Monday, October 12, 2009

191/284 - Repetitive as Breathing

Saturday Off
Sunday 2:30 pm with Rohit

Saturday was not good. My knee was back to where it was just after I first injured it, back to going up steps one leg at a time. I basically couldn't find a position where it didn't hurt. I'm almost beginning to wonder if it's some sort of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and this was just a flare up. But from what I've read, RA tends to hit the joints on both sides of the body, and more than one joint at a time, so I'm discounting the possibility.

Sunday was a bit better, but I rode the fence about whether or not to go to class. Some of that was the knee. More it was my distaste for the 2:30 class, because it means no eating until late afternoon. Even on the way there, I was debating whether I was really going.

I'm glad I did. I felt much better for it, not necessarily in the knee, but more alive afterward, and just more satisfied. The heaters weren't working well, so Rohit jacked up the humidity and it was really wet. I much prefer high heat and low humidity. The low 100's with really high humidity has made it very hard to breathe in the past. But not in this class. I'm attributing that to my newfound focus on breathing.

For having a gimp leg, I did a really good balancing series. I wasn't kicking out for long, but I held the locked knee the whole time in Standing Head to Knee. And I had respectable Standing Bow, and a solid Balancing Stick.

I skipped one set of Triangle, but not for lack of stamina. The first Separate Leg pose put enough stress on the knee that I needed a break. And the floor series was my odd progression of gimpiness. I was moving well enough to get into and out of Savasana, but still really slowly. I think its the oddest thing that the poses don't do anything at all that worries me about the knee, but the simple act of turning 180 degrees is a bit treacherous.

Oh, and one other odd note. I got a great compliment from Rohit on the first part of Awkward Pose. That's one that's supposed to be hard on the knees, but it has nothing at all to do with what's bothering me. (The third part is a different story, that one is really tough now).

The day 266 meditation is again an exploration of the connection that breathing makes between mind and body. In this one, the point is that focusing on breathing brings us into the present, and thus connects us to our bodies. At this point, the meditations on breathing have started to strike me as a bit repetitive, sort of like breathing itself. Here, to reinforce the point, Gate says: Stop reading, close your eyes, take ten deep breaths and concentrate on the breath as you do it. Do it. It's powerful. It really works. And ultimately I think this is the point about the basic pranayama exercise. Doing it is so much more powerful than anything I could actually come up with to say about it. I think I'll try it again.

The nice thing here, is this is an exercise where I think having music on is really cool, because it lets you bring the music fully into the present as well. So that's one thing I might add. Try the same exercise with some good music on. Don't think about the music, just the breathing, and let the music flow through you as you do. See if you don't have a different experience of the music when you try this.


bikramyogachick said...

Duffy~ sorry to hear you knee is flaring up again. I'm glad you are so aware of it though, and are taking measures to take good care of yourself during class.

Duffy Pratt said...

Thanks for the kind words. The hardest thing at this point is not to get frustrated.