Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mommy is in Savasana

My first introduction to yoga was very young. My mother was an avid follower of Lilias Folan, a woman who made a bunch of VHS tapes for you to follow along at home.* This allowed my poor mother to practice yoga despite the many demands of an over-achieving house wife of the 1980's. I am fairly certain her yoga practice saved my life. I have two siblings, one older and one younger. The eldest has been 30 since she could walk. While I adorned myself with a flowered bonnet, a costume gold and blue cheerleader skirt and bright yellow sparkly pac-man shirt (mother would pin notes into my back inscribed, "Kathryn dressed herself this morning" to avoid inquiries from Child Protective Services) my sister insisted on three-piece suits. Mother would shuffle the eldest to cello, Hebrew and violin classes while I taught the youngest the benefits of not using recipes when making baked goods. Maybe I will write about the vinegar cake at some point.** While eldest was learning the capitals of all the countries of South America, I was being shocked at how red my mother could get at such a little thing as creating a hole in the hallway carpet to hide money in. I have no doubts that, had my mother not owned those VHS cassettes, my life would have been a short one. 

Had I understood the delicate balance between downward facing dog and my fingers all remaining attached to my palms I might have been more respectful. As it was, I was a curious kid who thought joining mother was great fun. I would throw myself under her downward dog, much in the way my cat does to me now, laughing hysterically. I would encourage my brother to do the same. We would have great fun playing the "I'm not touching you" game with her while she was in savasana. At some point my mother decided to explain that when she put on her leotard and plugged in that little video with the nice lady doing funny poses, my brother and I were to leave her alone. 

I am not sure how my mother explained this, but knowing how rambunctious I was, I am fairly certain a wide variety of threats were necessary. I imagine water-boarding must have been involved. Possibly the water-boarding of my My Little Ponies as well. Having made the necessary impression, my mother continued her practice with one alteration. Rather than children in the room with her, we sat on the dividing line between the living room and hallway.  I like to think now that I improved her focus because I can think of nothing more distracting than my brother and I loudly whispering, "SHHH! It's mommy's time now. We have to be REALLLLY quiet!"

We sat and watched while mom ran through the routine, our beady little eyes fixed on her. Plank, downward dog, plank, cat pose... the routine followed its course ending in final savasana. My brother and I watched intently for at least 10 seconds before I decided something must be wrong. I loudly hissed a whisper to my brother, "How would we know if she was hurt?"

My brother conceded that we had no way of knowing. I offered, in the same not hushed at all tone, that she could have hit her head for all we knew. We had been watching the whole time but that did not deter me. "Do you see any blood?!" I hissed at my brother. He did not. I decided we should check, just in case. We crept into the forbidden room. My brother put his face about an inch from her nose, examining her for movement. I took the important job of checking for seepage from a possible head wound. I pressed one cheek to the floor to get an eye level view of the back of her head, I hissed, "I don't see any, but....."

Suddenly my mother's eyes popped open, with red crackles around the rims, "MOMMY IS IN SAVASANA!!!"

Oh joy! Mom is alive!...Oh dookie... run!

"Mommy, we just wanted to make sure you were okay, it was for you!" my voice trailed behind me as I barreled down the hall.

I would suggest looking into Lilias Yoga and You, it must have been some good stuff to prevent my demise.


**The logic was sound; the bottle was very large and so it stood to reason that copious amounts would be used in a wide variety of things, including cake.


  1. Yoga + memories of childhood and play = IDEAL Tony Perone blog entry THANK YOU!

  2. Tony, I adore your focus on play! It gives our little phrase, "play yoga" so much more meaning.

  3. Aw, lovely and hilarious post!! STOP IT, MOMMY IS IN SAVASANA!!!

    The timing is kinda funny too, because the other night I zonked out after a night of moving. I slept in savasana and my boyfriend said I never moved. He said a couple of times he moved over and checked if I was still breathing lol

    Hope you're well!

  4. HAHA! Love it! What a good boyfriend to make sure you aren't dead! :) Hope the move was to a wonderful abode! Few things are as wonderful as a new place to call your own. And thanks for asking, things are GREAT! I just saw my new nephews in DC this week. Such personalities in those little bodies! :D