Monday, September 20, 2010

Astanga

And the ‘week of agony’ continues.

Sorry, guys. I really did try, but no matter how much hope and optimism I brought to the mat this morning, I was still faced with this heavy-feeling, lethargic body and a twitchy brain (not to mention a back that does NOT want to bend).

I was so sleepy as I started my practice I’m pretty sure I could have stopped in the middle of the sun salutations, crawled off to the futon and fallen asleep almost immediately.

But I didn’t. I kept going. I followed the breath like a path of stepping stones. Correct vinyasa is a lifesaver when I’m feeling like this. No need to worry about getting through the entire practice, I just needed to make it through the next inhalation. And exhalation. And so on. The vinyasa pulled me through.

Astanga really is amazing. There’s a lot of ground to cover in the Primary Series but (if you’re smart) you’re not thinking about that. Instead, you’re maintaining a smooth and even flow of breath. You’re holding a Driste. And, if you’re a total rockstar, you’re also engaging your Bandhas. In other words, there’s not a lot of room for thinking about anything else, which is kind of the point.

One of my students once confided to me, “I’ve never been so BUSY doing yoga!”.

It’s true. If you’re doing Astanga right, you’re too busy to think about how hard it is.

Melita posted this quote today and it immediately resonated with me:

"if we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking."

~ proverb

One foot in front of the other. One breath and the next and the next after that...I’ll be back on the mat tomorrow.

9 comments:

BP said...

Darling, I am with you...after the WS this weekend, my body said to me this morning: "WTF!!!".

Breathe in, breathe out.

Boodiba said...

Oooh I wish good shala karma for you. I hope you can manage to work a little bit of that back in. I think it'll help. ommmm chakka lakka lakka lakka

Kaivalya said...

@BP
Oh, I know *exactly* what you're describing. After DR's backbending WS, I was limping around for days - my quads were in agony!! lol

@Boodi
What's with the 'ommmm chakka lakke', are you bestowing your shala blessing on me? :-)

Boodiba said...

Yes! I'm trying to bless u with a shala home, a good teacher & great practice buddies:)

fivefootwo.com said...

I think you go through some of this hardship so you can come up with "following the breath like stepping stones" and finding the right proverb. That way you can share them and keep the rest of us going. Reward should be coming shortly....

Kaivalya said...

@Boodi
Aw, thanks! I could always move to NYC and hang with you, M and LK. I think Princess Fur would veto that, though. She adores the snow.

Kaivalya said...

@fivefootwo
I'm definitely more poetic and introspective when my practice is miserable! ;-)

Boodiba said...

We get a bit of snow here SOMEtimes but I have to admit it's not much.

ELP said...

Make this your throw away week! Next week will probably be so good you won't know what to do with yourself.

When I first started doing intermediate, it was like I was drugged at night. I was always curious about that since I thought the nerve cleansing aspect of it was supposed to kind of make you wired. Even now, after a particularly intense 2nd, it's like I was given a sedative.