The other day I was in yoga and thinking I should do better intentions than I usually do. At the beginning of every yoga session we do an intention and breath it in and breath it out and “make it so.” And I said, “connection.”

I say a lot of things in intentions but I thought this time it would be smart and good to do something a bit more yogi, so went with that.

The immediate response to that intention was the most clueless difficult internet client ever immediately emailed me and a guy on facebook made fun of a photo of me.

That’s kind of not the “connection” I was thinking about. But it is totally “connection.”

I think I need to think harder in advance about what my yoga intention is. And then, when it comes in? Because it totally will, though not in the way I am always expecting it? I need to accept it. I asked for it. I should on some level work with it. Though this time I think I just go smacked for trying to kiss ass instead of being authentic.

Dear Yoga Gods: I apologize.


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friends and leg locks

June 12, 2013


bikramA friend stops by —

We end up visiting pretty late.

Also we start visiting late.

Tuesday is review night for me so it’s after midnight when I am even done reviewing and someone can stop by.

[Yo, pervos, do not get excited, this is a female friend, not a guy friend. And I am tragically more than straight. Ah, men, if only I could quit you. Anyway….]

It is 3 AM when I am walking her out.

My building has big open halls. Layers and lengths of open halls. And a courtyard. There’s a lot of room here. Going in different directions.

[People get lost in these halls if I do not walk them out. And in.]

I’m walking her out. Through all those halls.

We start talking yoga.

We accidentally spend the next half hour demonstrating bikram leg and hip locks and foot holds and stances.

We’re both wearing pajamas.

After, it occurs to me we were doing dancer pose in pajamas on hard open tiles and I stepped into tree pose and held it wearing Uggs.

That’s pretty bad ass.


yoga moments of infamy

April 16, 2013


water_dropI’m in class.

There are some new people in class. The yoga teacher is being nice to them. One of them has cut and run and is probably puking in the bathroom. The other two are struggling.

She tells the two survivors the first thing to get used to in Bikram is the heat. That sauna therapy is a big thing and takes getting used to and if they need to sit something out just do that till they are used to the heat, it will come, sitting in the heat is good alone.

I smile and wave my hand. My smile says, “That so works for me.”

[I just sat out the last position.]

She gives me the eagle eye: “YOU are ready to do more positions than you are doing.”



Bikram-shortsI got yoga shorts.

It is horrifying looking at my poor bare knees and thighs in the studio mirror — and also a lot easier for instructors to bust you if your thighs are not straining hard enough — but really a relief to not start wanting to rip my pants off halfway through a yoga session.


I am doing Bikram yoga. It is 105 degrees in the Bikram studio. And you are in there sweating your ass off – literally, like leaving wet physical body imprints on your mat every time you lay down and when you are not laying down, raining sweat on your mat that would make any rain forest proud — for an hour and a half.


I am a lot more comfortable, mentally, wearing at least below the knees yoga pants. None of that pesky “Oh fuck me, look at those knees and thighs in the mirror, no no no!” mental stuff going on.

I finally had to either start ripping longer yoga pants off at the thighs Hulk style or get yoga shorts.

Physically, I couldn’t take wet sweat soaked clinging too hot and sweaty yoga long pants syndrome any more.


Bikram totally is more comfortable in yoga shorts. Less “Jesus Christ I have to get these freaking pants off now I do not care who is watching” impulses or moments.


Sometimes my head snaps to the fact I am leaning over in very short not leaving much to the imagination skin tight shorts with a whole lot of people standing behind me and my ass is for sure at least partially exposed by riding somewhere nefarious yoga shorts not approved by the DAR yoga shorts committee.


Sweating with your knees locked, your head on the floor, and your hands locked around your heels is not the best time to adjust your shorts.

I apologize in my head to my pilgrim grandmothers and keep going.


speaking of bikram

March 4, 2013


This is pretty cool one of my Bikram instructors, Gianna Purcell, just won the 2013 National Yoga Asana competition.  If I can talk it into pasting in, this a clip of a performance by her.



doh moment #3,249,516

February 27, 2013


bikram_head_to_knee_poseI’ve been going —

To Bikram now two months. We do this pose in Bikram where you stand on one leg while holding the other out in front of you. [Let’s call it standing head to knee pose, I can’t spell the real Bikram names.] Both legs are supposed to be straight, and the first time I showed up and we did that, the instructor said, Your legs are supposed to be in an “L,” like Linda.

I figured Linda was a student who got it really right and was a good example who had been going a long time so all the instructors and most of the people in the class knew who she was. There were a couple girls in front who could be her, they had that pose down. But I was spending enough effort keeping those legs in the almost right position sweating in place I just wasn’t going to worry about who Linda was or what she was doing.

Next class, same thing. “Your legs should be in an L, like Linda.” Damn that Linda got around. Next class, same thing. And the next. And the next. For fuck’s sake, I thought, that damn Linda sure takes a lot of yoga classes.

Okay I don’t go to Bikram every day, I make it about 3 times a week. Which for me is pretty good. But it’s been two months now, and Linda is still in every class I take doing that perfect L? I looked around tonight, there was no overlap, none, in the students in front and the students who were in front in the first class I took. There just was no damn Linda.

That’s when I got it. I was completely right. There was no Linda. Every time an instructor said that, they meant “L” like the letter “L” that starts the name “Linda.”

Freaking Linda. I’m going to dream about that bitch.


sick twisted bastards

September 11, 2012


I had this —

Sick twisted bastard of a yoga instructor tonight.  I swear this guy used to reign over the Fifth Circle of Hell but he was too rough on people so they cast him out and he ended up at my yoga studio.  He didn’t just make us do terrible hard things, he made jokes while he was doing it and laughed because he knew how hard the things he was making us do were.

After I limped home and was licking my wounds thinking how damn hard that session was, and thinking, Yeah, but you’ll go back to that guy’s class, damn him, because no matter how hard it was, it was good —

It occurred to me that is quite possibly how my students think about me.  I’m not easy.  My classes are hard.  Some of them extremely hard.  I know it.  And I make jokes.  They are not mean or derogatory jokes, they are basically saying, Yeah, I feel your pain, but you still have to get that knee over that left ear so let’s go.  But they are still jokes.

There is a shirt, “I Survived Max Adams’ Structural Writing.” That shirt totally started out as a joke.  Except —

People who finish Structural Writing buy that shirt.  It’s not a joke any more.  That shirt has turned into some sort of medal of honor.

My students come back.  But after tonight, I wonder if it is maybe for a different reason than I used to think.  Damn.  I’m the sick twisted bastard instructor.

How did THAT happen?

Excuse me now, I have to go soak in a tub of hot water.


*If you do not recognize the image above, it is from Legend, Tim Curry plays a great sick twisted bastard.

*Structural Writing is only open to people who have taken previous AFW classes so don’t get all het up and try to jump in there first — I won’t let you — go look at other classes.  Like High Concept Writing and The Art of the Pitch.  Those are both coming up in a week and are good precursors.


needles and lightning

September 3, 2012


The convoluted route —

That brought me to feng shui and acupuncture and yoga — is a face off with needles and lightning.


It started with martial arts. I got into martial arts because I had been in so many violent altercations I should not have survived, I just thought maybe I should actually learn how to fight.


I got accepted by a martial arts teacher who did not take beginners.

But he took me.

According to him only a really small percentage of the population even ever has a violent physical encounter.

I’d been in more than five in your face dangerous violent situations, was a girl who weighed 110 pounds — and shouldn’t have survived any of them — but walked away every time.


[“Walked away” is an exaggeration, sometimes I crawled, sometimes I was severely limping. Maybe “stayed alive” is the better word choice here.]


We did a lot of chi work in that dojo. “Chi” as a concept is so complex I would like to just send you to Wikipedia except Wikipedia is so screwed up on chi that would screw you up worse than me explaining it. So I guess I have to take a swipe.



:::to be continued:::



dancer pose

September 2, 2012


I finally —


Made it to dancer pose in yoga the other night. It is somewhat surprising I am even doing yoga post :::The Yoga Wars of 2002:::. I was anti yoga after that for a decade but a friend was going to yoga here and dragged me along and these are apparently a kinder gentler breed of yoga people and I like it, it makes me sweat, so I keep going.

Dancer pose and most poses that involve serious balance are hard for me right now. My ballet skating ankles are gone. But there I was in yoga and the dancer pose was not happening and I was thinking, Jesus Christ Max, in the ballet days you did this standing on the point of four God damn toes, surely you can do it on a flat! Fucking! Foot!

And I got mad.

I do not think the yoga people here are real big on anger. They are much more into the contemplative meditative side of yoga. But anger is good for something. Because that’s when I sucked it up and nailed dancer pose.


:::where the art work comes from:
that is from elenaray’s flickr page:::


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