Wednesday, November 12, 2008

131/148 The Tropic of Sir Galahad

8:30 am with Lenette

Really good class this morning.  The heat was perfect.  It started out hard: Lenette took us through more repetitions of pranayama than usual, and its amazing how hard that breathing gets with just a few extra repetitions.

My balance was back.  I did all four sides of Standing Head to Knee without falling out.  And I held the kicked out leg the full time on two of the four.  Only did half as well on Standing Bow, but it was still an improvement on recent days.  And Balancing Stick was good, which almost never happens when the others go well.

The rest of the standing series was strong, and I ended again on Toe Stand, without any pain.  My left knee is popping alot, but it doesn't hurt at all.

In the floor series, Lenette told a strange story.  Her sister runs a studio in Idaho.  There's a student there who has been going every day for five years, at least.  She also runs, goes to the gym, and does other sports.  She has been very unforgiving of herself and very critical.  Recently, Lenette's sister has been pushing the idea that how you think during your practice has a direct effect on the practice itself.  So if you beat yourself up mentally while practicing, you actually take away the benefit of the yoga.  In line with this, she's been getting her students to focus on their thought processes as they are practicing.  With this student, during Half Tortoise, she was trying to get the woman's bunched up shoulders and back to relax, using a physical correction, while at the same time encouraging the woman to relax her body and her thoughts.  

The woman came out of the pose with a kind of light in her face.  She didn't know where she was.  She recovered from that, but after class didn't know where her purse was.  Then she denied that the purse in the corner was hers, until they showed her her wallet with her driver's license.  Then, when she didn't know which car was hers, and didn't know where she lived, they took her to the hospital.  It turned out that she got some kind of transient amnesia that the doctor's could not explain.  It gradually went away over the course of about a week.

Since that moment, her practice has jumped by leaps and bounds, as has her attitude.  She's able to accept herself now, warts and all, and isn't constantly punishing herself over her limitations.

Lenette said that this woman's epiphany (she didn't use that word) came from a sudden connection of her mind and body, that opened up some of the power of her soul.  She suddenly got access to what was always inside her, or as Lenette quoted America "Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn't, didn't already have."

I think she may be right, and the line from America is fabulous.  I also think the amnesia was another layer of denial.  It was like a temporary mental bandage, giving her time to ease into her realization.  Anyway, I think its a cool story about the power of this yoga.

And as much as I like that line from America, the next line may be the worst line from any song ever:  "And cause never was the reason for the evening, or the Tropic of Sir Galahad."  It's non-sensical, not grammatical, and it isn't even fun.  I didn't even really know what the line was, so after class I asked Lenette if she knew, and she hummed through the first line and then said "And blah, blah blah something something Sir Galahad."   Which is about what I knew.  So I looked it up on Google tonight, and realized that its so terrible that I've probably been blocking it out of my mind so I wouldn't have to think about it.


Brian said...

Really detailed postings. Do you know about these yoga books?

Duffy Pratt said...

I have not seen those books. Thanks for the pointer. I will put them on my reading list. Are you the translator?