I stopped doing Pranayama I’d say about 5 or six months ago. Why? Because I was so tired at the end of practice that I wanted to be done, get my 2nd cup of coffee and go home. Because no one else seemed to be doing it (while at the shala at least) and I did not want to be the noisy one. And sometimes I just plain forgot to. I tried doing it before practice while still at the house, but most of the time I have to choose between coffee and the husband walk/bond or Pranayama, and I already wake up at 5:15. Yes I know some of you wake up around 4 AM and that’s why you are way more floaty and stronger than I am.
So today teacher taught another Pranayama breathing practice (do not know what it’s called) consisting of increasing the sound of our inhalation, louder every time and then reversing that by quieting the sound of the breath until it was inaudible. Let me tell you my mind got quieter than during any sitting meditation I’ve ever experienced. So I guess its time to re incorporate this part of the practice no matter how self conscious and tired I feel.
It seems to me that anytime that I have a breakthrough in asana practice it happens like this lady describes it. In other words, very seldom can I give an account of what role my efforts played in making progress except for showing up and practicing with reliable frequency. Suddenly one day…I can do something that was not doable the day before.
The fabulous Tony Andrews shared this loveliness on his twitter feed this morning and I am plastering it all over the internets.
My friend Jayme posted an article on FB from the San Diego reader quoting a parent/witness who equated ashtanga to satan worship. The best part was this:
You can spell with photos of asana! Double UD for m and double Navasana for w.
the photo is my Mencken featured in the San Diego Reader.
The lady parent was very concerned about padmasana, and offered a not a great visual of a goat head with boobs doing a half assed padmansana. I could have sent her this:
from my friends at Cultfit, now that is more unsettling, right? I don’t see why people don’t get that monsters have the biggest need to practice mindfulness and calm the freak down.
In other news, I think I have to abandon my quest to be a finalist in the shala challenge. Today is a moon day and I have had two beyond satisfying days of sweat drenched practice that I want to protect from injury. You all know what they say about exposure to that possibility during a moon day practice, jajaja. No seriously, I’m not messing with that. I will be in Maine on Sunday and traveling on Monday so it is self practice those days, and no chart to initial there. It was fun to participate like they say in beauty pageants!
Jayme just told me it is a spoof. The so called witness is named Pearl Clutcher, and even then I did not catch it. Fact and fiction trying to one up each other these days.
Carol Horton shared this latest post from
on facebook. I will start by saying that this blogger can sure write well and is no slouch. I will then continue and say that advanced asana, correct breathing and consistent drishti are not evidence of sanity. A bunch of bat shit crazy yogis with pretty beautiful practices will themselves admit it openly. I will then also add that even though my high school algebra teacher was able to transmit his knowledge to I’ll say 87% of my class, I was not part of that fortunate bunch. That means that the teacher didn’t suck and I am not a bad person, but I was not a great math student. Is yoga/math/physics for everyone? Sure, why not. The outcomes will vary according to well, variables. Yoga seems to help in prisons, where there are a bunch of really pissed off people. We all know some pretty accomplished yoga teachers and dharma teachers can end up doing some pretty appalling things. In other words, the results of a yoga practice are not uniform or constant, or predictable in a guarantee/warranty/infallible kind of way. that’s life for ya.
So Friday I posted that super long video on yoga without really watching past the beginning. Only because I was blown away by the sound of the waves crashing and the connection my brain made to what I want my breath to sound like when I practice. So this morning I kept visualizing the waves and playing with my exhale sounding like water crashing on the sand. I had one of the most meditative practices so far. It was not necessarily a strong practice because I “entertained” last night (read argued loudly about flag operations, gun control and political racism) until very very late. After I finished this morning, I was told by someone I really respect and who has known my practice since the beginning, that my practice had changed and it was no longer choppy and it had flow. To think that I almost turned around halfway when I realized I had left my wallet at home, AGAIN!
I am not what you would call a loyal sports fan. You would never know it if you saw me cheer at a soccer stadium, or on the streets of NYC during the marathon. It is one of the thrills that we are lucky to experience while being human, loosing your voice giving a bunch of people you don’t know admiration and respect(okay maybe just at the marathon on that last one). How indescribably cruel is it to plan the infliction of pain and anguish in a place that overruns with peoples’ generosity and encouragement towards others who are trying their best to be the best they can be.
They last until about 5 PM or so. Last night all my dreams had screens, tabs, Facebook updates, ping type noises, and an insane amount of instagram photos that I was supposed to archive, while answering an ever growing amount of comments on blogs that were not even mine! Needless to say I woke up a little freaked out and resolved immediately to stay away from all screens. I agree with those of you that recommend no screens or social media before practice, because today was the kind of day that you love the fact that you are sweating profusely. Okay, maybe that had nothing to do with no screen time, so we will test that again tomorrow. Broke down this afternoon, when I wanted to show off all the pretty green things I bought for planting next weekend. So I thought that writing it down here might help me go on an online fast this coming week, because you guys, humans should not be dreaming cybernetically. Yet. So unless something ridiculously dramatic happens to me (veryveryvery unlikely) I’ll see you next week.
After I scribble this I am going to sign that petition that is going around for increased safety for women in Mysore. I was not going to because I felt it was like interloping since I have never been, don’t really know who Anu is, bla bla bla. But today I found out that the young woman who has been my aunt’s room mate at the hospital for the past month, was attacked by her husband with an ax, hence all the scars on her shaved had. Up until yesterday a assumed it had been a car accident. I don’t think all the yoga in the world could have calmed the fluctuations of the mind if I had known this fact before practice today. Whatever it is that makes a little boy feel humiliated and offended to the point of wanting to hit back for being called a girl, has to stop. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, by age 4 or 5, the boy already knows its bad news to be compared to a female, the girl who gets called a tomboy is not that offended or humiliated. It does not take much to go from there to be the football player in Steubenville, moving on to the frat boys who line up to take turns, or the air force cadets who humiliate their fellow female cadets for that matter- all the way to the Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley traders who cannot seem to be able to celebrate any success without hiring a group of prostitutes and or strippers. We think we are safe her because we can walk the streets? We are actually a plane ride, an outfit, a cocktail away from being stripped of our humanity.
Delighted when it did not snow this morning, although I know why. Last night I decided to tape a huge heavy duty garbage bag over the front window of my go cart to see if I could just lift that & the snow instead of stealing my husband’s ice scraper. It is just like with umbrellas, you carry one as a precaution and it doesn’t rain! I also had a very satisfying practice, and by that I mean, I practiced presence and focus successfully even though there were athletic newbies (men!) in the room today. My primary is finally becoming meditative and sometimes it worries me to hear that staying too long in primary might cause injury. I really don’t mind just not going past the first series, while exploring intermediate twice a month with the guidance of my teacher’s led “explorations” just so I don’t feel like I’m a dodger. There are so many things I could improve upon while feeling stable and at home (most of the time). For the first time in my life I do not feel panic about not getting somewhere on time. I guess that is what teacher meant when she said we are never done when I first met her. What that meant is that the joint never closes and the offers never expire.