“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
This is one of many famous phrases of the legendary ancient Chinese philosopher, Laozi.
I say this when I walk through the doors of Meijer to fetch my family some milk. I know the journey ahead is long and tiresome. I know that the milk is located at the very back of the store. Before attempting this quest one must be in rude health with a solid mapped out plan of frequent resting places; I was once rash enough to try this hike ill-prepared only to give it up halfway, exhausted. Took a nap in the cereal aisle, woke up, grabbed a box of Cracklin’ Oat Bran, ate it right there on the floor, stood up, dusted myself off, took the empty box to the self checkout, provided legal tender, asked the greeter person the location of a recycling bin, she informed me it is located 3,000 miles past the milk, to which I gave the most ruthless savage side eye I could muster before walking out the doors for home. No milk. Sorry fam. Shit is TOO FAR AWAY. Straight up. Why I gotta part the Red Sea and walk for 40 years just to get to the land of MILK, ay Meijer?! WHY?!
“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” Another good quote from homeboy Laozi. And this is what I told my kids when they asked why our fridge is devoid of milk: “Because your mother is a good traveler, not a lousy one.” And they tilted their heads to the side, slightly confused by my third person jabber whilst eating their dry cereal before school. I’m picturing Laozi standing there, arms crossed, shaking his head at my parenting techniques, like “Y’all are TRIPPIN’ right now because that is not what I meant. ‘Stay Woke’? More like…#GETWOKE.” How do we get woke? Here’s a possible answer: YOGA. More specifically: YogiBarre with Kim!
Kim is such a fantastic teacher. I really enjoy her so much. She is prepared, she is precise, she is present and ready to teach. This does not mean she won’t throw down a 360-degree tomahawk jam from time to time, like “Ohhhhh I thought you were ASLEEP! GET THOSE HEELS UP!” -to which we all nervously laugh and promptly obey. Kim will tell you the specific body part or muscle that needs to be putting in work during each tuck/hold/stretch, so instead of fumbling with the form I’m unsure of I put my focus on the muscle she says- this, along with her examples and explanations, is immensely helpful. Kim is a pro at barre and yoga, in my opinion, not because of how long she’s been at it or techniques she’s mastered, regardless of certification or any of that biz. Kim is a pro because you can tell she truly, truly loves it. It’s in her DNA. Her passion for yoga and barre shines out her whole face and body, yet she still stays humble. She’s in it for the journey. Last night during class she said: “Hey, this stuff is not easy. And it doesn’t get easier, ever. Gotta work at it every single day- I know I do. I love it!” <--That’s love for the game. That’s a pro. Here’s another good Laozi quote (this dude is full of good junk I tell you): “Those who KNOW, do not say. Those who SAY, do not know.” <--And here is the point of Alicia’s entire blog, ya HEARD?! I don’t know jack about anything. Yoga/Barre especially. I am winging it each day- I told this to Phyllis. She said: “We are ALL winging it, are you kidding me? I don’t even know if I’ll make it out of this steam room alive but here I am, day after day. Every single person in this building could croak at any minute. Me especially. Are you certified in CPR? You know what, don’t answer that.” So here’s the point of this rambling blog today: If you haven’t taken a Yogi Barre class yet, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend you do. Yoga is mysterious and cool and I’ve never tried it, but after one class with Kim I went straight to the library and found all these Yoga books (this is where I first read about Laozi); went down the wormhole of the practice to find it’s fascinating and intense and slightly confusing. But here’s what your girl Leash thinks: we don’t need to understand stuff all the time, we just need to respect it. And that’s where I’m at with Yoga currently. Anne LaMott is quoted in the book L iving Yoga by 90s supermodel Christy Turlington (Twas the first book I found on the shelf and I’m telling you- it is LEGIT): “I do not understand the mystery of grace- only that it meets us where were are, but does not leave us where it found us.” I’m bouda tweet that shit straight UP! My girl Anne is face palming reading that along with my bae Laozi but whatever. I don’t understand Yoga fully and most likely never will- but that goes back to being a good traveler, am I right? I’m just going to go for it. So who is comin’ with me?! Grab yer rucksacks and some bananas. First stop is the milk fridge at the back of fricking Meijer. And then? Enlightenment. #AsanaLaVista, Alicia A. Yogini Wilkdeezy