If you have been around yoga for a bit, you have probably heard the term “energetic opening”. It loosely means that something that originally was sore/tight/tender/injured or all of those bundled up, ends up disappearing while leaving you with capacities you did not posses beforehand. This is a polarizing subject and I have not had too many of these energetic instances (just two really) to write about it with authority. All I have to report is that I had a shoulder/neck somewhere there painful tangle for an entire month (maybe more) where I could only do closing scooting my ass against a wall. Well today, after a seven hour drive the day before, closing and back bending felt like I had new body parts. Not just no pain, but actual progress. I am not claiming that injury recovery works like this every single time like in a lab experiment, but I can now count this episode to add to another one way way back when a hamstring injury healed itself into head on the floor in Prasarita A. I would like to emphasize that I am not known for reaching for my edge, I am rather known for avoidance of all edges, and that is why I probably only have to energetic openings to share. What I’m saying is please do not consider this a one paragraph manifesto for pain is gain. I am saying that pain can be one just one, indication of change in your range of motion.
There is some disagreement on spelling and pronunciation, but absolutely none on definition or meaning. I found this on Facebook (No,really??) http://ashtangapictureproject.com/body-dysmophia-yoga-community/
I can tell you why it still is a thing. Because we still look at body parts like if we could purchase/shop/barter/work/ for them. When I say we, I really mean women. And as consumers of this meat market, we can stop shopping anytime. Really. Keep analyzing Kathy’s tush, and at Kino’s abs, while dreaming of Peg’s bicep’s, and Laruga’s legs (ALL THESE ARBITRARY STREAM OF THOUGHT BTW) and be confident that your dysmorphia will be well nourished. I know you look at David Robson’s, practice, and you check David Garrigue’s videos. DO not get me started on Matthew Sweeney. You look at their practice don’t you? Hehehe. You look at what their bodies can do, not what their bodies look like while doing it, right? Try looking at KIno and at Laruga with the same respect. Rant over.
I enjoy reading a blog called Gravel and Rust written by a fabulous woman called Roxie. it has nothing and sometimes everything to do with yoga. She writes beautiful prose with absolutely no attitude. She sometimes finds some other awesome writing that then shares as well, like in the instance below:
“Beware of how much shame you include in the preparation of your personal motivational cocktail” really caught my eye. It applies to your practice, your self care, your Dharma, or your day job. Thanks Roxie.
This question always rolls around my brain like a marble whenever my practice is not making me pant (with a closed mouth of course) and the sweat is not stinging my eyes for whatever reason. How come I was given additional poses when still after 6 years of practice I cannot bind in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana? On either side. Same with Ardha Baddha PP, which I sort of had but it went away sometime around the end of 2012. Anyway, I always hear that when you go to Mysore you get stopped at the asana you cannot perform in it’s full expression. Doesn’t that mean that I should be doing just standing until I somehow get my act together? I want to make it clear that I am in no way second guessing my teacher, who probably knows my practice better than I do, since she can be more objective and has no whacky inner voice agenda whining away (about me anyway). It’s just that some days, today being one, I feel stupid from the minute I jump into the modified Bhuja, to the non existent Kurmasana & Supta K. I regain some dignity during rolling through Garbha P and manage to keep it going all the way until the who the hell knows how it’s going to go today in Setu Bandhasana. Closing is closing and I no longer fret about whether Sirsasana will ever materialize unassisted. I just want to say that the rolling marble in my head would like to know what type of practice would I be doing in a very traditional by the book mysore room. Maybe the marble is also rolling because Grimmly recently wrote about what Yoga Mala says on what asanas to practice when you are middle aged, which at 56 is somewhere past the middle.
I casually clicked on this NYT video last week and stumbled on ASMR. The good news is I am one of those few who respond to Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. The bad news is that I cannot sleep without listening to the girl with the Dutch accent who has no idea she is holding a Lilac bloom, and I know subscribe to her youtube channel. My second favorite is the Lego lady. Don’t judge me, I have not slept this well in years and hopping right to the mat is way easier now.
It might be seeing evidence of progress in reaching out for patience when things get stuck or malfunction. Maybe it takes six years of the yoga. Also, and feel free to laugh, this internet connection sometimes provides free good advice therapy and inspiration all in one tweet some days. For instance today, I read a tweet from cyber acquaintance fellow ashtangi Tony which said that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I read this before reclaiming my tiny go cart that my daughter had been borrowing to go shopping for her own ride. It turns out she and her husband pulled on the emergency brake so hard this time, that I can’t push it back down and it is completely stuck. If I had done this before surfing the cybernets and finding that quote, my story for this would be- this is a symbol of what is happening to my life right now and the emergency brakes are always on and there is no emergency. Instead ,I remembered the twitter oracle and decided to wait until later to try again, or wait for Ray to give me some alternatives, or call Scion for my free 24 months roadside assistance if I decide it is necessary. I have also began exercising some patience with that extra breath I have to take before Astau in Sury B which I always feel embarrassed and guilty for taking, until I realized I was alone and it was not like I could do it without taking it and was not doing it on purpose. Which curiously enough, the person over at Cultfit wrote today about how we sometimes ruin our experiences by wanting to be in sync with the “crowd”. Yes, even when they are not in the same room. Stopping or slowing down do not equate to incorrect or bad. It is what it is.