Sun Salutations

Back in the groove so to speak. Tried my sun salutations this morning and wasn’t utterly disappointed in the results – in fact I ended up feeling quite good. Doing the thirteen-point balletic yoga routine remind me, and my body, of the trauma it endured just seven months earlier – an eight-hour back operation fusing three discs and freeing up some pinched nerves. My body, understandingly, is tight. But the flesh is willing in this case. At various intervals I have been obsessed or largely ignorant of my body. But this, to my mind, only pertains to image. I can’t say I’ve been attuned to the body’s essence – its boundaries, the encasing of my bones, my soul, the way it moves throughout the world. It is neither familiar nor alien. My own assessment is that I have never had what one would deem a desirous body nor have I been completely at ease with my frame – even in my marathoning days when I was as light as my teenage self. I notice only when I’ve grown too soft and uncomfortable. Men we are told don’t have body image issues and don’t fret such things and this makes me wonder the possibilities of parallel universes where men who don’t worry about their weight live in relative harmony. I enjoy yoga, even though I am historically, hysterically, inflexible. In one session I was surrounded by cushions, bolsters, props and ropes. “Dude,” the yoga instructor said laughing as she help to steady me upright in my zone of buffers. But, over several weeks of practice I do progress, but it still pales in comparison to most others. I groan a lot. It is mind over matter, but my mind remembers all too well the pain it has suffered. The best thing about yoga is the feeling of peace welling up afterwards. It’s the coursing of warm blood; the loosening of skin and bone; it’s that kundalini spirit unleashed. Chakras spin on happy vortices like plates on splinter canes. In all this… A gap, lacunae between what my body perceives of itself and the world and all the rest. “…the moment perception comes my body effaces itself before it and never does the perception grasp the body in the act of perceiving,” writes Maurice Merleau-Ponty in The Visible and the Invisible.

The body is not interposed nor is it isolated, but neither is it fully present nor completely engaged.

What is “it” then?

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