Monday, February 23, 2009

39/54 - More Forgiveness and Hoarding/Non-relinquishing

Sunday Off
Monday 10:30 am with Lenette

I haven't been that good keeping up with my water drinking.  I still drink lots, but I'm not thinking about it as much as I was when I first started yoga.  And since I took yesterday off, I also slipped a bit on the water intake, and felt a bit dehydrated, and consequently anxious, heading into class this morning.  But despite my worries, everything went pretty well.  It was still a fairly good reminder to keep drinking water all the time, even on days off.

A few things worthy of note in todays class.  I pushed pretty hard in the standing series.  My balance was good, and I felt something utterly new for me in Standing Bow Pulling:  twice I felt a pretty deep stretching down the front center of my chest.  I've felt stretches in lots of unusual places with this pose, but this was the first time I could feel it really opening my chest. 

Then, toward the end of standing series, I didn't know whether I was going to have to sit out, and felt pretty beaten up.  I stuck with it, and in Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, I felt like I was just dying, sweat pouring down my nose and into my eyes, almost unable to breath. Then, Lenette says, out of nowhere: "Good Duffy, that is really beautiful form."  I almost cracked up, and felt really, really good about this compliment -- because I was really right on the edge, and still managing to hold the form together and doing it in a way that Lenette did not see any of my internal misgivings.

Next high point came somewhere in the back strengthening series.  By this time, I was feeling hot, oppressively hot.  The class had hit a turning point, and I was either going to fade into misery or I was going to turn it around.  I was at the point where my skin started to feel like it was burning, and all of my attention was going right there.  And then, out of nowhere, I simply turned it off.   I could still feel the heat on my skin, but somehow, the misery that comes with the heat was gone, and I felt like I could just do it.  And from that point on, things were really good.

Next high point (it was a really good class) was Fixed Firm.  I went all the way down for the second class in a row, and this time after a day off.  No complaints from the knee, and I've felt good since.  The danger now is becoming complacent about the form in this pose.  I still need to work to get my toes pointed straight back.  But the recent progress here is very encouraging.

And then the best part of class came in Camel.  In the first set, I felt pretty good.  And then Lenette put a towel around the middle of my back and told me to relax my shoulders and hold onto my heels while she pulled up on the towel and lifted my chest and back.  The feeling of my middle back opening up and my shoulders relaxing was incredible.  It was a great help -- I could feel for the first time some of the areas where I've been unnecessarily holding tension.  And in the second set, I did an OK job of repeating it without the assistance.  (These assists I get from time to time make me wonder how much faster I could progress if I had a partner to help from time to time.)

Now onto the meditations, in what's already a sort of long post.  Gates says that underlying the need for forgiveness is the basic interconnectedness of all people.  I see his point, but unlike the practical aspects of other things, these thoughts sound a tad theoretical to me.  The one thing I will add to his comments is, that if he is right, then my idea of apologizing to people instead of forgiving them makes even more sense.  Because if he's right, then other people's wrongs are also our wrongs, and thus we need to apologize for them.  

Today's meditation hit close to home.  There are two aspects to hoarding that come easily for me.  First, is the obvious one: collecting.  When I develop an interest in something, I tend to try to collect all of it.  Thus, as a photographer, I have an irrational desire to get all of the Canon lenses, whether I need them or not.  When I discover some new music, I start to go out and get everything that the artist recorded.  And so on.  This one is pretty straightforward.

Today's meditation is about another part of hoarding:  keeping things.  I've been an irrational keeper of things for most of my life.  I have all of my school notebooks in storage.  That's dating all the way back to the 10th grade.  I have all the papers I ever wrote, all the letters I've ever received.  Some of this seems reasonable.  But how about this:  on my last go through of this stuff (mostly crap), I finally gave myself permission to throw out my multi-variable calculus homework from my freshman year of college.  You never know when that will come in handy!!!

So yes, I have problems giving up things from my past, whether reasonable or not, and this passage might inspire me to have another go through, and dump some more worthless treasures I've got cluttering up my drawers and closets. 

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