Saturday, February 09, 2013

writing practice ~ Yoga Practice

triangle pose feb 2013
Triangle pose ~ at RB Yoga Studio ~ Jane LaFazio

Yoga Practice by Jane LaFazio

For months, in yoga class, I watch the woman in front of me as she bends into triangle pose as though her body is pressed between two sheets of glass. She’s so strong, so grounded as she leans into that sideways pose to touch one hand to the floor and the other reaching to the sky. She comes up, back to standing, with just the same grace. Her name was Christine.

I love yoga practice. The opportunity to stretch and turn and lean. Everything from my long strong arms to the sides of my body. I love to touch the floor with my palms. Reach my open hands high above my heard. To feel my body sigh and open and move from pose to pose. I love half-moon pose against the wall. I stretch and open my long arms and legs to their full extension as the wall supports me into a perfect balance. I love that I’m flexible and supple. That I can feel my spine turn and twist with pleasure.

When I do the triangle pose and hear the instructor remind us to pull in our leg muscles close to the bone and stay strong as we bend, I picture Christine in front of me, her quiet strength and warm smile. Christine is not in my yoga class anymore. She died of a recurrence of breast cancer, leaving a husband and two young children behind. At her memorial service, her brother described her as having “abundant warmth, curiosity and humility.”

I love yoga practice. Especially when I feel Christine’s presence in class, reminding me to be strong, yet warm, curious, and humble in life and in yoga.

yoga class at RB Yoga ~photo by Erin Vandenbergh

yoga class at RB Yoga ~photo by Erin Vandenbergh

I mentioned earlier that I've been trying to write and recently finished Judy Reeves Wild Women writing class. (You can read my interview of Judy Reeves here.) 
This is one of the writings that came from the class. My classmates, Judy and I will be doing a reading of our work at The Grove, (in San Deigo) on March 17, 4:30-6:00pm. You're invited. It's free. )


  1. I'm sorry to hear that you lost someone to cancer (or to anything, for that matter). I've had many people close to me affected by cancer. All have either fought and won or have lost but with incredible strength and dignity. Praise to the human spirit and prayers to all who need.

  2. Wow Jane! You've got great HAMSTRINGS!

  3. This is a motivating POST!
    Thanks jane.

  4. finding it difficult to make a triangle with my fingers at the mo..your sure are supple of mind and body

  5. Beautiful, Jane. I love this blog post for what you share of yourself and your yoga practice, and of course this very touching piece. I look forward to our reading on 3/17.

  6. thank you jane for this moving and inspiring post

  7. You write with such clarity, Jane. For a moment I was there with you and your friend. Thanks for this beautiful post.

  8. Thank you for sharing your art and life with us. I love yoga and miss it. I only do the standing poses for now, as I am afraid to re-injure my hip after the car wreck and surgery for repair. This gives me encouragement to seek out guidance on how to modify poses that I should avoid. Maybe I just need to figure it out myself. :)

    I love your descriptions of how the yoga poses make you feel, and the life that you breathe into them.

    1. Thanks Tess. Do go to a good yoga class, the instructors are really good at helping with variations of the poses and you know how good it feels! Thanks so much for your kind words!

  9. Thank you for the inspiration, kindness and joy you give to us.

  10. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Christine. I rejoice in the fact that her presence is still felt in yoga class. She lives on in your heart and mind. A beautiful post and you expressed so beautifully the joy & strength I feel as I move through the poses.

  11. Thank you, Jane. Through your writing you have successfully shared your strength in life and spirit. it speaks to the soul. Very moving. Thanks again! :)

  12. You are so beautiful...inside and out...thanks for sharing these wonderful moving words with us...they made my spirit stretch...:)

  13. I only hope to be so lucky, when I pass on, to be remembered as your friend Christine is remembered. How lovely.

    And I too, adore yoga.

    Thank you.

  14. Thanks everyone for your very kind and supportive comments! I'm shy about my writing, and I really thank you for your kind words.


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