Thursday, November 20, 2008

137/156 A Beginner Again

9:30 am with Connease

I set up in the back.  The room was cold.  It started at 85 degrees and 45% humidity, and probably never got over 100.  At the end of class, it was 96 and 44% humidity.  Lukewarm and humid are not a good combination for me.  It means having a sweat and feeling a little chilled at the same time.

On top of that, I just felt weak for some reason.  And so the entire practice was like I was back at square one.  I couldn't balance at all -- I must have fallen out of Standing Head to Knee 20 or more times, all tolled.  I skipped the last part of Triangle, and a whole set of Standing Head to Knee.  I dropped out early on the first set of Locust.  It was like old times.

On the plus side, Connease gives really good corrections and pays attention to details that I haven't heard before.  She corrected my hip alignment in Half Moon, then my knee locking (right leg of course) in Standing Bow, and then my set up in the final seated Head to Knee pose.  There were other corrections along the way, but those were the ones that gave me a bit of new info on doing the poses.

Even though class was sub-par, I felt really good afterwards.  And I've noticed that before on days when I had to sit out a pose for some reason.  Sitting out means that for whatever reason I've really pushed to the edge that day.  And maybe that extra effort (or what seems like extra effort on days when I'm a bit out of it) is what makes the difference after class.  The implication, I guess is that I should push even harder on days when I've got everything together.

Connease talked today about finding a still point in each of the poses.  She said that you always want to find a point where you are uncomfortable, but still, and able to breathe.  Then she said that often this is a point that sits on the edge between Fear and Ego.  Fear prevents people from going deep into poses, while Ego tempts them to go to far.  So the trick is to push past your fear while not going to far simply to indulge your Ego.  She said it better, and I'm just paraphrasing, but I really like the idea.   

In some ways, I think I probably hurt my knee because I pushed poses like Fixed Firm too hard.  And that was ego driven:  I really wanted to be deep in that pose so I probably forced it.  Now, I tend to ride the other side of that edge.  I'm a bit wary of pushing too hard and may tend to remain too much in the comfort zone.  So the trick is finding that middle area.

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