Sunday 9:30 am with Rohit
Monday 6:30 pm with Rohit
Wednesday 6:30 pm with Sherry
Sunday's class started cold. Houston was in a cold snap (well, for Houston anyways) with temperatures dipping into the high 20s. When I got to the studio, the heat had been on for almost an hour, and the temperature was still only 83 degrees. It got up to 87 by the start of class.
To make up for it, Rohit tried introducing people to the "Breath of Fire" as a preliminary warm-up. This is basically the same as the final breathing exercise, but he wanted us to do it standing up, and you breathe through the nose, not the mouth. It was working for me, but basically noone was buying into it. I got the feeling that there was much resistance in the room to trying something new. Rohit went back to the standard Bikram series, and we warmed up as well as we could, which was not that well, even though the room hit 102 by the end of standing series.
Despite the lack of heat, class went pretty well. I adjusted decently to the lesser flexibility that comes with a cold room and a less than throrough warm-up. And did better than usual in the balancing and the strength poses. My knee, however, was not going to co-operate in the cold, and the kneeling poses were pretty much a total bust.
Monday's class was much better for my knee. I had to skip a set of Triangle, because the forward bend just before it puts alot of pressure on the back of my right knee, and I started to feel a bit unstable coming out of it. Then, on the floor, I finally started to feel things opening up a bit. After class, my knee felt better than it has in months, and that lasted the rest of the night.
Yesterday was a repeat. My knee felt great after class, and now it hurts just a little, but it seems to be making real progress. The other big progress I've made in the last several classes is in the compression poses. I'm getting my hairline to my knee in Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, and in Rabbit I can bring my forehead up on my thighs.
The day 299 meditation talks about the last of the hinderances to meditation: restlessness. My first thought on this is that restlessness encompasses all the others. Craving and ill-will, for example, are just different ways that one loses one's rest. Gates runs through a familiar catalog of the restless ways we might have in class, from adjusting our clothes to wiping sweat to fidgeting from one foot to the other, etc...
He then says we need to drop our autobiographies. I wouldn't have connected restlessness with an "autobiography" but I think he has a very profound point here. This little autobiography is our pre-occupation with our "selfs" (with a small "s") It's the focus on what's going to happen after class, or even in the next pose, or the focus on some little problem from the day that we brought into class. And this reminds me in turn of two Bikramisms:: "Kill your self." and "Don't let anyone steal your peace." Killing your self means killing your ego, which means letting go of your little "autobiography." And, when someone steals your peace it means that you have allowed them to make you restless.