Thursday, February 11, 2010

Leaps of Faith

Monday 6:30 pm with Libby
Tuesday Off
Wednesday 6:30 pm with Sherry

On Monday, everything went pretty smoothly. My knee felt better than it has in a long, long time. I almost got my butt to the floor in fixed firm. I skipped a set of triangle, half from nursing my knee, half from stamina concerns, and half from recently formed habit. And yes, I know that's three halves, but I've been watching American Idol recently, and if they can have someone be "a billion percent yes," then I can have as many halfs as I want.

I also did much better in back strengthening series, and almost completely avoided any reflux problems. I had sushi for lunch, and I'm wondering if that's the difference. Maybe, I just need to simplify my meals? I'm going to try a simple sushi lunch again and see what difference it makes.

Wednesday was the polar opposite. Instead of sushi, I had Indian food for lunch. For some reason that I don't get, yoga and Indian food don't mix. At least for me. It's probably the spicyness. The meal was almost completely vegetarian and well cooked -- very savory. And it started playing havoc with me almost immediately in class. I started having some distress in Half Moon.

On top of that, the room was humid, and the sweat was really flowing. I did a reasonable imitation of a yogi through standing series. But coming out of the first separate leg pose, I got really dizzy. Then again after the Separate Leg Head to Knee poses. Then I found myself needing a bathroom break before Cobra. And when I came back in, I just didn't have it anymore.

So for the day, I pretty much gave up. I came in early, and lay down before class. Next thing I knew, Sherry was telling me to wake up because class was starting. But asleep was really where I wanted to be. In the floor series, I gradually got back to that point. The back strengthening series was crippled by the Indian food. I skipped half of the first three poses. Then I was on track until Camel, but just going through the motions. But I skipped out on half of Camel, half of Rabbit, and then everything else until final breathing. Sleep, or near-sleep, was what I was craving, and that's what I got. I took a nice long Savasana afterwards, again on the edge of sleep though not quite there.

All in all, it was one of my strangest classes. It wasn't a struggle, because I basically refused to struggle. And I can't quite say that I gave up either. Afterwards I felt good. So I'm not going to beat myself up over this kind of performance. But I don't want to make a habit of it either. Did I do the best I could? I don't really know the answer. I probably could have forced myself to do more, but I think I might have felt worse, or injured myself as a result.

The day 304 meditation talks about applying meditation to everyday life. Meditation starts out being nothing but a jumble of distractions. Over time, we learn to shed the distractions. Gates says that at that point we find some direction. In life, Gates says the same process turns us away from simply following the expectations of others, or heeding our own fears. In its place, we learn to listen to our hearts. This process involves a leap of faith: the faith that what our heart tells us will be the right thing -- that we won't get burned in the process. Gates also describes this as the faith that "the love that wished you into existence will never let you down."

The only thing I have to add here is that what Gates says is a leap of faith actually strikes me as having two distinct leaps. First, there is the leap of faith involved in deciding or discerning that you have truly listened to your heart in the first place. Oftentimes, I will ask myself what I really want in a situation, and the answer comes up with a resounding "I don't have a clue." So the first part is simply learning to listen. The second leap comes with acting on what you hear, that's the part I think Gates seems to be addressing. For me, this part would be easy. Or maybe they aren't as disconnected as I suppose. If I really knew that it was my heart telling me something, I would probably be more willing to act on it.


Bosco said...

I would recommend trying a diet of nothing but fruit, vegetables, and almonds and salmon for protein, for a week, and see how you feel. You won't believe what a difference it makes. Stay away from anything white, except soy milk.

waylon said...

Bathroom break? We're going to have to permantly put the kabosh on those Duff! :)