full-fledged doctor. I still get criticized, but I’ve got my sea legs. I know I give reasonable care. I married the guy I’ve loved since high school. My two living children—what a joy. What chaos. I love them. I love yoga. And I love my writing finally making its way out in the world.

Namaste.

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