Sunday, June 7, 2009


Saturday 9:30 am with Lenette

Everything was back on track.  After two days of struggling and whining to myself, I get treated to a comfortable class that just seemed to fit like a pair of old shoes.  I didn't even catch myself trying to stay focused, trying to bring myself back into the room.  Rather, I just flowed with the dialogue.  A couple of times, I caught myself moving slightly in anticipation of what Lenette was saying, but even then I caught myself probably before anyone else noticed.

I felt especially good in the backbends, in the first forward bend for a change, and in the balancing postures.  I still fell out several times, but it my focus was better than its recently been. 

 And I tried Lenette's suggestion in Locust for the first time.  I mentioned a while back that she suggested bringing the chin forward to get more leverage in the shoulders.  This tip is for people who have already hit 45 degree lift, which apparently I have done.   Perhaps not so shockingly, I had already forgotten this tip, partly because Locust has been an exercise in trying to avoid spitting up.  But it is another reminder of how often I need to relearn the same lessons, the same tips.  Anyway, I tried it and could get something of a glimpse of the possibility this might present.  Even so, it seems like this is going to demand alot of strength in the shoulders and the upper back.  I'm hoping that I just haven't discovered the balance between strength and flexibility that this might call for, because right now the prospect of going higher seems daunting.

The day 156 meditation devotes a couple of paragraphs to analyzing a Tom Petty song.  My apologies to any Tom Petty fans out there, but I never could see the appeal and I will basically pass on the analysis of these lyrics.  (I know I'd feel totally different if it were a Robert Hunter lyric, but I think I'm entitled occasionally to indulge a whim, even if its in the form of a veto.)  My opinion of Petty finally got solidified with his dreadful duet with Stevie Nicks.  Between the two of them, they almost cover a full octave in range, on the rare times you I can make out identifiable notes.

Gates does close with a great suggestion.  He says in each class identify some limiting belief that you have.  When this limitation comes up, take note of it, without judgment, and then simply let it be like everything else.  Acknowledge it and let go.  I actually did that in class before reading the passage.  The limiting belief, for me, was the desire for praise or correction from Lenette.  Sometimes I just irrationally want the teacher's input, perhaps to boost my ego.  Anyway, I noticed this feeling come up, and did exactly what Gates said.  I took note of it, and put it aside.  It helped a bunch.


Bosco said...


I need to take strenuous exception to one point you make in this blog. Charlotte and I were invited to see Fleetwood Mac this past week at Energy Solutions Arena. (This is not something I ever would have bought tickets for myself (especially at $149.50 apiece – we have some well-healed friends), but the concert was surprisingly very good). What I disagree with you on is this: Ms. Nicks’ range has with time apparently contracted to where I don’t think it now extends beyond a perfect fifth. For example, the melody in Rhiannon, which used tofeature Ms. Nicks’ full-octave range, has actually be rewritten, so that the entire song can be sung comfortably within a perfect fifth range.

About her, however, I have to say this. She does incredibly well within that perfect fifth. She told a rather extensive story about growing up during the concert, which reflected a very likeable personality, much different than her sultry goddess with tophat persona. The band as a whole was very tight and played several songs I had never heard before (but which are apparently well known to Mac-heads) that were very pretty, I would say even beautiful, songs.

As for Tom Petty, I have never been a real big fan, but have always admired him for being what I consider to be the last known bona fide true believing hippie.

So there you have it. What does all of the foregoing have to do with Bikram Yoga? Absolutely nothing, except perhaps as an example of the fact that we must take reality as it comes to us, appreciate what's there and simply breathe through it.

Inspiration, Move Me Brightly... said...

Interestingly, Tom Petty (with Bob Dylan) opened several shows for the Dead one summer. I wasn't there, I don't know how Petty was received by the Deadheads, but you're right, his lyrics, in general, are nothing against those of Robert Hunter. Then again, Hunter is true genius and Petty is just fun music. Tough, maybe unfair, to equate the two (not that you were necessarily doing that) since Hunter has always been way out there not just writing words for songs but often writing pure poetry that Jerry happened to write music for.

Duffy Pratt said...

I wasn't trying to equate the two. Gates brought up Petty, and I brought up Hunter in response largely because I sometimes think about Hunter's lyrics in connection with yoga. Things like:

Midnight on a carousel ride
Reaching for the gold ring down inside
Never could reach it just slips away
And I try...

And then there's silly things like the teacher saying "Lower down" and I start hearing St. Stephen run through my head.

And I think I may have not been clear about Petty and Nicks. I was trying to say that they have a full octave range between the two of them combined. Either one, alone, has much less than an octave.