29 May 2014

It's A Partnership

For the last week or so, I have been having a rough time in the room. I'm not talking about sitting out a posture or two. I'm talking about laying out before Triangle and staying down for the remainder of class (Monday). I'm talking about getting fed up and walking out at Camel (Tuesday). I'm talking about feeling so weak and at times ashamed of how poorly I'm doing that I started to reconsider my practice (last night during the floor series).

Let me explain. 

If you have been following along, you know that I hurt my right knee almost two months ago. It's coming along but I still have a lot if trouble balancing on it. Also, the spine series has become problematic -- Cobra is good but Locust, Full Locust, and Floor Bow are painful. Locust is the worst -- each time I attempt to lift a leg -- how do I explain this -- it just feels like there is a power failure at the base of my spine. My leg goes up an inch or two and then I run out of power and my leg falls back down. Trying to lift both legs at the same time is next to impossible. I've managed that only once since returning to practice. 

So what happens next? First, my Fixed Firm pose suffers, as I cannot always get my backside seated on the floor, which infuriates me. Then we get to Half Tortoise, which I have never been able to do correctly, and I get pissed off. Now, Camel has become an issue -- difficult to do both sets, and by then I'm ready to just quit. 

So last night during a Savasna, a horrifying thought popped in my head:

"What if I just can't do this anymore?"

There are times in one's practice that you hear the instructor's voice but aren't really hearing the words. Then there are times when those words cut through the fog in your head like thunder. Last night was one of those times. I do not recall the exact words but the basic idea was as follows:

"Try to let your mind and body work as partners. So often, when the body doesn't do what we want it to do, it becomes adversarial... It turns into 'My knees aren't working right... I can't do this...', as if the knees were you to blame. You abused your knees for years and now you're blaming them? Don't blame your body, WORK WITH YOUR BODY. Be partners. "


Those words snapped me right back. 

I made it through class and took stock of things:

My nutrition and hydration have not been up to snuff lately. Lots of sweets in the break room, few if any vegetables, not eating regularly, far too much coffee and not enough water. 

Although I have now been to over 50 classes in just over 100 days, I need to attempt a more even schedule -- no more three or four day layoffs if I can help it (fully realizing that sometimes it is unavoidable no matter how hard I try -- and that is ok -- sometimes there ARE more important issues than yoga).

I don't stretch any more before class. Why??

I may be 46 (gulp), but I'm not a damn invalid. I can do yoga! For Chrissakes, just do the damn posture!!

So, what's next? More yoga, of course... including a first on Saturday... a MasterClass.

According to the studio, we will be led, "...through Bikram's Beginner Series as we all knowit, spending extra time to share information on alignment, execution, adjustments and modification as well as medical benefits. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the yoga and take your practice to a new level; it will surely be great fun to experience a slightly more interactive and colloquial class than usual. So drink up, sign up, see you there!!"

Sounds like something I need to be a part of.

I'm in. I'll let you know how it went next week.


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