Friday, May 19, 2006

Blog and run

I have a few minutes before I head over to Bikram, so I figured I'd give a quick blog-down of my day yesterday. So, let's see...

Ashtanga practice was really really good. Thanks to some soul searching and blogging, as well as a really good chat with Sergio, I decided that my practice was suffering from a really bad case of ambition and that if my Ego wasn't going to ruin it for my Self, I was going to have to take a fresh view of Supta K and its role and place in my practice. As such, Supta K has become dessert, after a feast of Marichyasanas. And practice yesterday was so good, as a result, that I have decided not to sully the memory of it by trying to recapture it today. Insteady, I have decided to go sweat-box it, and afterwards, do my Marichyasanas and backbending. I do think that over time, Bikram is going to become more important to me as a supplement to Ashtanga. After discussions with mi mama, it has become apparent that I may indeed posses a genetic predisposition for troublesome shoulder joints. On the bright side, mom has the most muscular legs I have ever seen on a non-professional athlete and even at cough, 63, cough, still has NO hip or knee problems whatsoever. I would even go so far as to say that my mom has open hips. She did birth a 8 and a half pound baby without drugs back in the day. Can't say the same for myself - Addie, my strapping 9 pound second-born - was pulled from my tummy, alas. His broad shoulders and barrel-chest were not going anywhere any other way.

Anyway...after practice, I lazed around, non-blogging, but chattting with my Canary Islands friend, then took Lewis on a long walk, and then just as I was about to sit down again to blog, I got a call from my friend Christine, who was walking around the Upper East Side and wanted to go sit in a cafe and loll away the sunny afternoon (our kids were in their afterschool activities). And so we did. And it was good. Sometime during the day I found out that Tom, of Tom and Daisy, has been sentenced to 37 months in jail. The judge said that he "deserved no leniency because he had everything going for him" when he cheated investors, "in response to a financial crisis he caused himself by spending far more than he earned." No judgements, just an update here.

Later in the evening, I sat down to read the Yoga International I had picked up for the unreasonable, no, obscene, cost of $3.99, and saw that a whole bunch of yoga teachers were profiled as "yoga inspirations" or something like that. Christopher was among those profiled, and I loved his brief, non-overblown essay. Especially when compared with the verbal diarrhea of Cyndi Lee and John Friend, the ego-horn-tooting of Rodney "It was my calling to inspire people" Yee (yes, Rodney, we are inspired by your having left your wife and kids in California to be with your student, Colleen, in Long Island) and the incomprehensibility of Shiva Rea.

But back to John Friend....I have to admit something: I have no idea what the hell he is saying. I have taken classes that claim to be Anusara, or that maybe even are Anusara, and I have never understood a word of it: "Flowing into grace by saying "yes" to the whole magical spectrum of life"? "All of creation is divinely danced into existence for the simple delight and the play of embodying the Supreme's own blissful nature...."? "The highest intention of practicing Anusara Yoga is to align with the Divine. As we deepen our alignment with the Supreme, we step deeper into the flow of Grace. It is through the revelatory power of Grace that we awaken to the truth that this Divine flow is our essential nature"??

The hell?

I'm not big into things that are incomprehensible to me. I'm a fairly smart girl, and I have come to realize over the years that if something is as impermeable to me as all that, then it just must not make a whole lot of sense. And maybe some people like that. Maybe some people feel that if it is too hard for them to understand, then it must be really, really SMART STUFF. But I don't buy into that anymore. If it is impossible for me to obtain any sort of meaning, then it must be drivel. Or it must be intentionally incomprehensible - for the purpose of intimidating those who feel that a guru is not a guru if you can understand what the hell he's saying.

Anyway, time for Bikram, which comes complete with its own mumbo jumbo ("After doing this class, you will have a whole new body!" "If your spine is healthy, you will never get sick!" "This posture replaces 8 hours of sleep!"), not to mention the WORST pranayama EVER (if you have ever taken a Bikram class, then you will know exactly what I am talking about).

But I feel like melting today. So, off I go.



Sergio said...

Aren't Gurus supposed to bring light? Can't see any light coming from those words from Mr. Friend. I'm aware that some of the philosopical aspects of yoga take some time to digest and understand, so I always re-read everything until I get the picture. I don't think that's the case with all that religious mumbo-jumbo. Can't see what he's trying to explain. But then, I haven't tried Anusara.

Hope you enjoy Bikram today. Next time I "see" you, you'll have to explain me why the pranayama practice they teach sucks - other than because it's hot and humid, of course.

I've noticed that you've already learned that I'm in the Canary Islands. I guess that's goodbye to "Channel Islands". Next thing you must learn (and remember) is that I'm vegan. Then there'll be no more "duj". I apologise for all these private jokes. XD

Yogamum said...

LOL, I feel the same way about Anusara...well, the ONE Anusara class I took. I really had no clue what she was talking about -- kidney loops? WTF? I just don't like a lot of abstract talk in my yoga classes, which is why I like Ashtanga.

And I really liked what you said about how if you can't understand it, it must just not make sense. I spent five years in grad school in American lit, and about a year into I realized that all the incomprehensibility was really just that! The emperor had no clothes! I spent a few more years trying to play the game, but when it came time to write my dissertation, I just felt like I couldn't be part of the hocus-pocus and I quit.

Kim said...

i have had the same experience with that kind of language being used in anusara classes (classes that explicitly claimed to be anusara) and i feel the same way. i remember thinking "floral" and "preachy" re: the language used. and, yeah, incomprehensible.

DK said...

The teachers that made the most sense in that article were Ashtanga and Iyengar teachers. Lucky I study with students of students of Krishnamacharya (senior ashtanga and Iyengar teachers)

And I bet the anusarians just clicked with what John Friend said:)

For me a daily practice of ashtanga with th emost amazing teachers and twice weekly lessons (and I do consider it a lesson--a graduate level lesson that I NEVER learned in yoga teacher training:) with two Iyengar teachers such as the two mentioned in that article is what helps me with my path.


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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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