I started my 30-day HOME Yoga journey 92 days ago.

I wasn’t very interested in the transcendental. I just wanted to feel like reality was a place worth being.

I started my 30-day HOME Yoga journey 92 days ago.

I started my 30 day HOME Yoga journey 92 days ago.

A series of Youtube videos by Yoga with Adriene, HOME promises to help you on the journey HOME while you do yoga in your home. I am assuming the HOME Adriene refers to is something more metaphysical than the one that’s attached to my mortgage. But when I started the series, I wasn’t very interested in the transcendental. I just wanted to feel like our corporal home, the one with the unmade beds and unfinished manuscripts, was a place worth being.

I should be comfortable at home. I’ve been what Trump calls a “housewife” for eleven years. Stay-at-home moms do not exclusively stay home. We can be spotted in environs as varied as public forums, protests and playgrounds. But still home is, you know, kind of our domain. We should know what to do in a home. So many mornings, I wake up feeling like, I should know what to do here. I don’t know what to do here. I don’t know what I do here.

I raise kids at home. I make dinner at home. I read at home and write at home. I create safety at home. I ask, and am asked, hard questions at home. We learn at home. And yeah, we love here too. There’s so much real work done at-home.  But there are no timetables or metrics or measurements when you stay-at-home. No end of year sales goals or mid-year product launches. On any given day, at any given time, if you asked me what I do during my stay at home, I might have a hard time answering you. So, a few months into the pandemic, after the sourdough starter turned to dust and the library books had all been read, I decided to see if at-home yoga could help me master the at-home part of staying-at-home.

The HOME videos are named things like, Stir, Ground, Ignite, Nurture and Dig. This morning, I stretched and breathed my way through Day 23: Focus. I fell over twice. The second time, the impact was loud enough to bring my eleven year old upstairs.

“Mom, are you alright?”

“I’m fine! I just can’t get Garudasana to work on the right side.”

“What’s Garudasana?”

“I don’t know. Eagle pose? It’s a shape I can’t take yet.”

When she left, I closed the door behind her and locked it. If this eagle is going to fall, there will be no witnesses.

I have my yoga mat laid out on the thin strip of floor between our bed and our closet. So when I fell, I crashed into our open closet. Riley’s shoes and shirts did not escape unscathed. Even when I keep my balance, I bump into things. When Adriene asks me to stretch forward, my knuckles hit our door, when she asks me to lift my left leg and extend it while keeping my foot active, my toes graze my desk. I could practice downstairs in the living room where there is space for all the stretching and extending, but I prefer to keep my abject humiliation in tight, hidden spaces.

So I’ve made the small space part of a very big idea: I am learning to find new shapes in restricted environments! Thing is, big ideas often cover up for small fears: I cannot bear to have anyone, even my family, witness me grimace and gasp through a beginner’s flow.

After I fell, I refolded myself. This time I used my left big toe as a “kick-stand” per Adriene’s instructions for “those that need modification”. I breathed in when she told me to breathe and felt for the places where I was exerting strength. I lifted my left toe for a moment and did not fall.

It makes, perhaps, some sense that Day 23: Focus is happening on what is really Day 92. Home has always eaten up time for me. I used to think I lacked consistency, and I suppose I do. I certainly had to sleep in sixty-nine other days to stretch out this 30-day practice. But I also think my home might be stuck in some sort of wormhole. I am as surprised to be a 35 year old mother of three as a 35 year old mother of three can be.

A few days ago, I was still trying, and failing, to nurse my first child. And somehow last week, I’d celebrate my twenty-eighth birthday, just weeks after my dad died. And wasn’t it just an hour ago that I’d sworn to write my first book by the time I turned the age I am now? The age I am now is a bookless age. I could be wasting my life. Or I could be in my own complicated beginner’s flow, witnessing myself. I don’t know what shape comes next.

Maybe this is what being at-home is. Maybe the years are supposed to run into one another, with hours linking arms and minutes crossing borders. Perhaps what I learn at 35, to breathe and bend, is something that can benefit me at 24. Certainly, the shapes I’m assuming now help me understand the shapes I twisted into then.

I think I’ll wake up and do Day 24: Uplift tomorrow. I know what I went through over the past few years and that past-Meg can use all the help she can get. Not such a bad thing for future-Meg, either. I imagine in two weeks, 53 year old me will be happy she can hold an Eagle Pose.