Last Friday I dragged a few of my Bostonian friends to Rochester, NY – home of garbage plates, Abbotts ice cream, and empty Kodak buildings. Mis amigos got to see the Hilton Carnival on our first night; the epitome of the town I went through grade-school in. We toured much of the Fingerlakes region the next day, mostly because I got lost while driving down to Waneta Lake (lovingly called our finger-NAIL lake).
Unfortunately, the only chance we had to do yoga asana (or poses) was a quick downward dog while tubing. I’m sure you can imagine how that turned out. Fortunately though, I had plenty of opportunities to work on the otherseven limbs of yoga. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) was forced upon us when we reached Amish country and cell phone service become nonexistent. I was given ample chances to work on “letting go” of any restrictions of energy within my hear chakra (Santosha, perhaps?). The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer constantly refers to the ways in which we sap our own physical and emotional energy by holding on to past events. This manifests in a tight feeling in your chest; the goal is to recognize when you feel this tightening and to simply let it go. As Singer puts it, the best way to stay open is to not close. Wonderful. Much easier said than done! The book gives many ways to go about doing this, and it’s written at about an 8th-grade reading level, so anyone can go for it!
Anywho. Two wonderful things happened this weekend:
1. I got to be reminded of the sweet smell of summer air in New York’s countryside (check Google Maps if you don’t believe that NY is more than NYC).
2. I was able to see the stars, in the way you only can when you’re in a town with no buildings over two stories tall. This past Sunday bore the most beautiful sky I’ve ever witnessed. That’s definitely something I miss, being in Boston. It’s just a little bittersweet though, because my “city slicker” friends (as dubbed by some family members) couldn’t take the time to look with me. Perhaps the stars mean more to me because they remind me of how much has changed for me during this past year – starting with the move to Boston.
I wish my friends really had the chance to experience all of Upstate NY, but the Tim Horton’s, deer-sightings, Taco Bell runs, Amish-loving, and of course, star-gazing, will have to wait until next time!