Bhakti and Beer

In trying to find the best photo to accompany a post about my first snowboarding experience, I sifted through some really beautiful shots of the mountain. But, in the end, I think this jug of microbrew from Double Mountain brewery just feels right.

My anticipation on the drive up was balanced out by a healthy level of terror – considering I was about to buckle myself on to an overgrown skateboard and hurl myself down the side of a mountain. For fun.

Everyone says the first day of snowboarding is the toughest. And if that’s not true I am seriously going to hurt someone. Because yesterday? Sucked. After a two-hour lesson I was so cranky that I almost cried into my greek pita lunch.

Here’s the thing I am surely starting to realize about myself: I am not a trooper. I’m just not. I would be a horrible soldier of any kind. I used to think Krishna was a whiner, but no. Nothing can top how badly I did not want to go back up that mountain after our lunch break, and I found a Gita’s worth of excuses not to do it.

And though I begged my way out of having to brave the lift again (who missed the chair? me. who flew into the barrier on the way off? me), I went back out onto the meadows for another hour or so. By the end of the day my boarding skills were beginning to measure up to my bike-riding abilities. Which basically means that I can move forward, and fast, but there is absolutely no way to stop except to throw myself, as gently as I can manage, into the earth.

My falling-down technique was pretty solid by the end of the day: Turn the board parallel to the bottom of the slop and pull up with my toes, digging my heels into the hill – which, for many, will just help them slow down. But I choose to continue the lean and fall on my ass. I find this much preferable to the toes-down method (which means falling on my face) that I also tested out quite a few times.

The best part of the day was the pizza and beer dinner. Mostly because it is safe inside, and my feet were free to move independently from one another.

Today I am sore in places I didn’t even know I used, and there’s a muscle fluttering for attention behind my right scapula. I have two more lessons paid for, and I will take them. I promise I will. With any amount of luck or grace I will not wipe out an entire tour group of show-offy ten-year-olds.

Frankly, I have no idea what any of this has to do with yoga. I’m thinking, hard. Something maybe about grace? Or finding my own personal edge? I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Maybe after my next lesson.

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