Friday, September 15, 2006

Cling peaches

I want so much to be good at asana (and you know, uh, Supta K, which we will, of course, get to in just a bit), but if it came really easily, then I wouldn't bother with it. There must be some continuum, say, from ridiculously easy (for example, touching my toes) to outright impossible (for example, spontaneous full-body levitation) where a task must lie in order for me to want to do it at all but not be discouraged so much that I just don't even bother.

When I used to run for exercise, it seemed that running marathons was (for me) at first somewhere along that continuum. Eventually, however, I came to feel as if the continuum was spherically shaped, where ridiculously easy and outright impossible were right next to each other, like Russia and Alaska across the Bering Strait. It was ridiculously easy for me to log 20 miles, 22 miles, 26 miles. All it took was practice. But for me to continue to improve my time past my best time (3 hours, 57 minutes) began to feel outright impossible. And to keep running marathons without any sort of goal of, say, improving my finishing time, seemed outright inane. It just didn't resonate anymore. I was no longer along the continuum. I had "run my course".

I discovered asana when I fell off the continuum in inline skating, figure skating and long-distance biking. Or rather, not "fell off", but discovered myself in the Bering Strait of the spherical shaped continuum. And throughout my routes through Bikram, Jivamukti, Om, and forms of generic vinyasa masquerading as Anusara, Baptiste or some combination of all of the above, I have always been right there on the continuum. It's never been ridiculously easy. And it's never been outright impossible.

Even with the Supta Kurmasana wall. I am still right there on the continuum, and I believe that I cannot see the Bering Strait even in my most peripheral of peripheral vision. Supta Kurmasana is still on the continuum. And it sure isn't easy. And after I learn Supta K, there will be a whole bunch of fairly easy, mundane postures for me, but they won't be "ridiculously easy", and it won't be "ridiculously easy" for me to flow through the entire Primary Series. And then, of course, there are drop-backs (which are neither ridiculously easy nor outright impossible, since I can already do them) and stand-ups (again, not on one side or the other of the continuum, although much further along in the difficult range).

If it weren't for that, for my still being right there on the continuum, I would have to quit. I mean, who wouldn't? Why would anyone engage in utter futility? Sure, it is a practice. But why would anyone condemn themselves to the fate of Sisyphus? Our time on earth is far better spent than engaged in torturous futility, no?

I want so much to be happy with my practice where it is right now, on any given day, and not fret about the changes and/or lack of progress day to day. I mean, why should I focus on the fact that my tummy is all wonky from my Z-pack, making Mari D difficult and making me feel like I am going to throw up fire when I go for the bind in Supta K, and bemoan what is the honest truth of the condition of my body on this day at that hour....when I could focus on the fact that for the past six days in a row, I have gotten myself to Shala X, with as little fanfare as would be appropriate to brushing my teeth on a daily basis? And this, in spite of the fact that this week, with the side effects of the Z, my yoga practice is just about all I am capable of. The rest of my day is spent half-dozing on my sofa with a hot compress on my right ear (the infection is behind my right ear). I should be thrilled about my practice! Thrilled, I tell you! I have the discipline, the tapas, the steadiness and I am working on the detachment from results. Right now, I am working on the detachment.

Henceforth, Supta K will no longer be discussed on this blog.

And just in case you missed, you didn't miss it. It's right there in huge letters, bold faced and italicized. I will not talk about Supta K any more. When I get Garba Pindasana, I will let you know. Until then, assume I haven't gotten Supta K. Because my shoulders are too tight. Because my chest won't crack open. Because my hips are too tight. Because my forward bend isn't deep enough. Because I can't do Yoga Nidrasana. Because I sweat too much. Because I drink too much caffeine. Because I am not mellow enough. Because my kids wear me down emotionally. Because my husband is ... whatever it is he is....a man. You can pick your reason. It might or might not be true. But it won't matter, because all of the prep work, won't change where I am in the series. I am working on Supta K, until I master it, and then I will work on the next pose until I master that.

And by not talking about it, I will not give life to the obsession. I will no longer feed my insanity.

I am working on my yoga - all of it. Not just the asanas. I need to not forget that.



Tiffersll said...

I think you think too hard about supta k. lol. It will come someday.

As for ridiculously easy phrase...have you ever seen zoolander? Everytime I read that in your blog I was thinking of Derek Zoolander's tone when he said "ridiculously good looking"

Anonymous said...

don't you think that never ever talking about something that may be a huge issue in your practice for years to come is a little extreme?

it's kind of like an inverse obsession - still unhealthy, just in the other direction.

go for the middle path!


yoga chickie said...

Yes Cody! That is why I referenced "cling peaches"...the All in the Family reverse obsession. Remember that? "MMM MMM-MMM"

Yusnita said...

wha .... no more supta k???


yoga chickie said...

That's more xxxxx x.

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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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