Friday, April 23, 2010


Today's practice was a bit easier, after yesterday's rest. I could breathe.... most of the time.

Plus a miracle happened.

I was in the front row, and Lino was doing dropbacks with the person on my right. I had just finished my five backbends.

It was the exact same setup - front row, Lino on my right, just finished five backbends - as the first time I stood up from backbend in Mysore in 2004 (after three weeks prepping with Lino in Kovalam).

Something clicked in my head this morning: Lino is here and can help you psychically. It's now or never.

I bounced a couple of times and stood up like it was nothing.

But the heart was racing. It took some time to slow it down.

I waited, palms in prayer, and collected my breath as tears streamed down my cheeks.

Lino went to the back of the room.

And I thought again, "It's now or never."

So I dropped back. And stood up.

Three times. One. Two. Three.

Like it was nothing.

It's something I thought I would never, ever do again. Ever.

I stood there with arms crossed over chest - the universal symbol for "I'm ready for my dropback, Mr. DeMille" - and the tears of gratitude kept a-coming.

When Lino came to help me with the final dropback, I said,

"It's a miracle."

He looked around. "God is here?"

"Well, yes," I said.

"But I stood up from backbend - and dropped back three times!" I continued.

"What you lose, it always comes back," he explained, and made gestures indicating that the losing it part is a struggle, but is something we must all go through and isn't permanent.

"I thought that was gone forever," I said. "I thought my body was finished."

"You are young. You are strong," he said, as I crossed my arms over my chest and he helped me drop back.

And I believed him.

* * *

When we finished, and I stood up and hugged him for real (not my usual stand-offish A-frame version of a hug) and said "Thank you," I meant it from the bottom of my heart.

How giving (and forgiving) this practice is.

And how wonderful its teachers.

Vande Gurnam indeed.


Photo of CK and Lino in Kovalam (c) 2002 by Randy Parrish.


  1. I just love these stories!!!!!

    Ralph from DeKalb

  2. Thank you, Ralph!
    I just love your comments.

    (You'll be pleased to know that I am thisclose to succombing to Facebook).

  3. "God is here?" He *is* funny.

  4. Oh, I am happy for you.

    (..and she wants to join fb, great.)

    Greetings from Germany...

  5. Oh, I love this post!! :) I hope to be able to attend a workshop with Lino one day. He sounds wonderful.

  6. It is hard to respond to this post.
    So beautiful.