Monday 4:30 pm with Janna
For Memorial Day, it was more crowded than I would have thought. Janna led a solid, workmanlike class. In keeping with the recent meditatons, I focused more on quieting the struggle, and keeping my breathing nice and even. For the most part, this worked really well, and I had stretches of the class that seemed to glide along, even though I was working really hard. It's still hard for me to think of not struggling in the back strengthening series, and that's where I most lost my composure today.
I also noticed today that I'm at an interesting point in Standing Head to Knee. If I resolve to stay with a bent knee and a locked leg, I'm almost certain that I can hold the pose for the full length. But kicking out can totally throw me still. Sometimes I can kick out, and it feels totally right, and other times I just completely lose my balance. Given the alternatives, I sometimes don't know what I should do. I'm pretty sure that how well I can kick out depends on how much I've sucked in the stomach, and therefore how much support I have for the lower back. But often I don't feel this difference until I lose the pose. It's something I notice in the breach. And I also know that I could still stand to develop some strength in the locked knee, especially on the standing right leg. And this puts me into another situation where I'm basically winging things, and don't really know what I should be doing. I need to remember this so I can ask Lenette in my next class with her.
The day 143 meditation talks about education, and basically laments that none of the spiritual lessons that Gates learned later in life even get mentioned during a conventional education. I see his point, but I think it would not make much difference if a standard education did offer this "information."
If I were to start a school, I'd totally change the curriculum. Right now, education is too focused on information and data. And the higher you go in education, it seems, the more it rewards cramming and short term retention memory. In Law School, for example, I'm certain that I could have done well in any course without going to any class. All I would need was a decent outline from any other student, and 3-4 days to study. And most of what I would "learn" would be gone in a few weeks. That process strikes me as almost completely pointless.
My school, instead of focusing on information and regurgitation, would focus on practices and skills. I would concentrate on Reading, Writing, Speaking, Art and Performing Art, Experimentation, Calculations, and Athletics. In a school like this, I could see making great progress by having students do yoga, and thus perhaps learn the spiritual lessons that Gates talks about. But they would learn it as something they do. The "information," as a result, might take hold.