Sunday, February 7, 2010


Tuesday off.
Wednesday 6:30 with Sherry
Thursday off.
Friday 6:30 with Libby
Saturday and Sunday Off
Monday 6:30 with Sherry
Tuesday 6:30 with Libby
Wednesday and Thursday Off
Friday 4:30 pm with Sherry
Saturday off
Sunday 9:30 am with Sherry

How's that for a list? I'm not even going to try to list the details of each class. As a general trend, I'm having real reflux problems, which might be related to my new blood pressure medicine, or might not. Today's class was the only one where I didn't have to skip something to prevent myself from messing up the mat. And I'm having stamina problems, which comes from skipping so much. So typically I miss a pose in standing series, sometimes because of stamina problems, and sometimes because I feel some tightness/weakness in my left knee after the first Separate leg pose.

The only odd thing I'm feeling recently is a sensation deep in my shoulders during opening pranayama. I've been concentrating on really keeping the elbows up from the start of each exhale, and its really hard. I haven't gotten any corrections on what I'm doing, at least not yet, so I doubt I'm overdoing it.

The day 303 meditation has a contradiction that Gates has skirted with before. First he talkes about getting in touch with an "inner being" that allows us to be creative. He says that all religions recognize this inner being, as do many artists and other creative people. And he says that pratyahama is the moment in yoga when we let our answers come from this being. From this point he talks about inspiration and its role in yoga, and basically says its the same thing as what he just described.

The intellectual problem I have with this is that inspiration does not come from the inside. The very word means "to breathe in." What we breathe in comes from outside of us, not from any inner self. Moreover, there certainly have been cultures who believe that creativity comes from outside. The muses are a pretty good example of this.

I don't, however, think this confusion or contradiction is a particularly big deal. In some ways, I think that Gates is making a distinction that yoga doesn't. Since yoga deals with union, eventually union of everything, I doubt it makes much difference in yoga whether you get in touch with your inner self, or whether your inspiration comes from outside. And to a certain extent, I think that Gates' confusing language on this point only reinforces my point. I tend to think he's being sloppy here because you can look at it from either side. In the end, I think it matters little where inspiration comes from, certainly not in comparison with the importance of simply being inspired.


Bosco said...

Duffy -

I am glad your blog is back. I missed it!

You say your stamina has been off because you have been skipping so much, but at least last week, you practiced 4 out of 7 days - you SLACKER. Tom at our studio says 3 days a week will maintain you, 4 days a week or more will improve you (always noting, of course, that any amount of yoga is good).

But I know what you mean about losing stamina. This week due to a quite busy schedule I couldn't get to yoga except for Monday after work and Wednesday before work. Then I did something I haven't done before - yoga Sunday after Church. After missing 3 consecutive days, on Saturday night I felt very stiff and my back was way tired, so I broke with tradition and did a class yesterday. After just 3 days off my stamina was definitely way off. Also, it is amazing, when you start feeling kind of crappy, what a huge difference a class can make!

Where does inspiration come from? From the God within or the God without - I don't think it makes much difference. I read once that Brahms had said that he took no credit of any of his compositions -he just wrote down music as it came to him, as if it had already been written and his job was just to act as scrivener:

Inspiration, move me brightly
Light the song with sense and color
Hold away despair
More than this I will not ask
Faced with mysteries dark and vast
Statements just seem vain at last
Some rise
Some fall
Some climb . . . .
To get to Terrapin!

bikramyogachick said...

The yoga is hard enough on it's own, dealing with stamina issues is not fun when you add that in! At least you are still going at a pretty good clip.
I could use some inspiration myself. I'm challenged this time around on the challenge! My heart is just not in it. Perhaps I will try to breathe in some inspiration tonight!