Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lucky Thirteen

8:15 pm class with Libby

All in all, it was a very satisfying class.  Libby directed two comments at me today.  First, during party time, she objected to my pouring water over my head.  She asked if I was doing a double, and then said I had no excuse.  I joked that I didn't need an excuse, and she joked back that in her class she would decide who needed excuses and who didn't.  A bit later, she moved my water bottle to the front corner of my mat, and said that I had been coming to classes long enough that she could start being more picky with me.

After class, I asked her about both things.  On the "shower", she had a few objections.  She said it was distracting to others, that it could easily become a crutch, and that it actually was counterproductive, because in the end it would make me sweat harder and make the class harder.  I don't buy the distraction idea, because its part time.  But on the other points, I think she's probably right.  It's certainly becoming something of a crutch, and for that reason alone, I think I will cut it out.

On the water bottle placement, she basically said that bottles all over the place can be distracting.  And that when its too far away from the mat, you have to move too much to get it.  The reason I've been keeping it away from the mat is because I hate knocking it over.  But I can get around that by keeping it around where my knees are.  So on this one, I just think she's right.

Here's the nice thing.  She said that I'm doing so well in class, and am otherwise so strong, that she decided that it was time for her to become picky about details that have to do with focus and meditation.  So, the criticisms were actually about the best compliment I could have gotten.

I talked to Bill Johns this afternoon.  He's the guy who first told my wife about Bikram yoga.  He said that he did the challenge starting his first day, two years ago.  Through the whole thing, he was constantly asking his teachers about ways to improve, and strategies for staying hydrated, etc... etc...   When he was done, he had a letdown, wondering what was next.  He asked his teacher, and her advice was very simple:  "Be kind to yourself."  I think this is a terrific way of summing the whole enterprise up.  

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