Monday, July 4, 2011

Accidental Hiatus

Summer was seductive and elusive this year. She approached coyly, dancing just out of reach, then finally swept me up in a tight embrace. I found myself instantly smitten, dizzy with heat and honeysuckle and the intoxicating glow of day lilies.

I've been so distracted! I think I'm in love :-D. This is my season! I adore the sun, I crave the heat and luxuriate in the slower pace of the summer months. I even love the humidity (you can take a girl out of the South, but I guess you can't take the South out of the girl!).

I haven't been blogging because I've been busy soaking up sunshine under flawless blue skies, snacking on fresh-picked mulberries along endless afternoon walks and spending my evenings on the balcony with friends, watching sunsets paint the skyscrapers pink.

I've also been doing a LOT of yoga. During the last weeks of June, my teaching schedule trickled to part-time. On most days, in addition to morning Mysore practice, I've been going to other yoga classes. A dear, longtime friend of mine is visiting from abroad. He loves hot yoga so I've been going to as many hot classes as I can fit in. I've been revisiting some of my favourite teachers at Hot Central and it's been so much fun! I've also been attending a couple of vinyasa classes each week and filling in the gaps with some fun home practices.

I should also come clean about something: I haven't been writing because I really don't know what to say about my practice.

I'm in the first months with this new-to-me teacher in a new shala with rules that I'm still trying to figure out. Practising in this room sometimes feels like a game of Whac-a-Mole. You know the one I'm talking about? At carnivals?

The player holds a big, soft 'hammer' and the 'moles' stick their heads out. But as quickly as they appear, they disappear. One appears in a corner and you think you've nailed it, but another one pops up just as quickly in the far corner. Then another, then another, all in different places. It's disorienting. You can't keep up with them!

Photo credit: Filched off the Internet. If it's yours, let me know and I'll credit you.

I've been bombarded with a lot of new information over the past three months, which I'm slowly trying to integrate into my practice. But whenever I think I've finally figured something out, another thing pops up. I think DT is sometimes frustrated by my seeming inattention to the details, but I really *am* listening to her. It's just a lot to process. My practice has changed ten-fold in the past three months. I think my brain is still catching up with my body.

Sometimes, I feel a bit lost.

After years of practising Primary, I'm facing Intermediate on my mat every day. I never thought I would be here. I used to insist that I would never get to second series. Only very recently have I started to feel like this is *my* practice, the work I'm supposed to be doing. For a while there, I felt like an interloper, doing someone else's yoga practice. Intermediate is challenging and awesome, but I still snuggle back into Primary on Fridays, feeling like a child sheltering under a favourite blanket.

I've made new friends at the new place. My new-favourite-shala-buddy practises right next to me - we share jokes and commiserate over LBH together and she's SO full of awesome. I enjoy being in a room where people support one another and laugh out loud during the funny moments.

But the majority of my shalamates share this common history, having followed DT from her last room. I'm one of a few who came from elsewhere. There are moments when I feel like stranger and wonder if I'll ever really fit in with this crowd.

My practice continues to evolve. Laghu Vajrasana is no longer the FML pose. I can come down to the floor and stay for five (very short) breaths before coming up again. I'm trying to build strength and endurance to stay in the pose longer and come up stronger. I'm also trying to translate the action into the Kapotasana exit.

The leg-behind-head stuff vacillates between 'awesome' and 'agony'. But swinging my legs into Dwi Pada Sirsasana is so natural now, it's hard to believe it ever felt impossible. During my weekly Primary, I regularly Dwi Pada into Supta Kurmasana, lower down, and then do the full exit when I'm done. It's one of the most satisfying moments of my week. :-D

I will try to write here more often. I might take a page from my friend Serene Flavour's book and write shorter posts. I know I'm going to feel like a moving target when I blog about getting new poses, but the reality is, I'm doing Intermediate for real. This is my practice now.

I'm still smarting a bit from the criticism that was lobbed at me when I split Primary (it wasn't the anonymous jabs that stung the most - the real hurt came from people I considered friends). I'm still feeling alienated and wary of the Cybershala these days. I email with a few people and follow a handful of blogs, but I'm not on Twitter much anymore and I've withdrawn into the 'real world' which isn't such a bad thing, actually.

But I've cultivated this web-space with such care and honesty over the years, I'd like to maintain it. So I'll take a stab at posting daily this week and see how it goes..

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Anonymous said...

Dear Kai, nice progress!!

Anonymous said...

Best first paragraph ever. cheers to summer!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Kai!

AEMG said...

Thank you for posting again and for writing your blog at all. As far as I am concerned, your blog is a free, beautiful goft which you give anybody who should choose to read it. Anybody who would write disparaging and judgmental comments seems to me to have forgotten that the purpose of yoga is to open our hearts and minds so that there is joy is our individual and collective lives. Take care and enjoy your practice. Alex

Anonymous said...

Missed you lots! Whether its Once a day or once a week, I am sure all of your followers will be happy, just please don't leave!!!

Carmen said...

To my-new-fav-and-admirable-shala-buddy who practices next to me,

AWWWWWWW....=) Likewise, it's nice to practice next to someone who has accomplished so much more in the Intermediate series than I have. I sometimes peer over to see what my future holds for me in the series. =) and it's been wonderful to see your progression. Hopefully, I'll have the same positive results too. p.s. kinda hard not to laugh when we are all thinking the same thing with our practice (aka "you want me to do wha? engage what? really") =))

Kaivalya said...

Where are you!!!? My LBH poses totally went into the toilet this week and I'm pretty sure it's because you weren't in your spot! ;-) Hope everything is're missed!