Photo: Babs, with permission from Andrea Jones Photography
This week: babsbabble
There are no air quotes in Babs’s
writing. It rings with smart humor
and it’s achingly sincere.
Every friendly, honest word in Babs’s babsbabble blog lets her readers know there won’t be any glossing over or playing the angles when it comes to self observation.
When Babs feels something, she slows down and wonders out loud in her writing what the feeling is about. She is sometimes capable of wondering with her whole life when that’s what it takes. Reading her you feel as if you are in the first chapter of an adventure story about how someone becomes a great teacher.
I have found that my personal practice is suffering due to my teaching responsibilities. I know that teaching does not count as my practice, but I am having a really hard time fitting it in. And, I can definitely notice the lack of a personal practice, not only on my body, but on my mind.
Her posts convey that mind as a lively one, full of spunky Big Sky intelligence where thinking is muscular and tenderness is fearless. No matter what happens, Babs goes to the mat with it and comes back renewed in her sincere appreciation for practice.
I am constantly amazed by the power of yoga. It doesn’t matter how tired or how cranky I am, when I finally get on the mat I feel better. Calmer. Happier. More open. Softer. Smiling.
Many of Babs’s early posts are insights gleaned from Strunk and White. There’s something canny and cool about a practitioner who feels structure at a level that connects to language. In her work, alignment is appropriate use and self expression is sturdy enough to shrug off the window dressing of “authenticity” as lacking something, well, authentic.
She stays with it until her attention cracks the shell and yields the fruit.
After my teacher training I just thought, well we are all built differently and this might be a pose that I just cannot do. Then I started breaking it down. My shoulders are extremely tight. My hips are unbelievably tight. So, I changed my practice. It was no longer about getting into the impossible pose. I made it about actually feeling and noticing the changes in my body.
Babs’s self described “ramblings” and “babblings” are as refreshing as the sound of clear water burbling in a creek. She’s in love with her husband and dog, her students, and friends, and she blogs her way through her house and garden with her camera as though pinching herself to see if so much happiness can be real. When hard experiences show up she doesn’t disappear, she lays open the hurt with courage that refuses to trample on her feelings, doesn’t accuse and doesn’t evade the straightforward acceptance of pain.
Confusion about yoga has been known to take the form of hand-wringing about how not to be judgmental of people we dislike, or worse, people we love. It can be a challenge to get focused on practicing real discernment about our own thoughts, habits, foibles and illusions. Having friends on the journey as we wake up, and wake up, and wake up again can help us develop a sense of humor and compassion for ourselves.
That’s what’s we love and what’s so tonic about babsbabble. If there is one thing Babs totally gets about practicing yoga, it’s where to direct her gaze.
Babs’s writing is both the flowering of a woman becoming full grown and hard won evidence of her practice. For her, yoga is not a sentimental extension of an idealized experience.
Here’s your hook-up to babsbabble: our favorite recent post, you can’t always get what you want…, in which Babs arrives at a very groovy moment in what certainly is an adventure:
Something happened to me there. Nothing super profound. Nothing remotely close to any sort of spiritual spark or awakening. But, something more subtle. I felt my body. I didn’t feel rigid and stiff. I could move. I felt comfortable. I felt like me.
It was watching my teacher. The most truly authentic person I had ever seen. And, watching her move and watching her teach. And knowing that deep down that was what I was searching for. Seeing it and then thinking I want that. I need that. I must have that.
And everything was in place. I was in the right place. Open. Defeated. Excited. Terrified. Sad. Joyful. I was tinder ready for her spark. She lived her yoga. I mean, she really lived her yoga. She was yoga. I’m certainly not putting her on a pedestal here, but she showed me something that I didn’t know existed. I didn’t think it was possible. I thought it was a bunch of horse shit all this talk about authenticity.
It is real. And it is rare.
I felt a small shift. A barely perceptible click.
I decided, fuck it, I’m going for it.
And the most amazing thing happened…I had a message. Not some divine, esoteric message. A REAL message. On my phone. From a yoga teacher in town with a studio space. Looking for someone to take it over because she was leaving.
The Magazine of Yoga is full of admiration for the authenticity of babsbabble. We’re delighted to award Babs our Real Life is Real Yoga™ Pure Prana quality rating. We highly recommend you add this down-to-earth, woman-on-the-frontier-of-bliss blog to your reading list.
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Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.