Thursday, November 20, 2008

Had an “opening” in my left hip yesterday, my first day practicing intermediate after a week of primary series. I have been backing off a lot of the leg behind the head stuff while teaching, and now that I’m in my time to focus on my practice, I am hitting it like a ton of bricks. I felt my soaz in upward dog after the pose going woo-woo. I took faith in the sequence of postures and the kazillion times I have done this practice before and forged ahead. Then I avoided socializing for breakfast, came home, ate like a pig, and fell asleep for two hours. Woke up fine.
I have this tendency to practice like there’s no tomorrow (Did anybody see the movie Shine about the pianist who goes crazy after his teacher tells him he must play like there is no tomorrow? Yikes!). Of course it is only my first week, and inevitably days will come where I am tired. I have been doing an hour of restorative every day, and avoiding eating after lunchtime. If Adam Poock is reading, thanks for the PT!
This overly ambitious approach to the asana is a reflection of the strength of my aspiration, as well as an OCD type refusal to be patient with myself and imperfection. I have a meditation I use while practicing, imagining Mulabandha is my connection to God. As I lift the perineum, I relax my face and imagine I am drawing in God’s love. This meditation works to counteract my tendency to work too hard down here on the ground in this little body. It is impossible to be hurt while focusing on love (Ishvara Pranidhana). For instance, when I take Chakrabandhasana with Sharath or Saraswati (he started me taking the ankles on my third day, gulp) and it comes time to “take” I relax everything but mulabandha until I am in the pose, then I push my hips forward like my savior its waiting to receive them. I put all my desire for the conscious evolution of our species into the forward motion of my hips so I may stand alone in the pose. Almost there.

It is such a tangible manifestation of possibility and limitation co-existing. I am absolutely enthralled.

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