Thursday, August 27, 2009

165/238 -

Wednesday 4:30 with Amy -

Have you ever had a song stuck in you head during practice? Songs float around in my head all the time, and often one gets stuck. Very often its a song I detest. If I ever hear the them to the TV show The Nanny, for example, I have to find something really good and lasting to wash it out of my head. And usually its just snippets -- perhaps only a line. For a long time, when asked to go down in a forward bend, I would hear the lyrics "And lower down, and lower down again..." for St. Stephen by the Grateful Dead.

Yesterday, it wasn't just snippets, but an entire song. Fortunately, it's a song I love. And in an odd way, it didn't really act as a distraction. It didn't stop me from listening to the dialogue, or from staying with it and giving my best. I just had my own soundtrack loop running on again and again. And since I really like the song, it actually made for a pleasant, if slightly weird class.

If you are interested, the song was Que Reste t'il de Nos Amours. This you tube clip is from a film version of Gatsby that I haven't seen. I knew the song first from another movie: Stolen Kisses (Baisers Vole), one of the most purely charming movies ever made, by Francois Truffaut. The thing about this song is it somehow makes me completely nostalgic for a time and place completely outside my experience. I think of the song as typically and wonderfully French. The very light swing is almost perfect, the voice completely relaxed and natural. And now that I put it on the YouTube version, it will be swirling in my head for another day.

Even with the accompaniment, class went really well. Standing series basically flew by. I made it through both sets of Triangle, but it put enough strain on my knee that I had to bail on the first set of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee.

In the floor series, I started to think that it was a little cool in the room. Then Amy cranked up the heat and it got very challenging. I had my best Locust in a long time. And both Camel and Rabbit were very good. In Camel, I held the second set for a bit extra because it felt so good. And I don't know if I've ever done that before.

Then, somewhere very late in the second set, I tweaked my knee a little again. It was a little thing, and I barely noticed it. But I was somewhat hobbled coming out of class, and it continued to hurt the rest of the night. I don't think it's a big setback, and I don't know how I could have avoided it (short of not doing class at all). I'm not going to worry about it. I'm still way ahead of where I was just a week ago.

The day 232 meditation (I'm back tracking from yesterday's error, and I will try to catch up) discusses the "deep front line". As Gates puts it, this line connects the things we have direct control over to the things that we don't. Those things are basically internal organs. The way to open up the deep front line is with backbends. So basically, this meditation is saying that backbends are good for you because they give a way to expand the area around the internal organs, and fight the ongoing effects of gravity.

Again, I agree with the point. The Bikram series is just loaded with backbends: Half Moon, Awkward first part, Standing Bow, Cobra, Locust, Full Locust, Floor Bow, Fixed Firm and Camel are all backbending poses to one degree or another. And the more I do the series, the more I seem to both like and appreciate the back-bending. But I still am at a bit of a loss to understand what adding the inclusion of the terminology "deep front line" adds. I guess I'm just going to have to be patient with this part of the book. I never did have much use for scholasticism.

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