Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ladies' holiday...

...but now I'm back to doing yoga, finally, even if it was on a full moon. Practice was somewhat weak; my right knee is still incredibly uncooperative. It got stronger towards the end; the energy 'bridge' in Purvattanasana and Setu Bandhasana was much stronger. Almost cried in closing. Standing up from backbends I had a blood-rushing-to-head-can't-breathe panic for a minute and sat down to try and center up. Must have looked a lot worse than it felt, because walking past Miyagi tapped my head and said, "You all right, Daniel-san?"
It's been a long week.
Earlier this weekend, I had a long conversation with Miyagi in which there was much philosophic frustration (I believe it ended in, "Well, what's REAL, anyway?!") and half-shouting. My head's still spinning from all that, and it was two days ago; we'll see if it makes sense later. Directly after that conversation I spent fifteen minutes attempting my first seated meditation, which was a carnival ride. Today I read the Bhagavad Gita. Still mulling.

The Sunrise Ruby

In the early morning hour,
just before dawn, lover and beloved wake
and take a drink of water.
She asks, “Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth.”
He says, “There’s nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
to sunlight.”
This is how Hallaj said, I am God,
and told the truth!
The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself.
Completely become hearing and ear,
and wear this sun-ruby as an earring.
Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.
Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.
Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.


Sunday, December 23, 2012


“One becomes firmly established in practice only after attending to it for a long time, without interruption and with an attitude of devotion.”
 - Yoga Sutra I.14

Better, worse, or weirder...

Practice has been sporadic again recently - Thanksgiving, finals, impending Christmas doings. But I practiced in the 12:30 room today: only five of us, all self-practice. Today practice and I had a fight; practice was vicious and I was angry. Funny, that language. "It's out to get me!" My body didn't cooperate, mostly; unstable, no core strength. My right hip gave some, which was interesting, but not consistent. We're working further into my hip, further back.
I could get up into handstand but couldn't stay up; I fell over in headstand and fell dropping back. Miyagi says Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana are coming, though I can't tell; he says he can see it and I believe him. Marichyasana A had weird hip stuff today.
I really didn't want a crack-me-open practice, not today, but it just kept hammering away. I got to Baddha Konasana and was pushing hard, purposefully, bulling my way into the pain with a sort of, "I hope you get hurt, you stupid body, it would serve you right," sort of feeling - I observed this, realized what was happening, and stopped right there. None of that - not here, not today. Catharsis, sure. Intentional harm no. Went straight to backbends and closing series.
I feel like I'm in a holding pattern right now, the edge of an opening. A year in (maybe a little less?). I can do every pose in primary, at least in a modified fashion. On a really phenomenal day I can sail through everything but the Kurmasanas, no problem. Most days, practice is a mess - not neat, not clean, not pretty, not fun, and doesn't always feel good. More recently there's been a lot of anger and some hardened-up tears. Weird bodily sensations. "Yoga gets better, worse, or weirder," Miyagi says.
The thing, I think, has been that practice and I have established our own relationship. A thing that we do, a place and time, a history. There's lineage, of course, the teacher-student connection; Miyagi has become a friend as well as a teacher - but the real relationship is between me and practice. There's love and devotion there. A home.


[From late November.]

Tuesday was a moon day, and I was glad.
Wednesday was not a moon day. I did almost half of primary, and practice kinda sucked.
Thursday I woke up, looked at my alarm clock,  thought for a minute, and rolled over and went back to sleep.
Yesterday I went to practice, and it was hard. My concentration was pretty much nonexistent, my body was stiff and grumbly (although I did get the first pushed-deeper adjustment in Prasarita Padottasana c in a week or so - and didn't die! Yay!) , and for the first time I can remember I got mad during practice. Not frustrated-I-can't-get-this-pose-today mad - actually angry. I'm still trying to process this.
I have a muscle deep in the rear part of my hip (we think it's my piriformis) that aches almost constantly. It was really acting up yesterday, and a deep lotus is one of the few things that can get into it. So, even though I'm trying to be careful of my knees, I was putting myself into a full lotus for Garbha Pindasana. It was taking a minute and Miyagi looked over and said, "Bad lady, why forcing lotus?"
At the same time, I finally got my foot over my shin and into the lotus, and said, "Ha!" in satisfaction. He laughed a little and shook his head and said somewhat reprovingly, "You're one of those people who thinks you get points."
I was mad. 
I wasn't trying to get points.
("Am I the kind of person who tries to get points?")
I was trying to get my butt to stop hurting.
My feelings were kind of hurt.
But mostly I was just quietly pissed.
And there I found focus - zooming tightlipped through postures, razor-gazed on a point in the distance. I got to Savasana.  And then I started thinking, and I almost started to cry. It wasn't the reprimand, and the anger wasn't even really about the reprimand.
Just sad and angry.