Saturday 9:30 am with Amy
You could easily tell it was January 2nd. Typical classes in the last month have been in the 12-20 range. Thirty would be alot. Saturday morning we had closer to 50.
Before class, I thought it might be a good idea to try to start the year as if I were a beginner. But I wasn't really expecting how that would manifest itself. I started feeling bad right away, and it never got much better. It was really humid and I simply was having trouble breathing. My worries over my blood pressure still being out of control doesn't help in that kind of situation. I skipped one set of: Standing Separate Leg Stretching, Triangle, Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, Tree, and then Locust, Camel, Rabbit. And even skipping those, I still felt wiped. Who knows, maybe I was getting sick? It was kind of a repeat of my Thanksgiving class in New York, and much worse than anything I've done in this studio.
Anyway, I still felt better after class. But it wasn't what I would call the greatest start to the new year. I'm sure there will be better times ahead.
I'm not much for resolutions. I haven't looked back to what I said last year, if anything. Usually, I tell people that my resolution this year is not to make any resolutions. And, of course, since I make the same resolution every year, I end up not keeping it either.
There are some things I would like to make some progress on this year, though I hate to make them rise to the level of resolutions.
1) Get my blood pressure back to reasonable levels.
2) Eat more fruit and veggies, less sugar. (On this note, I've started doing this, and nothing else, and have already lost 19 lbs.)
3) Add some bicycling in addition to yoga, to get resting pulse down some (its 68 in the mornings, which is way too high, I think.)
In yoga practice:
1) Get over my fear of Locust.
2) Make some progress on my leg wrap in Eagle.
3) Do fuller first sets in the balancing poses.
4) Stop anticipating the teacher when I get tired (this one will be tough).
In general, be kinder and less quick to anger and frustration over stupid little things. Maybe spend a month at a time concentrating on one each of the yamas and niyamas?
For those of you interested in yoga resolutions, I suggest you check out the Bikram 101 challenge. A group of the yogi bloggers has decided to start a 101 day challenge, starting Janurary first. It's not too late to join. And if you don't join, think about cheering them on. I'm putting the site on my blog roll, or you can see it here.
The day 296 introduces us to the classic hinderances to meditation. These are: craving, ill will, sloth, restlessness, and doubt. Lord knows that I've seen each of these crop up, both while simply trying to meditate, and also during class. Take cravings in class: when I'm standing in my spot and the humidifier isn't blowing air on my, I find myself looking forward to it coming on, just for that brief respite. Sometimes its the water. Sometimes its wanting to do the pose better. Sometimes it's just wanting to hear that word of encouragement. And sometimes it can be nothing more than an itch, or the urge to wipe sweat from my eyes. To an outsider, these may not seem like much, but the more I practice, the more I see that they really are getting in the way of something better.
Gates introduces a cool idea in this meditation. These hinderances are always there, he says. Too often, they are simply sitting in the background, behind the noise of our everyday lives. They are ingrained habits of mind. When we meditate, we strip away that noise, and become aware of the hinderances themselves. And then we erroneously jump to the conclusion that we have failed in the meditation. Quite the contrary, he says. When we start facing the hinderances themselves, that shows that the meditating is actually making progress, that we have succeeded in stripping away some of the noise.