Guest Blogger Rachel Mariner Talks about Yoga, Life, Love, and her New Play

Hello. I am the person sitting on a purple block who checks her watch pointedly when you come in late. 

I’m American. Cambridge is strange and I don’t always love it.  I’m grateful to CAMYOGA. Thank God for that hour and fifteen minutes two or three times a week when I can be a tree, a dog, a pigeon. I started at CAMYOGA because my gym sucked. Of course the door I opened was to my soul, not really to toned triceps and a sufficiently elevated heart rate. 

I sort of have the triceps, but more importantly, I make friends with my mortality in savasana. Sometimes I remember the principle of non-harm and stop internally yelling at myself for five minutes. I wonder what I must do to serve myself. My body and mind have a sanctuary on Union Road. 

As I write, I have a strange melancholy ache just in my jaw, at the back of my neck, descending to my heart. My aunt died last week, the same day as Prince and as I buzz through life linearly, rationally, efficiently - my heart is stationary. It honours the dead. The truth that everything is fleeting is somehow situated in my own body. Thank you yoga, I guess. 

I joined CAMYOGA in 2011 primarily to take Hot Yoga during the day. Those were the days of Shyan Bliss. There would be about four people in the class and he would talk about using fire breath to reach an altered state on public transport and having to be helped off the bus. I loved grave Tom at reception and the bouncy joy of Anna Jackson and the fluidity of the odd class with Louise PM herself. Then came Janine Tandy, who I used to examine quite closely during classes because she was so perfect I suspected she was a cyborg. I started Ashtanga on Sunday mornings with Howard and laughed. It was like a Cirque du Soleil rehearsal.  

I settled into the magnificent and powerful groove of Andrea Price’s Tues and Thurs 10 am class 2012 and 2013. I cried my way through restorative yoga at 11:30 on Friday, Beverley Nolan’s infinitely patient hand on my chest, teaching me to follow my breath. I know that my practice at Camyoga has made me a better writer because it has made me kinder to myself and braver about leaving my comfort zone. That was all Andrea ever talked about! There we all were, exiled from our comfort zone and growing so much as people. And sometimes crying in the changing room, which was awkward but kind of ok. Andrea’s class in 2013 was something very special.  When do women feel themselves in a room full of empathy? When indeed? 

And now I am grooving on all the gifts of Rachael Moore’s class, her own connection to her own feminine energy is an electric inspiration on Wednesday. And somehow I have been in Ashtanga for five years with the gentle and lovely Emma Lindsay and I totally think of myself as a beginner.  

Bill Clinton Hercules: Thursday 12 May 7.30pm at The Junction, Cambridge

You’re invited to come see my play. It may be on its surface about the doings of the 42nd President of the United States but it’s really about love, peace and heroes.  And it is more about what is to be found on the mat than what is to be found at the White House.

On Thursday 12 May 2016, Bill Clinton Hercules is in Cambridge for one night only. Everyone from CAMYOGA is warmly invited.

In fact, Camyogis can get 10% off their ticket using the code CLINTON10 at the checkout.

Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Junction

Rachel Mariner

Our guest blogger Rachel Mariner is an American attorney and playwright living in Cambridge. She has been a member of CAMYOGA since 2011.