I am trying to be better about taking pictures.
I hate taking photos. Always have.
And I have long hated those obligatory moments when I've gotta provide a headshot here or Hanumanasana there.
They feel crass. And self-serving. And awkward.
And they make me feel shy. I don't even like looking at other people's photos of themselves. Let alone my own.
And I hate the way the yoga biz these days is so much about flashing pretty pictures of oneself, preferably in Natarajasana or Astavakrasana, preferably on top of a mountain or in front of a sunset.
(That's a lot of hating-on.)
But I'm realizing as I get older that, well, I'm aging. And I won't be bendy forever. Someday it might be a victory to lift my arm above my head. And I wouldn't mind having a photo or two to show the young pups someday if I'm lucky enough to be around when it's hard enough to just climb a few stairs, let alone jump into Vasisthasana.
I'm 33 this year. I dig that age. (As so many people remind me, Jesus's age. No pressure, right?)
I like 33. I've liked the thirties in general. They feel grounded, solid, at ease, real. They carry a knowledge and a confidence and a "fuck 'em" attitude that my twenties did not.
(People told me that would happen. I didn't really believe them. 33 just sounded, well, blah. Like I'd lost a lot of time already. And should have my shit figured out by now.)
But as the years churn by and I see more and more folks I love dealing with worn-out knees and blown-out rotator cuffs and miserable bellies and cranky colons, I've realized, over and again, what a gift it is to have health.
Yoga is not asana. That's fer damn sure. Make no mistake.
And perhaps the more heavily I turn my attention toward the philosophy and psychology of yoga, the easier it gets to take a photo or two, because I realize how very little these poses or those knees or that ribcage have to do with the hard work of living yoga. Asanas are tools, helpmates, vehicles, for sure. And I crave them indeed, and am admittedly a cranky beast without practicing them on a regular basis. But they will have their day, and then they will pass, too. As do all things.
And grey hair.
And achy joints.
And a back that still bends.
(A little, at least. For now.)