Thursday 6:30 pm with Rohit
I pushed really hard in the standing series, and then had to skip a set in Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee. I've thought for a long time that, no matter how conditioned you are, you should be just on the edge of your stamina limit by the time that pose rolls around. If not, then you probably have left something on the table. And if you push too hard, like I did this time, you have to sit out.
Getting it just right can be elusive. Some teachers can convince me to go on when I'm certain I need a break. I'm not always the best judge of my own limits, though I think I'm gradually getting better.
Recently, one of my hardest poses has been the third part of Wind Relieving. For a while this seemed pretty easy. Now, when I grab my elbows my legs start to slip out of the grip. I try to hold on, but then I start tensing up in my upper back. I'm not sure what's causing this, but I think its a pretty clear sign that I my belly has gotten bigger and I need to be a bit more mindful about food. That's a nice thought with Thanksgiving just around the corner...
The day 284 meditation is about the infectious nature of nonviolence. Gates says that people and nations continually respond to violence with violence in return, and then wonder why peace is so elusive. I don't know if non-violence as a response to violence would always work. At the extreme, I have doubts about whether any non-violent approach would have stopped the holocaust. So, on one level, its hard for me generally to accept the idea.
Having said that, in many, many more cases it seems to me that non-violence is the much better approach. And I think that that's true almost universally in my personal life. I've also noticed that its been much easier to refuse confrontations since I started yoga.
Gates also talks about non-violence in the yoga practice itself. This is a point that I'm still developing. If I push myself to the point where I lose my breath, as I did in this class, then I've slightly crossed the line . And that, I think, is one of the central points to this meditation: learning to breath comfortably is learning non-violence. And from learning to breath, all the rest can follow naturally.