Wednesday, October 1, 2008

99/105 Effort and Satisfaction

4:30 with Miranda

Have I mentioned that I'm on a roll?  Classes just seem to get better and better.  Today, at least for standing series, the room was a bit hot and really humid.  It pushed me almost to my limit, but I made it through Triangle and Standing Separate Head to Knee with strong postures, and kept myself still and focused between poses.  It was hard, and I could have let myself suffer through it.  But instead, I felt a kind of deep satisfaction at sticking with it even when it started feeling tough.  

That's one of the things I really like about this yoga:  trying really hard gives a feeling of tremendous satisfaction.  And that is something that can be completely in my control.  There's always an opportunity to push to the edge, and to get that feeling of peace that can come from knowing that I've given it my best.

Today's highlights were the back strengthening series, and then Camel.  Miranda held us in Cobra for what seemed like a long time.  Ever since the class with Tu, Cobra has taken on new dimensions for me.  I now feel it all the way up to my shoulder blades, not just in the lower back.  And my hips and belly button are more solidly on the floor.   

Surprisingly, I think the big difference that this has made has come in Full Locust, not Cobra itself.  Full Locust has come a long long way in the last few weeks.  I'm starting to feel like I'm really getting a good arch in my back and chest in this pose.  And I can feel myself working in the middle spine.  The big thing with this pose, I think, lies in pure effort.  It's so easy not to push this as hard as possible, and its so pointless to do that to.  I used to feel so sorry for myself after Locust that I would always kind of dog it in this pose.  Now I'm seeing how much the extra effort here pays off.

A few weeks ago, I had a breakthrough in Camel and saw the floor for the first time.  I remember writing about it, but I haven't gone back to look at how long ago it was.  Since then, I have never gotten that deep again.  That's just the way progress goes.  But today, I saw the floor again, and went even a little deeper.  Even better, I was already basically that deep into the pose before I reached back to grab my heels.  I was doing that deep a bend just with my back and hips.  So I count that as another breakthrough (or the recurrence of a big breakthrough).  Now let's see whether this time it sticks.

After class, I got a big thumbs up from Miranda.  She said that I was really working hard, and that maybe she hadn't been paying that much attention to how I was doing the last few classes, because there was a really big improvement.  Very cool, and like I said at the beginning, I am on a very nice roll these days.

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