Another strong class. The heat was perfect. I'm back to no water (at least for today), and I stayed strong, focused and alert throughout. For the second class i a row, I got a compliment in Rabbit. That makes me think that something must have happened with that pose, but I don't really know what. It's nice to know that I'm doing something right, even if I have no clue what the difference is.
I did notice one big difference today in some poses. I've recently had some soreness in my shoulders and shoulderblades. I wasn't sure what it was, and today it became clear to me that they are finally opening up some. In Half Tortoise, I felt like I was reaching further forward than I'd ever thought possible. Just reaching up over my head, the alignment of my shoulderblades feels different than it ever has. Even just swinging my arms into position in Eagle felt different, almost startlingly so.
While class was rolling along smoothly, and I was having a great time, I still sometimes felt a bit rushed. Danielle's pacing was a little faster than usual today. I'm slower than most people as it is. I tend to go into Fixed Firm at a near glacial pace. Today, by the time I was ready to go back onto my elbows, we were told to start coming out of the pose.
Now, I know I shouldn't let a little thing like this timing bother me. But knowing it isn't always the same as doing it. So, while having a great class and feeling really strong, I still find myself wanting the poses to be a bit longer so I could be more wiped out (and then complain about getting wiped out). Go figure. Even when I'm satisfied, there's no satisfying me.
After class, a woman introduced herself to me and asked me if I was "the one with the blog." Needless to say, I was flattered. I have no idea how many people in my studio read my blog, or are aware of its existence. She said she's only done Bikram for a couple of weeks, and found the blog through a google search. And like Navin Johnson, I can't help thinking: " A google search! Millions of people look at google everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your blog on google - that makes people. I'm in google! Things are going to start happening to me now."
Today's meditation raises an interesting idea. Gates says that imagination is one of the chief obstacles to peace. In the past, he's discussed the perils of both fear and desire. And since both fear and desire involve what might happen in the future, they both necessarily involve the imagination. So, if you free yourself from your imagination, you will also free yourself from fear and desire.
Gates also makes the more challenging assertion that most people spend most of their daily lives living in their imaginations and not in the present. People tend to be ruled too much by their fears and desires, instead of simply experiencing what happens. And I suppose there's alot to be said for this.
And yet, while its perfectly happy to admit that the entire point of imagination is to pull you out of the present, I still have some hesitate to say that that's all bad. I think there's much to be said in praise of daydreaming, for example. That sort of imagination also pulls a person out of the present, but is detached from either fear or desire. It's imagination for the pure pleasure of being able to imagine. The same goes for all kinds of art. (And then I wonder if I'm right about this. When I'm reading a great book, and I'm totally sucked into it, I of course am using my imagination. But sometimes, I get so aborbed into the book that I can get the same feeling of stepping out of time. So is it possible to become fully present in a state of imagination? I won't say for sure, but my guess is that that is exactly what happens to some artists.)