Monday, August 3, 2009

154/212 - Emotional Responses

Friday 4:30 pm with Rohit

It was my last class before vacation, and it was just about a perfect class to close on. Nothing stands out as being very spectacular, and I don't think I had any breakthroughs. But I did have a nice feeling of balance between strength and flexibility. And I felt good throughout the class. I had a nice compliment in Camel, which felt really good. At the end of the class I felt that feeling that only comes after a good Bikram class -- both completely worn down and energized at the same time, and it comes with a nice helping of peace on the side.

The day 211 meditation talks about emotional responses both on and off the mat. The first thing that struck me was the idea that emotional responses are what make things memorable. I think its true that we are more likely to remember things we respond to with great emotion. In class, this means that the classes with big breakthroughs and the frustrating classes tend to stick with us. But what about times of great peace and contentment? I can remember these vividly as well, but I don't think they come with the kind of emotional peak that Gates is talking about. And that's true both on and off the mat.

I've said several times before that its a good sign when I can't remember anything about a class. This meditation tends to confirm that belief. But now I'm wondering whether there may not be a mistake involved here as well. On the one hand, its possible that a class is unmemorable for the reasons Gates says, and that's probably a good thing. But what if the class is just indifferent? I'm not going to worry too much about this, however.

Gates also brings up a situation that every yogi has been through: the "this posture is never going to end" syndrome. For me, this feeling used to come up frequently not in a posture itself, but in the set-up to triangle. We would get down into the lunge, and my arms would feel weak, and it was starting to feel hard. So I would just long for the relief of tilting the arms into the pose. And then the teacher would start to correct someone's leg position, usually because the front knee is too far forward. And then the person wouldn't understand the correction, and it would go back and forth several times, and then I would be screaming inside "Start the pose already."

Mostly that doesn't happen anymore. I still sometimes have a hard time at this point, but I can't remember the last time it led to frustration or aggravation. If it's too hard, I go down. If not, I stay with it. And the complaints have melted away, for the most part. That doesn't mean I'm completely over this sort of impulse, but at least there's been some progress.


Bosco said...

Speaking of little irritations, Duffy, which you talked about a few days ago:

Yesterday I showed up in plenty of time for class and set up in the third row. It was a fairly full room, but plenty of space for everyone. Then just a minute before class starts a woman comes in and, with many other options available, chooses to set up in the front row, directly in front of me. I know the front row is permitted to set up wherever they want, and everyone else should adjust their position accordingly. But just because the rules permit this doesn't mean that you should do it. So after I silently cursed this beast I adjusted my position and let it go.

If yoga is a gateway to eternal truth, shouldn't people in the process be picking up just a small dose of common courtesy?

Duffy Pratt said...

Well, I don't really get why you are still setting up at the back, but that's up to you. You would think that being courtesy is one of the things that would naturally flow from yoga, but sometimes not. I've had the reverse happen to me -- where someone comes in, puts their mat down directly behind mine, and then asks me if I could move a bit so they could see. Nothing like that surprises me anymore. Now if I could also say that it also didn't annoy me.

bikramyogachick said...

Duffy~ Ya. The triangle setup thing. That happens alot. Everybody is waiting to move their arms and the teacher singles somebody out "Hips down so and so, hips down!". And I always find myself dripping and shaking and begging with my mind "yes, for crying out loud do what the teacher says so and so and get your hips down please! We are dying over here!"
Good times.

Duffy Pratt said...

Yup. And isn't it even worse when you find yourself getting mad at other students? It's not like they are trying to torture you...