Thursday, June 4, 2009


Tuesday 8:15 pm with Amy

Tuesday's class was just about perfect.  I had a really nice balance between strength, flexibility, and stamina.   I had basically three notable difficulties.  

First, I was feeling really good going into Toe Stand, so I tried lifting both hands into prayer position, held it for a second and then lost my balance.  That wasn't so bad, but as I caught myself falling backwards, I felt a ring around my entire upper chest cramp up.  I felt cramps in core muscles that I didn't know even exist.  When I cramp in my calf or my foot, I know how to move to relieve the cramp.  But with these muscles?  I had no idea what to do, so I just kept going.  And miraculously, that seemed to work.

The next problem was more predictable.  I pushed through Locust without getting into too much trouble.  Then, going into Full Locust, I got hiccups combined with some spitting up.  This is happening too often recently.  I've also noticed that I'm having trouble holding my elbows the full time in Fixed Firm more and more.  Both of these are clear signs that I should pay more attention to what I'm eating, so maybe I will.

And then, in Half Tortoise, I got a cramp in the arch of my foot.  I managed to hold the pose through the cramp, by thinking about breathing into the cramp.  I haven't had foot cramps in a while.  I'm not sure if it was from lack of electrolytes, or if it was just an overexertion cramp.

The day 152 meditation, which I did not read until just now, is about putting an end to suffering.  In some ways, I think that's ironic, since I just went through a catalog of my petty sufferings in Tuesday's class.  Gates talks about this as a vow.  But it seems clear, at least to me, from what he's saying, that putting an end to suffering is also a natural result of a yoga practice.  
A long time ago, it seems, I wrote a post about changing the world one camel at a time.  I think this is part of the idea here.  Gates says that he realizes he is just a drop in the ocean, but as the drop changes so too does the ocean.  To put it a bit less abstractly, as we change ourselves throu practice, we also project that change everywhere we have influence, and that projection cannot help but have a ripple effect.  Thus, as silly as it sounds, we can change the world one camel at a time. 

I'd also like to not that this harks back to the quote from Gandhi:  "Be the change you want to see in the world."

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