Tuesday, June 2, 2009

105/151 - What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

Sunday 2:30 pm with Libby

I did a quick search, and it looks like the last time I had a class with Libby was all the way back on October 5.  (Who says that blogging is useless???)  In some ways, having class with her again was a bit like coming home.  I think she was the second teacher I had after Lenette.  And, as they were at the start, her class was tough, challenging, and fun.  I pushed very hard, and I don't know if that was a one time thing, or if it just had something to do with the way she motivated the class.

She was being a bit of a stickler for the class moving together today.  She called a few people out about moving ahead, or coming out of a pose improperly.  And then, she also thanked everyone and was really upbeat when we were moving together.   By itself, that helped pump in some extra energy.  

She emphasized coming out of the poses as you went in to them.  Every pose begins with a stretch.  If you come out properly, that means that you end every pose with a stretch as well.   There's no reason to miss out on that stretch, and it will help you understand the full shape of the pose.

My class was pretty good.  I ended up sitting out one set of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee.  The heat had gone up steadily through the standing series, and I was pushing really hard.  I think I might have overdone it in Triangle.  Actually, I think I may have been fishing for a compliment, but I was casting my line by trying to be even stronger in the poses.  And it finally caught up to me.  (The no food all day might have played a part as well.)

The floor series was good.  I had a better back strengthening series than I've had in a while. I went all the way back on one set of Fixed Firm.  Camel and Rabbit were both good, and I managed to breathe in Rabbit for the full length, both sets.  The back of my left knee hit the floor in the final separate leg stretching.  All in all, it was a good, strong class.

The day 150 meditation deals with dharma, or in this context, what one should do with one's life.  When people ask Gates how they can know, he asks two questions:  What would they do if time and money were not obstacles at all?  and What do they do in their spare time?  These are excellent questions.   

I can answer the second question pretty easily:  Play guitar. Play piano. Sing. Practice Yoga.  Play with/train my dogs.  Take pictures and manipulate them with Photoshop.  Write this blog.  Read. Surf the internet.  Ride my bicycle.  Travel.  Watch too much TV.

The second question is much harder for me to come to answer.  If I really had all the time and money I could ever need, I'd probably still want to do something with music or film or both.   And I'm pretty sure I would go to teacher training for Bikram, and probably think about some other types of yoga as well.  The problem here is that Gates thinks that these answers will shine a light on some career path, and I simply don't see it.  That may show some limitation in my imagination.  But there it is.


Anonymous said...

I wrote an entire blog post sometime last year on the whole idea of "grace in transitions." My teachers in Washington, DC sooo emphasized the importance of those stretches at the beginning and the ending of a pose. They reminded us again and again how we gain as much benefit from how diligently, slowly, and methodically we go in and out of a pose as we do the time spent in it. In other words, I really dig the teachers (like yours) who point out this element of class.

Also, I kind of can't stand the question "What would you do with your life if time/money wasn't an obstacle?" and the idea that your answer is some insight into what you *should* or *could* be doing. Because, frankly, time and money ARE obstacles. And, short of winning the lottery or marrying into boatloads of money, those obstacles will remain. So... What's the point of the question??

Duffy Pratt said...

Sometimes the question can clarify priorities. The typical situation that you imagine is someone who wants to write or do music, or something like that. And, yes, it's pretty rare to make a living from these.

But take this example: when I was in college I considered going to grad school in philosophy. One of my favorite teachers asked me whether I could see myself being happy doing anything else. (It's a similar type of question, i think.) If so, then he thought I shouldn't go to grad school. I didn't like the advice at the time (though I took it). And over the years, I've come to appreciate it more and more.