Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2 Views of a Yoga Practitioner

I should have done this in two posts......................oh well.

Yesterday and today I rolled out my mat at home in Iowa and practiced along with Kira's Sweet Vinyasa classes in California.  Miraculous.  I did two online classes, both with similar sequencing.  During both classes I took notes on my thoughts.  

Day One (Wed. Nov 5 Sweet Vinyasa):  My first yoga class in a while.  I had a lot of mental and physical toxins to get rid of.  Thank goodness for yoga or I would just stuff all those toxins right into my body/mind.

For some reason warrior II dance inspires me to improvise.  Maybe it's the symbolic language Kira uses to bring us into it.  She says "gather your resources" as you raise your arms and "offer them out" as you lower them to horizontal.  My mind's instant reaction today was "I'm keeping my resources.  I need them."  So I kept my hands in prayer at my heart. 

in general during this class i got cut off from myself every time Kira used the word 'charge' or asked us to feel lines of energy.  so i wrote "skipping plank and 'the lines' thing."  i was tired.

Another modification I did happened during malasana.  I was getting stressed trying to align my spine so I did the karuna, or compassion, move from Jasmine's class at the Crib.  Basically, I gave myself a hug during the squat.  It felt nice.  And my 'i hate yoga' thoughts began to decrease.  

some of the nicest moments are when i can't imagine bending to my journal at all.  this inevitably happens after every chant.  i just stand there and i can see the thought fly through my mind "ashley you should write down how nice this is" but i don't respond to it because for that nanosecond....i'm...connected??  

During savasana my thoughts ranged from "i think i do, but do i really TRULY forgive that guy?" to pondering the depth of justin timberlake's latest lyrics to repeating "already healed, already whole, already well" with my hands on my belly.  i also imagined my inner capacity expanding to be able to hold all my thoughts without being taken over by them.

Day TWO (Mon. Nov. 3 Sweet Vinyasa):

This time I knew what tricks my mind would pull.  I knew when it would call me fat, when it would complain about being forced to go through the whole rigamarole of the poses.  So I played the game too and wrote down my beginning state of mind:
  • fairly content with touch of melancholy about mysteries of finding lasting happiness
  • peaceful from reconnecting with old friends
  • would prefer to listen to recently acquired music
  • would also prefer to clean
  • would also prefer to go on a walk
  • would also prefer to blog about yesterday's practice
I love Kira's recent inclusion of easy side plank in the warmup stage.  Except I can't feel my side ribs.  It's freaky.  It helped a little to really press press press my lower hand into the earth.  

This class I had a lot fewer thoughts.  Instead I wrote down the entire sequence as we did it.  Not sure why.  Except maybe as an excuse to skip some planks...hammock is a good pose for writing.  

Again I did not want to offer my resources during the Warrior II dance.  In fact I sort of pushed the world away.  Like setting my boundaries.

One thing Kira said stuck with me all day.  She said that letting the head go is key to relaxing.  All day I've caught myself with my head jutting slightly forward, trying to control everything.  I feel a huge energetic shift when I pull it back ever so slightly and let the rest of me feel what's happening.   


alain said...

Its always so refreshing to witness (read) the honesty you have with yourself. The rebel that is me :-P supports you in your acceptance of doing things your way... thats one main thing that Kira has shown me and we have discussed. yoga is about cultivating that type of freedom... fly on beautiful dove!

Zen Muffin said...

alain i love this comment. youre so sweet! kira is sooo good about encouraging everyone to follow their own guidance. i've learned that from her too and it's so freeing isn't it??