Friday, January 16, 2009


Day off.

Gates talks about using our senses, directing our gaze, to become present.  Lenette is the only teacher I have who really concentrates on where, and how, we are looking.  Again and again, she says, "Your eyes, your eyes in the mirror."  And she will call people out if they start looking around at how other people are doing:  "Yoga is not a spectator sport."

The part of Bikram that this passage reminds me of is Savasana.  Here, we are told to fix our eyes on one point on the ceiling.  Ours is nothing but hardened sprayfoam insulation painted a really ugly shade of brown.  There was a time when I tried to find funny faces in the swirls of foam, sort of like picking out figures in the clouds.  But I've given that up, and now I just pick a blob and stare, when I can manage to stay that still.

We keep our eyes open through Savasana to remain present.  The goal is to be aware of our senses, and still at the same time.  Gates likens this practice to the training of Crazy Horse on the prarie.  That makes me wonder whether it is harder or easier to "see what is there" when you have lots and lots of sensory input, or when you are just focused on your own eyes or on some brown blob on the ceiling.  On that point, I honestly don't know.

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