Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Oh. K.

Wow, I am bowled over by volume and variety of responses to my midday post-practice whine break. Lots of perspectives offered, and none of them mean or judgemental, which might be attributable to the fact that I have turned off anonymous commenting. Behind the veil of anonymity, people will say things that they would never ordinarily want to be heard (read) saying. Faced with accountability, people will censor themselves. Interesting that the consciences/superego/yamas/call-it-what-you-will carries not nearly as much power as the desire to be perceived in a certain light. When it comes to shaping behavior, the externals seem to be far more weighty than the internals.

Anyway, my favorite comment is from Karen, who suggested that I just enjoy Supta Kurmasana for a while. Why not, right? I mean, I have been longing to feel it for so long. Now, I have my wish. It stung to read it. The truth hurts. It's like, wow, what's gotten into me anyway? Why am I being so graspy? So desperate to add more to my repertoire?

I have to say that I have been struggling in the past few days. Not with the physical practice. That's been great. But with motivation. And desire to practice. This happens to me every time I finally "get" a pose. It happened after I finally bound by myself in Marichyasana C. Same with Mari D. To a lesser extent, it happened after I got and then "got" Bujapidasana. It's like the same thing that happens when you really are attracted to someone and you really want them to like you, and then when you finally catch their interest, it's like, eh, who cares, and what was all the fuss about? Or when you desperately, desperately want that new job, and then you actually get hired, and suddenly, you're like, oh, shit, it's like, just a job.

It's why I stopped running the marathon. The first time, I did it to finish. The second time, I did it to break four hours. The third time, I did it, now why did I do it again? As I crossed the Queensboro Bridge (somewhere around Mile 15 out of a total of 26.2), I remember feeling my quads tightening up, and thinking, what if I just walked home from here (I lived at Mile 17 at the time)? What difference would it make? I'm never going to win this thing. And with the way my quads feel, I'm never going to beat my last year's time, although I was still very much on track to do so. The best I could do would be to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and what exactly would that do for me? Cause me to run another 26.2 miles. And that's when my pace slowed from 8:20 all the way to somewhere around 9 minutes per mile. When I got the the last five miles, I knew that if I wanted to beat my previous year's time, I was going to have to run harder. Except I just didn't care anymore. I ended up finishing two minutes slower than the year before. And I never had any desire to ever run it again.

I don't want that to happen with the yoga. I want to revel in the absolute pointlessness of it, the practicicing for no performance, the endless, Sisyphean journey.

It's very hard.



Anonymous said...

nice work, YC. And don't call yourself a sissy. It's not true.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and here's an excerpt from an earlier time in my blog I was reading this other person's blog, the fear of pincha blog, and thinking, wow, what a strange practice this is. I mean, are Iyengar's students blogging with the same ferocious insanity? Well hey, guess what happens when an Ashtangi starts doing some Iyengar, in which he recommends starting each practice with a long (10-15 minute) headstand? That ashtangi starts bringing a watch to practice and saying things like, 'I can't seem to break the seven minute mark', and later, 'I can't seem to break the nine minute mark'. That's what happens. The ashtangi never finds peace because the ashtangi is driven driven driven by madness

Carl said...

No matter what it is you're trying to accomplish, it helps to measure victories in the smallest possible increments. If you get accustomed to thinking you'll make big leaps all the time, you'll miss the subtle gains that you're actually making.

And anyway, a master only works in subtleties. Big chunks are for noobs... like me.

YC said...

Me, a sissy? I would NEVAH!! I may not be the Queen of the Universe, but I am quite the powerhouse Princess.

Do you think Iyengar-ites blog? Maybe they do, and we just don't know it? Can you imagine what that would be like? Or an Anusara blog? I'm tempted to pull a Cheri/Adrian/Boy and start one up for fun. It would be pretend, of course, but that would be the fun of it.

YC said...

Oh, and Carl? WAY too many repeat visits on my blog from Maryland today. Get some work done, please ;)

karen said...

Mark my words: some day, when I finally pull off a proper kapotasana, I'm going to yell "This rocks! Hey look at me!" every single time I do it, and I'm not going to take the next pose until everyone is so sick of my daily kapotasana celebratory yelling that they threaten to throw me out of the shala :-)

YC said...

Funny, Karen - I look around with this HUGE smile on my face every time I pull off Supta K now, especially with the good Dwi Pada exit. It's like, "hey, you over there, you don't know me, but didja SEE that?"

Carl said...

Don't lecture me on excessive web usage missy!

The drama is better than TV though. I can't wait to find out what happens next between You, Cheri and The Boy. Does he always go by "The Boy?" And when people address him directly, do they say "The Boy?" Or just "Boy?"

samasthiti said...

How about threatening to quit?
"Sir, if I don't get that next pose I quit!"
It's worked for me at jobs before....

And Iyengars do blog, and they are BORING.
Super yogic rambling details and minutia, and they are all perfectly spelled and the grammar is always correct.

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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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