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.)