Sunday, October 4, 2009

187/276 - Remember and begin again

Friday 4:30 pm with Janna
Saturday off.

Friday's class was about the worst I've ever had. I know of probably said that a few times before, but this one was special. I started feeling nausea in Half Moon. I had some reflux problems in the first forward bend. My nose was either clogged or running or both. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom. And between all of these things, it was just getting to me.

I managed to sort of stay with the program in standing series. I skipped a set of Triangle, but I've been doing that fairly often. Then I skipped a set of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, again no big deal. But then I felt like skipping Tree, and Tree doesn't even take any energy. And about this time, I started to feel like I NEEDED to leave the room, even though I probably didn't.

Everything fell apart at Cobra. I couldn't keep myself up with my back strength in the first set. A big "Fuck it" switch went off in my head (and it's not something I'm proud of). I also felt like I had to vomit. I started for the door, and Janna tried to talk me out of it, asking whether I could just stay in the room. I was having none of it.

It turns out she was right. As soon as I got out of the room, I lost the need to vomit. I did use the restroom, but I could have made it through without. Next time I see Janna, I will have to apologize to her and tell her she was right, and I was wrong about my "need" to leave.

I missed second set of Cobra, then all of Locust, because I was out of the room. I was fine for a little while, but started getting dizzy again in Half Tortoise. I skipped a set of everything after that - Camel, Rabbit, Stretching. I even bailed on the final spinal twist. Not one of my best days.

The most positive thing I can say about the whole thing is that I shrugged it off afterward. I don't want to make a habit of it, but on the other hand, it was only one bad practice. Except for the fleeing, I was making an honest effort. It just happened to suck, and sometimes suckyness happens.

The day 262 meditation has some bearing on this. Part of the goal of mindful breathing is to create a kind of steadiness of intention. The quality that we are looking for in breathing is the same as what we seek in asana practice: steady, relaxed, calm and deliberate. The training we are going through aims at treating each pose, and even each breath, with the same intent.

Often, however, we lose sight of this intent. We get something other than steady, relaxed, calm, and deliberate. Friday's practice, at least for decent stretches of it, was a pretty extreme example of that. Gates says that the course to take when we forget is simply "to remember and begin again." And that's what I will do. (Interesting that we are alway beginning again. In yoga, we are perpetual beginners.)


hannahjustbreathe said...

I think what this post is also reinforcing is what we're told again and again: Yoga is a journey, not a destination.

You begin, make progress, stall, then begin again, make more progress, stall, then regress, then start over. All the while remembering where you were, where you want to be, and what you're doing to get there.

Bosco said...

Ouch, rough class! I guess we have all been there. (Glad to know it's not just me.) Best of luck on the rebound. May the force be with you.

My class Saturday was incredibly hard for me although totally worth it. I get knocked down, but I get up again. . . . Enforced humility is not a bad thing. Like Hannah says, this is a journey not a destination.

For some reason I am thinking of the John Lennon song: "Nobody told me there'd be days like these. Nobody told me there'd be days like these. Strange days indeed. Most peculiar, Mama."

bikramyogachick said...

One of my teachers, Brandy always says "if you leave and don't come back you will always regret leaving. You will never regret staying". So Duffy, in this case, celebrate that you came back! Somedays are just better than others, in life and in the room.

thedancingj said...

Yeah, it happens to the best of us, and you are right. The best thing you can do it say, "well, it happens" and then let it go. It's NEVER fun though, and I totally sympathize. No matter how "self-aware" you are, the experience SUCKS. But then it's over! And you get to begin again, always. Love that.

Duffy Pratt said...

Thanks for the comments.

I have a few thoughts.

Yes it's a journey, but does that mean we have to visit the black hole of Calcutta every so often.

Good John Lennon quote. And yes, there's nothing wrong with cramming some humble pie down the throat.

There wasn't any question of my not coming back. It would take an emergency, or something much worse than Friday, to keep me out for the duration.

And finally, yes, even knowing that it sometimes happens, and that that's a part of the process, that does not stop it from being really bad at the time. (On the other hand, the conviction that it will always be that way would make it much, much worse.)

Anonymous said...

SO glad I am not the only one who has these days. 8 years in, I had a class where I actually thought I might die from muscle cramps, sat out the last 70 minutes, sucked.
And then I went back the next day and the same thing happened.
And then I took a month off.
Tomorrow, I go back. We'll see what happens next! It's always interesting, not always comfortable, always pretty simple but never easy...