Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Led Again

So, tomorrow I am going to take Mary-Beth's led class, for the first time in about five weeks, and I am actually feeling unhappy and anxious about it. I have become very attached to Mysore-style practice, and I am feeling worried that I won't get into poses quickly enough, or I will feel disappointed when I can't bind in Marichi C and D without help (and there will be no help - no time in a led class - can't get that much special attention...and I do love attention....). Ok, now to deal with all of this. So, I acknowledged my feelings. Now let's do a reality check. So what if I don't bind in C-aution and D-anger??? I mean, it's just another day, another practice. In fact, it will be a bit of a relief to not have all of that intimate grabbing and holding being done to me, which effective as it is, can be quite draining physically and mentally.

What else is bothering me about the idea of taking this class tomorrow? To be honest, I feel really badly that I haven't seen M-B in so long. I know that is silly, because people practice the yoga they want to practice. I already learned the hard way not to make myself take classes I don't want to take for the sake of pleasing other people (see, Lauren bottoming out at Yola's SLIH studio). But still, I feel guilty. Like the way I feel guilty for not taking Narayani's classes at Jivamukti, although right now, if I were to take a class at Jiva, I would want it to be with her. Nicole, if you ever read this...hope you enjoy the shout out. :)

What else? Let's see...ok, this one is hard to say, but I actually feel kind of guilty and sheepish about having subbed her class because she is the REAL DEAL, and I am still soooooooooooooooo not. At least not yet. Now the funny thing is, my students really enjoyed the class, and they really wanted me to keep teaching it. But just because they liked it, doesn't make it "good" or "right"...I have not even finished the Primary Series (except in a Led Class and in self practice).

I know that sometimes, especially on the Upper East Side, the "best" teachers aren't the most crowd-pleasing and popular teachers. And the crowd-pleasing and popular teachers are sometimes the teachers who know a little less about yoga, are a little less experienced and are a bit less esoteric. Why is that? Because sometimes the students just want it simple and easy. Thus, the fact that the students really liked my Ashtanga class does not mean that I really am doing what Sri K. Pattabhi Jois would like to see happening with his system over here in NYC...

Fraught with self-doubt and confusion, I am...today at least. Torn between enjoying my practice at Guy's and wondering if maybe I would be better off at Eddie's, given that my practice is so much more calm and even at Eddie's. Or is it simply that I am less emotionally invested at Eddie's, since I am there less often, so I practice with more equanimity? I am still trying to figure this all out. All I know is that at Guy's, I have made sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much progress, but sometimes I feel so chaotic and frenzied there. I find myself watching other people practice, I forget to do Navasana (today - I just skipped it. I didn't even remember until after I left!). Sometimes, I get up and go to the bathroom between Janu Sirsasana C and Marichi A (A-bout time I got it). Half the time, I can't bind in Marichi B (B-ut I got it yesterday...!?), and I think it is because I know someone is going to come over and help me.

Do other practioners go through this? Do others feel burnt out sometimes? Like it is so overwhelming, and they can't believe that tomorrow they have to go and do it all over again?

I have decided I am definitely NOT going to think about going to Mysore yet. The idea is overwhelming me even more than I already am. I only started thinking about it as a 40th birthday present to myself. But I can put it off until I have less questions, until I am more settled. I also would like my own practice to be a little stronger.

Today, Mark totally changed the way I am doing my vinyasa - from chatturanga to updog, and then downdog. I was dragging the tops of my feet forward to come to downdog - now I am simply flipping my toes over, per his instruction. I can't believe that I have been doing it wrong all this time - or that I encourage my students to do it wrong. Or, is it simply just another way of doing it? In vinyasa classes, it is pretty much, whatever works. But Ashtanga is like a puzzle - the pieces all fit together in a certain way, so you have to do it a certain way. And just to prove my point - suddenly, my downdog is longer (from hands to feet), and from this stance, it is like I am FLYING my feet through to sit.

The thing is, as exciting as that is, it is freaking me out. WHY? I just feel overwhelmed by the speed at which my practice is changing, by the speed at which I am learning. I am a sponge - I am a student at heart, of everything I ever set my mind to. And this Asthanga practice just has sooooo much to soak up. So much. I feel full.

It's like, my capacity to learn the system is like a beer mug. You need to pour slowly, or the glass will overflow - not because the glass is too small or the volume you're pouring is too great, but because because the contents simply need a bit more time to settle.

Note to self: relax. It's just yoga. Practice. Practice. Practice. Each day is just another day. Each practice is just another practice.


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Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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