Thursday, October 13, 2011

some confessions before starting

  • I've never read the Yoga Sutras, and slacked off during a Chögyam Trungpa reading group.
  • After two years of practice, I'm still working on the Primary Series.
  • I do not yet jump back, nor can I float, and I will not pretend to understand Mula Banda.
  • I stay up late, I drink occasionally, and I like to sleep in.
  • I become distracted on the mat, and sometimes I lose count. 
  • Sometimes I don't want to practice at all.
  • I have experienced jealousy, impatience, anger, heartache, frustration and vanity on the mat.
  • I do not have the Sanskrit names of the postures memorized. 
This might disqualify me from Team Ashtanga. But, truth is, I've been seeking out various Ashtanga blogs for quite some time now, searching for phrases like, "falling on head during dropbacks", "hamstring pain", or, as in just last night "crying in yoga class". I may wait to elaborate on that last one. I feel solidarity with an invisible internet community when I read something I identify with and I find encouragement to keep on with it. 

Asana-wise, I've been at the same place for about a year or so, practicing full Primary. There have been subtle physical changes since then and little posture milestones: being able to get the bind in Marichyasana D (still with assistance) and being able to lift my legs and breath in Bhujapidasana. Some things have happened very slowly, such that I was unaware of them: the opening of the hips in Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana has been a ... turtle-like... progression, and then there is the gradual deepening of backbends. If one were to tell me a year ago that I would be attempting to drop back to the floor, I wouldn't have believed it. 

More importantly, there have been mental and emotional changes to the way I approach this practice, and, by extension, my life in general. SuptaK, especially, has been a battleground for learning how to let go, to trust and surrender. Oh yes, the same thing for dropping back. Life parallels abound...

This practice is becoming a powerful tool to me, far more than I could've ever anticipated. 


DeborahS said...

mmm... the yoga sutras are darn near impenetrable. As are most things written for a different time, culture and place. It's not at all unusual to spend years working on 1st series. Some of us less traditional folks move on anyways and take our chances. My left hamstring is killing me, and I can't bind in mari D with or without assistance, probably because sometimes I stay up late and drink, or maybe it's the afternoon snacking I'm having trouble learning to curtail. Despair not. It's a process.

wandering mb said...

Hi there. You're right. Although I've been throwing a fit with drop backs lately, I recognize that it's definitely a process. I'm learning a lot about myself as I wait for things to open.

Thanks for stopping by!