Bandha UP

bandha“The mirrors are a distraction. Focus on what you feel.” MJ lay back on her mat.

I did not. “I feel a lot of things. I can’t tell which is right until I see how I look.”

My Yoga teacher tucked her ass up and hoisted her back towards the ceiling. “Try for that.”

“How will I know I look like what you look like if I can’t see what I look like?”

She sat up and pushed me into a reclining pose. “Concentrate on your Mula Bandha. Tilt your pelvis to make that flat back. Then lock it into your Uddiyana Bandha. Feel how hard your stomach is?”

“So I’m doing it right now?”

“Well, no.” She reached under and pushed my sagging butt a little higher. “You need to work that connection down through your spine. You’re strengthening a weak part of your body. You should feel the tension in the backs of your legs. Really squeeze.”

“If I squeeze much more, my Inna gada davida bandha is going to merge with Oh my god I hurta banda and mash me into a pulp. This is killing my neck.”

“Keep your chin tucked to your chest. Don’t put the tension into your shoulders. There you go!”

“I’m shaking so hard it’s throwing me off balance.” I looked in the forbidden mirror and corrected my posture. The quivering increased.

“Use those inner quakes. Let them rattle you. Pull into your tree.”

“My tree? Trees are green. My face is the color of a plum right now.”

“You’re almost there. We’ll work on it some more next week.” She released the class with instructions to tilt our pelvises at random intervals. She caught my eye as I walked past. “Inna gada davida bandha?”

I walked out the door into the  bright  Southern morning. “Don’t you know that I love you?”

I couldn’t tell, but I thought I heard her laughing as I stepped down to the parking lot.


The last time I wrote about Yoga, I was merrily faceplanting my Crow. (Update on that: Largely unchanged.) This was about two years ago. I wound up not doing Yoga for a rather long stretch, as I’d had enough of the YMCA’s noise and the resistance to the word “Namaste” or even, in some cases, a replacement of “Namaste” with “Amen”. Fuck. I started back recently with a beginner class at a private studio, and my form sucks. (Not that it ever achieved great things before.) My arms forget to stick to my sides, my ass sways out and back, and I can’t lock my body for shit. It makes for great blog fodder. Lucky me that Trifecta wanted to know all about my color this week.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Bandha UP — 35 Comments

  1. I LOVE the shit out of yoga. I would love to get back into it at some point.

    I love your telling of this. Yoga is not easy but I’m glad you stuck with it!
    P.S. I love your ability to weave anything into anything! Colours into a story about yoga? You rock.
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  2. You made me laugh so hard at:

    “If I squeeze much more, my Inna gada davida bandha is going to merge with Oh my god I hurta banda and mash me into a pulp.”

    You could be writing for stand up comedians… or doing it yourself woman, you just make me laugh (and that’s no easy feat for most 😉

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    • Yay! So glad it made you laugh. I’m just dreadful with the names of things anyway, so doing it in another language tongue ties me.

  3. Yoga is my thing, as the saying goes. I go to class 3 sometimes 4 times a week. No mirrors in the studio, just an excellent teacher. Yoga, like any athletic adventure you either love or you don’t. My teacher just today said, “if it’s easy you’re not doing yoga.” Too bad about namaste being replaced with amen in your neck of the woods. I live in a hippie town and that would be ‘sacrilege.’ Good luck with it. Forget about your form. It’ll come. I love your story, made me feel as if I were right there with you.
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    • Oh, I absolutely love it. I just suck. I’ll get there. Slowly.

      Not saying Namaste IS sacrilege. But the YMCA down here is accommodating to those who think it’s like idol worship or something. MJ doesn’t have that problem. She Namastes and does a great job.

  4. Well, no.
    Two of the hardest words to take in graciously.

    lol, btw. And lol at Kelly, too. Welcome to my world, dudes.
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    • Ahahaa! She has to say that a lot. But she’s really wonderful and patient. I get all frustrated, and I would do a LOT better if I could use the mirrors like I did when I took Belly Dancing.

  5. This is funny. But I know what you mean. Yoga gives me a headache. Not sure if its the result of toxins being released or just really really bad form. Who am I kidding?
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  6. “Amen” instead of “Namaste”? Seriously? Seriously?!

    I always had trouble not turning my head in bridge pose to see what the instructor was doing, although she’d always admonish us not to turn our heads… which of course always made me want to do it even more.
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  7. I’ve heard yoga can be bad for you. You’re putting your body into these strange positions that it’s not supposed to go into o__O You’re braver than me!

  8. This is so funny. I’m still giggling at the mental pictures and Shannon’s response.
    So, in Alabama Amen is preferable to Namaste. Interesting. I tried to take a yoga class once, but I was driven out by the pungent body odor of some of the participants. I live in a rather hippie-ish part of northern California, where some people eschew deodorant in favor of going au natural, so maybe geography has something to do with both local choices. In California stinky sweat is preferable to Secret Deodorant. Yup, interesting. I’ll guarantee I would have hung around longer, however, if there really was an Inna Gadda Davida Bandha pose. I’m certain it’s the one that would keep my butt from falling down behind my knees…sigh

  9. I dig my yoga! I miss my old class. It was in a dingy meathead gym on Sunday mornings. The dudes were like, “wha??” when we all trundled through with our mats. I used to tripods and shit. Now? I’m a million pounds heavier and ten years older, and broke, so I do my yoga with the WiiFit trainer and my 5 year old critiquing my form 😉 Bandha up, indeed.
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  10. You look composed in your picture! Pronouncing the parts and positions sounds more difficult than the actual yoga. This is a great, lighthearted piece.

    Thanks for linking up!

  11. Hilarious take on Yoga & the asanas!I could picture you saying those things to your instructor with your plum coloured face,trying to sneak a look in the mirror!No wonder she had to give in to laughter too;-)Great piece!
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  12. You KNOW that I am sitting here laughing OUT LOUD at this one. Inna Gadd Davida Banda! Hahahaha!
    I totally would LOVE to teach you yoga. I think you would be my favorite student. And you could use the F word all you wanted to in my class. This was priceless!
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  13. “Concentrate on your Mula Bandha.” Really? Really-really-really? (My high school bff told me to never say that because repeating really as a question totally made me sound stupid, but she’s no longer in my life so I re-iterate) Really?

    I HAD wanted to take yoga lessons so I could integrate it on my paddleboard (with the added balance challenges I thought it would be quite the wavy-moolah-bandha, ya know? But then I read this and think to myself “How the heck could I do this shit on a paddle board and not crack up laughing thus making me fall in the water and drown because when I laugh madly out of control I lose all self… control” but at least I’d be in the water when I’d piss myself from over laughing so at least I wouldn’t be peeing on a yoga mat, but in the water.

    I would love to get into yoga, just not sure I could get into that third eye stuff.

    p.s. I have fallen in love with this blended juice or orange and soya milk and it really is helping restore my chacra
    p.p.s. 😉
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  14. I’m glad I happened to link back to this post from Studio30+. One of my yoga instructors always said there’s a reason it’s called yoga “practice.” I’ve given up on having any form but keep going back!
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