Via Hilary Lindsay
on Sep 12, 2011
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It’s the memory of the first kiss and the practice of the last breath  – Hilary

Rob Lindsay photo

There’s a being in love that bears no name, needs no process, has no method. It’s the love understood and unspoken except in gesture. This was my love of yoga but I didn’t realize that until I walked out of love unspoken into something confused, trying to find itself in discussion, in process, in judge and jury in plaintiff and accused.

Rolling Stone Magazine and one of my yoga magazine subscriptions arrived in the mail together. I dropped them on the kitchen counter and after a cursory glance at the yoga magazine, I picked up Rolling Stone. That was several months and several untouched yoga magazines ago. The writing was on the wall.

Full up with yoga in the way one is bursting in an airtight car sinking into a pond; thin skin, suffocating a swollen dam I kept writing about it to record and release it. Yoga is my art, a craft, an experiment a dance. Yoga is a body with questions embraced by a searching mind rolling in the emotional field, imbued by cosmic ancestors.  When did this relationship begin to feel like a thing?

Competition and desire appeared hand in hand when yoga became popular.  Things got complicated. Yoga fostered feuds and created as many opinions as fashions. The nature of the business changed with the internet. Everybody’s teaching. Everybody’s talking yoga. (I recently heard a questionable statistic that 18% of all housewives are getting certified to teach yoga.) Yoga may not have been devalued but it felt like it.  I hid out; rarely entered a yoga space other than my own. Conversely I took my journal to the web. It felt like a natural progression. I wasn’t alone. If everyone is doing yoga and everyone is on the web then the web is going to be flush with yoga talk.

Where is the space to exhale a yogic thought with so many others’ thoughts pressing in?  Without being able to exhale I cannot breathe in. A walk through the internet reveals so many like minds and like a prolonged use of preventative medicine, what was once helpful began to block my natural process from functioning. I pulled back from the web. My non-writing hand flipped the bird into an ill wind of inconsequential blathering.  If I had nothing to say, then I would say nothing.  It felt like my heart was empty though I later discovered was that it was too full

I’d left the web and I’d left the yoga community.  Frankly, the solitude would have been bliss but for the words of a stranger running through my head; if you are content at what you cease to master, you won’t continue to grow. I pictured myself standing in the surf, the undertow sucking my feet into cement, the next wave knocking me on my face. I’m staring at the card on this desk that my brother sent for my birthday;”I live in my own little world but that’s O.K., they know me here”.  My husband concurs that nothing could be truer. The voice whispers; Wake up and hear the harmonium Wendy, we’re not in Neverland anymore. I know it’s time for a look around. I am not all that content. I have a desire to grow.

I hid out in a town where yoga turned sour so long ago that it might smell like roses now and I wouldn’t know it. I decided to leave the comfort of a life that kept distractions and politics at bay. I would take a yoga pilgrimage into my own turf. I would have something to write about. I would open my mind and spill my guts.

I am a piece of this town’s history. I am a piece of yoga history too but history stands still while time does not.  A colleague introduces me to a new teacher. “Do you know Hilary Lindsay?”  “No, but I’ve heard of you”.  That’s just fine with me. I won’t be anonymous as I step into every studio that’s sprung up in this town but I don’t care.

So after a scant and interrupted sleep after another day of sharing my birthday with celebratory and fearlessly joyful friends, my hangover and I entered a yoga class.  It is time to see if there’s something to talk about.

(I began a post along the same lines during the debt ceiling crisis which I never posted. I will post it next as an addendum. One of these days, I will begin posting the pilgrimage).


About Hilary Lindsay

Hilary Lindsay created the first comprehensive yoga program in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, choreographed videos for athletes, introduced yoga and meditation to the Nashville public school system and continues to work one on one with private clients including the Nashville Predators. She has been covered by popular magazines and television shows and has worked for a variety of publications as a yoga expert. She authored a chapter in Yoga In America, a book published at the forefront of the discussion among yoga teachers about contemporary yoga in America. Additional writing can be found at as well as the Journal pages of her yoga site. Hilary teaches classes and workshops in consciousness through movement. Her medium is yoga. Her method is exploring the language of the body in light of the eight limbs. Find her at


12 Responses to “Released.”

  1. drbinder says:

    Hilary, I remain captivated by your effortless stroke of the keys which fashioned this poetic ode to yoga (may I call it that?). I think that no matter what you find in your towns current yoga scene, (post Hilary) there will be something worth talking about. And if there is nothing there, I'm sure you'll still find an interesting way to transcribe that nothingness scenario into a poetic ensemble that is worthy of any blogging community on the net.

  2. drbinder says:

    OH! Brilliant picture as well (especially for this piece). Let me ask. Are you the one jumping out of the plane? Or are you the plane unloading some old conception and flying off to new ventures abroad?

  3. Carol Horton says:

    Beautifully written. Looking forward to hearing about what comes next. Much love.

  4. "let me ask" I think not. You may not ask. Then I would have to tell you the truth. I am not nearly deep enough for either suggestion. Well, O.K., I took the leap. But now I wish I would have been the plane. Are you calling me an old conception! My husband shot that photo on a recent job. I had to publish the post so I could use it. Big love to you.

  5. Much love back to you. Much of this came from telling you I had run out of insight on yoga and saying I'd get out there so I could manage a few opinions. So thank you for the kick in the ass. Damn, it was overdue. H

  6. sharonna says:

    You’re back! Can’t wait to hear of your adventures into all the new yoga studios in town springing up in every suburban strip mall and corner office building it seems. Let me know if you discover any rebel yogi's there. I miss my tribe.I have to say and this is going to sound so wrong coming from a feminist but 18% of housewives are now going to certification classes to teach yoga? For real? So yoga is the new "aerobics class" from the 80's. Everyone is doing it now? Flailing around and trying to find postures and spirituality in a hen yard? I know…how dare I, but that has been my experience lately in the last several yoga classes I have hoped to love…..but alas….there was no spark….not even a smoldering ember to entice me

  7. Tanya Lee Markul says:

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  8. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  9. Beautifully written.
    Can't believe those statistics: 18% of housewives are becoming qualified to teach yoga? Wow!
    Hope you gain something from your classes. Learning should never cease. 🙂

  10. Thanks Alis, Learning should not ever cease for sure! My home town has changed so quickly while I've kept teaching and learning but what I don't know is what yoga has become as a practice or a teaching for the large and new wave of teachers and students. I am entering the studios less as a yoga student than a writer doing research but I suspect I will learn much more than what yoga has become in this southern city in the year 2011. All the best, Hilary

  11. Jerilyn says:

    To thine own calling be true! Keep following your heart, Hilary! You are still a legend in this town with years of hard, easy wisdom to be stretched across our tightly wound theories. I reposted your article, oh poetess friend!

  12. Sorry for the late response. I never saw this till now. Thank you thank you thank you. Big love to you.