Thursday, July 3, 2008

Day 14

10:30 am with Libby.

I've been thinking some more about "Be kind to yourself."  I told Yanzi, and she said, "Yes, take it easy."  But that's not what it means.  Taking it easy can mean not doing the yoga, because it would certainly be easier not to endure the heat, the passing pain of the postures, the constant encouragement to "push, push...."  But it's clear so far that coming to the classes has been a far greater kindness than almost anything I've done for myself in at least a decade.  Maybe part of being kind to yourself is being able to listen to what your body needs, and that's one of the first and best thing that the yoga seems to do.

No scolding from Libby today.  I avoided any impromptu showers, and kept the water bottle at my side.  She might be right about the showers making me hotter.  At least today, the room felt cooler as the class went on.  I was not struggling too hard at the end of standing series, and even half locust was ok.

After class, one of the students was complaining about yesterday's 4:30 class.  She said that the humidity was off the charts, and about 3/4 of the class was down for the count, and that five people actually left early because they couldn't take it.  It sounds like it was really tough, but I told her that one of the student's responsibilities is to do as well as they can no matter what conditions are being thrown at you.  And that if that means that you go down because you can't make it, if you are doing the best you can, then that's good enough for that day.

She didn't agree.  She said:  Maybe so, but I come here for a workout, not to be put down for the count.  I let it go.  But it occurred to me that I don't go to these classes for a workout.  I know that its physical, and that its really good for my body, and its probably all the exercise I will ever need.  But there is something more to this yoga that goes beyond any other types of "workouts" I've ever done.  It's partially learning about focus and discipline.  Even more, its learning to feel things internally -- like when I am full and don't need to eat any more, which is probably the most trivial and obvious example.  And I'm beginning to see how the classes are leading to a point where I might be able to both "let go" and stay "in control" at the same time in a severe environment.  So, the "workout" at least for me is a side benefit.  But I wouldn't be trying to do 60 days in a row if that's all there was to it.

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