Each day of December, I am being moved to post by Gwen Bell’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge:
Today is Day 29 Laugh. What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?
So, this one’s hard for me. I’ve been sitting here thinking about how little I belly-laugh.
Sure, I watch Seinfeld reruns with Jeff, and we laugh until tears come…at the same old episodes. Like the one where Elaine dances like a freak.
Yes, in my family of origin, including sisters, offspring, their offspring, we completely lose it at holiday gatherings when someone farts. Especially my nephew, but I won’t out him here. Now, my eight year-old grandson is taking up the practice, having been gifted a whoopie cushion from said nephew. This Thanksgiving, when my two sisters and I, our four children, and our growing cluck of grandchildren (up to six now, with five being born in the last thirteen months) made sure we brought the Fart CD so we could regale ourselves, once again, with the pure joy that comes from potty humor.
But, all-in-all, I tend to be pretty serious. I tend to feel things deeply. I tend to write deep poetry and take long walks gazing at the beauty of life. I tend to dance and do yoga with a depth of concentration and intensity. So, when my big belly laugh happened this year, it wasn’t so much as a belly-acher or gut-buster, but it was more about the surprise that came when I could laugh really hard, along with others, at my own expense…in the middle of a hard work-out yoga flow class…taught by one of said sisters (the one that said, “Yes, I’ll take it” when asked if she wanted the ‘wicked-sense-of-humor’ gene just prior to conception. Of course, she is the older sister, so it was already taken by the time I was conceived).
Molly Fox, my sister, is quite the fabulous yoga/nia/pilates teacher. She is well-known on the East Coast for her fitness studio that she had in Manhattan for years in the eighties and early nineties.
It was in her Saturday morning class that my laugh moment of ’09 occurred. It’s not that it was that funny…it was funny to me…and to a class full of yogis. This is what happened.
I was in the front row, as I am wont to do in her classes. We were doing some kind of asana (don’t know the names at all) whereÂ we were in a lunge with one knee on the ground. Molly was trying to get the class to lengthen the spine, rising and extending up from the center of the body, lifting the chest from below. She was explaining it, and then to help give people a better sense of what she was talking about, she came over to me, bent down beside me and said to the class, “Here. I’ll show you.” She quickly looked at me to ask if she could touch me, and when I acknowledged yes, she said, “This is my sister, so I can hold onto her breasts. Lift from here.” Of course, she didn’t grab my breasts. She gently held my rib cage and lifted me from deeper within my body. It was incredibly helpful to feel the difference between what I was doing and what she was suggesting.
I suddenly heard everyone break into laughter. I looked in the mirror. I realized I was wearing a pretty low-cut yoga top, and as she held me by the rib cage, being in front of the mirror with my breasts being raised up, much cleavage suddenly appeared front and center within the ‘very’ present awareness of everyone in the room. I didn’t know if they were laughing because of my being her sister, her comment, the sudden influx of cleavage, (couldn’t resist, Kelly) or all of the above, but I began to laugh, too. It all seemed pretty absurd and gloriously un-seriously yoga like. Molly’s classes are the best, ’cause she is so down-to-earth, so in love with her students, so good at what she does, and so damn funny.
Molly loves and respects the practice of yoga to the depth of her being AND she can have fun with it, which, to me, is the sign of a great teacher. Like Luka, the 6-year old son in the image caption at the top, a good teacher brings us back to reality, to the sanity of life that comes from not taking it all too seriously.
It’s here, in this not-too-serious place, that I can sometimes experience the deepest Namaste.
I think laugh will be my verb for 2010.
Maybe my noun will be cleavage, simply loving the cleavage that comes with womanhood. It may be about the cleaving away of what I think being a woman has to be from what I truly discover and experience it to be. Perhaps it might bring a softer, more loving embrace of my womanhood.
Maybe, just maybe, being with it all as it unfolds is the Namaste, the deepest bow, to what is.
What about you? I’d love to know, what makes you laugh? What is your verb for 2010? Your noun? Your ideas for bringing fun, laughter and ease to your world? Your best belly-laugh? Your ’09 cleavage story? Your real-life experience of Namaste?