Friday, March 13, 2009

52/71 - The World Sings

8:15 pm with Amy

Great class tonight, and an almost perfect antidote to yesterday.  I still had some runny nose/clogged nostril problems, but I was mentally prepared for them and didn't let them bother me.  And I managed to adjust well to whatever limitations I encountered.

Also, it was a small class of entirely strong practitioners, and the energy level was really high.  Amy was simply gushing at how strong and together the class was.  The funny thing was, the strength of the class was mostly apparent to me in the lack of distraction.  I didn't pay any attention to anyone else, at least not in a conscious way.  And even so, I would say that the energy was palpable, perhaps just in the way Amy channeled it through her teaching.

Unlike last night, my Standing Head to Knee was really off tonight.  I held it well for one set, but otherwise was falling all over the place.  Standing Bow, on the other hand, was really good.  I fell out, but kept good form and held it each time for a reasonable amount of time, and each fall was forward and not to the sides.

The only down point in todays class came in the forward bends.  I had Indian food, and a buffet, for lunch.  It did not agree with the forward bends, and I thought I might lose my lunch.  You would think that Indian food would agree with a yoga practice.  Now I can add another to my list -- no Mexican, no Indian buffet before a yoga practice.  But even with that problem, I simply took it in stride and I didn't skip out of anything, and felt really good and energized throughout. 

Today's meditation is about how nothing is wrong with reality.  Actually, it's on the idea that we can't improve on reality.  If you really pursued this line of thought, you might end up concluding that "wrong" is simply a veneer that we put on things, and that in many cases its possible to change that veneer. 

In some ways, this is a pretty hard idea to swallow. It's so easy to see so many things that are wrong, and other things that are right.  With an idea like this, however, I think it is much easier simply to reject the idea than it is to try to see what it means, or how it might be helpful or useful.

In the second part of the meditation, Gates proposes another exercise.  He suggests to take any posture, hold it near the edge, and then to breath into every cell and just become aware of your breath and the sensations in your body.  If you do this, he says, you will begin to feel contentment, not as a resignation, but as a kind of celebration.  Your body, and indeed, the world will begin to sing.

Indeed, I've experienced something like this on a few occaisons.  It's one of things thats gotten me so hooked on yoga - the quest to try to find this feeling on a more consistent basis.  So I will definitely try to consciously do what he suggests in the next few classes and see what happens.  Part of me thinks that it can't be so simple.  Then I remember that simple and easy are not always the same.


hannahjustbreathe said...

What is it that creates class energy??

I can never tell if it's the teacher's pacing, or if it's the all-in-unison effort we practitioners make, or if it's simply rooted in my own attitude. Maybe it's some freak combination of all of the above.

Duffy Pratt said...

I think the teacher can definitely help. But its also pretty clear that the teacher feeds off the group energy too. So, from that perspective, I think a good teacher has some ability to refocus things, and then simply acts as a kind of amplifier.

Like laughter, and yawning, it seems like positive and negative energy in class simply is contagious. When a group of people are focused, together, and having a great time, it makes it that much easier just to join in, or maybe its better to say to get swept along.