Thursday, October 8, 2009


Tuesday Off
Wednesday 10:30 am with Sherry

I missed going to morning classes. In some ways, going to morning class just seems to make for both a more relaxed, and a more productive day. Sure, flexibility is a bit off compared to afternoons. But it's also a bit easier to focus.

I haven't even felt twinges in my knee for almost a week. I'm still hesitant to say that its 100%. As soon as I do, I'm bound to twist it in some unknown way and be back at square one. For now though, its not having any effect at all on my practice (always excepting Toe Stand). Outside of class, the only think I'm wary about is running around too much with the dogs. That's still a bit iffy. But the improvement over the last few weeks has been amazing.

My stamina still is not fully back. I made it through Triangle again, only to drop out immediately afterward for one set. This isn't a big deal, and I know that the stamina will come back just as soon as I start going for several consecutive days. Otherwise, class was solid. I paid good attention to breathing, and to stillness between inhales and exhales, for most of the poses. This really seems to help a ton in Half Moon and Standing Bow especially. In Standing Bow, the pauses seem to give an extra level of concentration which helps with the balance.

The day 264 meditation is a bit beyond me. Gates introduces the idea of having three different types of brain as a result of our evolution. I'm familiar with this idea. First there's the reptilian brain -- it hunts, kills, and eats. Then there is the limbic brain, or mammalian brain. It is largely emotional. It deals with communal areas. In some respects, this is where love and comfort resides. It's what we have in common with dogs, for example. Lastly, we have our primate/intellectual brain. It does the reasoning. The primate brain has a very high opinion of itself, and would have us forget all about the demands of the reptilian and limbic brains. This is a very quick and sketchy summary, but its still more detailed than what Gates has said. Furthermore, having introduced this idea, I'm not really sure what Gates is trying to do with it.

More of the meditation is involved in showing the resonance between the Sufi idea of breath and the Yogi idea of breath. I have no reason to doubt what Gates says here. But I know only a little bit about the yoga ideas, and nothing at all about the Sufi ideas. So I basically take it on his word that the two mesh so well. But that fact does little for me.

And to a certain extent, I think this meditation has flown over my head. The problem probably lies with me, and not with the meditation itself.

1 comment:

Bosco said...

I agree with you on this Meditation: it went right over my head. Also, like you mentioned, I have found that continued regular frequent practice is the key to stamina. After a 10-day hiatus that I ended a week ago, the stamina was sorely lacking, and is slowly coming back. Also I am loving the effects of focussing on breathing and especially the stillness between breaths. I do 30push-ups every morning and have applied the breathing there too, and it's amazing how much more effortless the push-ups are with this focus.