A recent influx of interesting posts by ashtanga writers has prompted me to dust off this blog. Cough, cough.
Rachel writes about pain/discomfort/difficulty and how the practice gives us, hopefully, ideally, eventually, the wisdom to react appropriately to it. One of the greatest benefits of having an experienced teacher is that until you have developed that wisdom in your own body, there is someone ready to take you to the places you don’t think your body can go (heels in kapotasana, bound in mari d, whatever it is), but who also knows when to say, ok, that’s enough for today. Take rest. Try again tomorrow. If we’re talking about gratitude (and it’s the week after Thanksgiving, so why not), I am extremely grateful to my teachers who have helped me through that process countless times over the years. Try, fail, try, fail, try, fail, the endless loop towards insanity gets broken a bit when someone steps in and shows you, with a physical adjustment or a different cue, that something is possible. Or, that you need to let go of the result a little bit.
Angela gives us (well, this was a while ago) some pointers on how to wake up for yoga.I think it’s useful to remember that these categories we put ourselves in, “morning people” or “night owls,” are impermanent and heavily influenced by our habitual behaviors. I can say that because I’m a morning person, right? A true “early morning” for me is defined as a 4:30am alarm, because any later than that is just normal. Still, I used to abhor waking up before 10, and I chose classes in college based on whether they started after 11am, after I slept through the alarm and missed my 9am theatre history class way too many times. (Side note: I still have nightmares about that final exam, except it’s usually astronomy, or biology. But I digress.) Point is, if we change the behaviors that lead us to believe we can’t wake up early every day, then we can do it. Not the easiest thing to do, but not exactly rocket science either. Of course, this depends entirely on us wanting to be morning people. If I hadn’t felt something truly amazing was happening when I started going down the Ashtanga Yoga Rabbit Hole, no way would I have considered changing my entire life for the practice. There would have been no need. So there’s that: you’ve got to want it.
Yet another NYT article on yoga popped up, this time by an ex-Ashtangi who writes that the practice did not deliver the results she was looking for (Her exact words: “What it did not make me was skinny.”), so she went to a (gasp!) personal trainer. Immediately several ashtanga bloggers took her on. Two of my favorites were from Leaping Lanka and The Confluence Countdown.
I am now in possession of a passport with a ten-year Indian visa. One more step, done. Seven weeks to go.
In news unrelated to ashtanga: It is wonderful to live in Minnesota. For many reasons, not the least of which is that I got to spend Thanksgiving with my family without having to travel AT ALL.