Hips Don’t Lie

And neither does scientific analysis of paint pigment. Yes: it’s true. After three years (the time it takes to get a BA if you’re really smart, the time it takes to turn a fetus into a pre-schooler, the length of time you can spend renovating your house if you run out of money half-way through) the experts have decided that a portrait of Shakespeare owned by Alec Cobbe, an art restorer, is the only painting of Shakespeare actually produced while the bard was alive.

“[Professor Stanley] Wells told CNN that the two other confirmed portraits of Shakespeare are “very dull” and that this newest portrait is of much higher quality.

The piece has been in the Cobbe family for generations before it came into Alec Cobbe’s possession. The Irish family owned a number of pieces from the collection of the third Earl of Southampton, a patron of Shakespeare’s. That lineage offers even further support that the painting is authentic.” [click for full article]

Other images of Shakespeare accurately depict him, but were not painted in his lifetime thus not are not “authentic.” This issue of authenticity in the art world always makes sense when we start talking about it, but then not so much when you really think about it. Who cares if it is a Picasso or just really looks like a Picasso? The role that “Art” plays in our culture is clearly not just about aesthetics, it’s about process, foundation, historical context. There’s definitely a philosophical question at hand here, and while I can’t answer it in those terms, it does make me think of….yes! you guessed it…yoga! (This is the momentous turning point in the blog post where I answer the question, Why is this post called “Hips Don’t Lie?”)

You see, for some time, I have been practicing forged yoga. I have been able (in my humble opinion) to look like I’m doing a good job at yoga. In my classes at Crunch, people are always saying how flexible I am, and I thought I had really open hips. I thought, Wow. I am like THE Demoiselles D’Avignon of yoga, ya know? I should really take an immersion.

Well! It turns out that when you run my paint through just a few rounds scientific testing, it turns out that I am..how can I put this nicely? Pretty gosh darn not good at yoga. Basically, I’d been using poor form to fake my way through appearing to be open. It turns out, when I set up my foundation correctly, my hips are TIGHT. My yoga practice, like my teeth, is pretty on the outside, rotting on the inside. And it is my hips, my non-lying hips, that have spoken out to reveal that I have been faking my way through yoga.

And what is locked in the hips? Creativity, Emotion, Pain, Intention, and other things that can remain unmentioned on my pG-13, company-affiliated blog. And while part of me wishes that I waited to do an immersion until I was actually at the right level of practice, there is still a lot I can glean from the Tantric philosophy of embracing both the good and the parts of life and embodiment.

In Anusara/Tantra, the bad things in life are shrouds, and we have them so that we can undergo the experience of removing them. So, yes, I’ve enrolled in an intensive yoga course that is a bit beyond my level. It hurts, it’s hard, there’s little I can be “proud” of. But it’s shown me if you fake it, you eventually get caught, because (here it goes): Hips don’t lie! Your creative impulses will come back to bite you in the ass. (And that strained tendon in my hamstring really does feel like a bite, believe me. But apparently it’s called “yoga butt” and is common enough to get its own name-at least I’m not alone!)

What I’ve done by enrolling in the immersion is to commit to an exploration. And if exploring has so far done nothing but show my weakness, so be it. The demand for authenticity, whether it be in a Shakespeare portrait, or in my hips, is apparently in a necessary condition for creative expression.

So let’s go real slow…


4 thoughts on “Hips Don’t Lie

  1. I can relate to your frustrations. Its how I used to feel in yoga class. But I’ve just started some more serious yoga studies as well. And this time round, I’m finding it exciting to discover what I do and don’t know. Where my weaknesses and strengths are. It shows me the areas I can still become stronger and/or more open in. Which is wonderful.Yoga isn’t a competition, especially not with ourselves. Sometimes, its easy to think that way. Give your hips a break, and remember to keep breathing. They’ll open when they’re ready 🙂

  2. i hear ya. I do pilates and if you do it RIGHT, you can’t cheat, but it is so easy to do it wrong, and then cheating is easy, and not always obvious to anyone watching. Thanks for reminder that the only one I am really fooling is myself!!

  3. “Who cares if it is a Picasso or just really looks like a Picasso? The role that ‘Art’ plays in our culture is clearly not just about aesthetics, it’s about process, foundation, historical context.”I like this, a lot. It’s a much more complete picture. But then again, maybe the fact that it actually is a Picasso is critical historical context?

  4. Hi! I randomly found your journal through some other online-yogis.I just discovered Anusara this week.I’ve been practicing Ashtanga on and off for the past 3 years and recently I had a flair up of Sciatica…twice!So I thought I would try another style of yoga outside of the ones I’ve already tried.However…I think I found a practice that might really work for me…and with me.I am going to sign up for the Fundamentals course. I hope to do an Immersion in the future.Nice to meet you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s