31 October, 2015

Go here instead --> feeblefables.com

I wrote a few more entries after that last one, maybe for about a month. And then I decided I didn't feel like writing anymore. I don't know why, and I am not sure it was a good idea. Now, some time has passed, and I think I should write again. But I may not limit myself to the yoga topics. And I may not write about yoga at all (though, there actually is quite a bit I could say).

In the meantime, you can find my non-yoga writing here: http://www.feeblefables.com

I may write here today, or tomorrow, or never, but I will probably write over there soon.

18 February, 2015

Writing for myself

Today was hotel yoga.

I decided yesterday to stop posting my blogs publicly.

That means I am writing this for myself. I am hesitant about it. I am hesitant about what to write here, because if I take it in a truly personal direction, then I am committing to either staying private, editing content, or deleting the entries that cannot be shared publicly. It makes me uneasy. And I am not sure why, because it's not like there's some massive readership that I am betraying. It's more like, "If I stop publishing this to the world, then the commitment is only to myself, and then what does it mean if I keep it up?" And it also means that I am shifting away from writing as a means of receiving validation.

So what am I going to do...

Well, a little more about the thoughts around closing it down, before I move forward. I feel this need to explain myself to people. I feel like, "Oh, I owe someone an explanation for why I have decided not to publish it anymore." But I don't owe anyone anything. There was something that came up a few weeks ago in a conversation with someone. Anna, maybe. The point was that I don't need to explain myself. I can just make decisions and not explain them. I have always felt like I need to explain everything.

But I don't.

And it helps that I am not presently using Facebook because I would have already been posting about the fact that I am not writing the blog publicly and why I am not, etc.

The knowledge that much of the supposed readership of my blog is probably robots makes it a little less disappointing to stop.

OK. But here I am. Starting to do this. Now.

Today was hotel yoga.

I was looking forward, somewhat, to doing the practice today, and was committed to doing a good practice. It's been a difficult few days. I have experienced an immense amount of stress and anxiety about this first study that I am running for my new team. I have always gone through this emotionality around important things at work, becoming moody, anxious, etc. But this time, it felt even more major because I am working on a topic that is important, and I am taking over for a researcher who is extremely highly regarded, and my friend whom I want to impress, or at least not disappoint. So I have felt this pressure. But I guess it's been lurking just below the surface, and coming out as sadness, disconnection, existentialism, etc. It's not to say that I don't or won't experience those things periodically anyway, especially considering that my life will always have these (or may always have these) periods where I experience stress. But I really turned it in on myself and then it impacted my relationship too.

It affected my practice, I believe, in the manner of impacting my balance. For the past several days, I had shit for balance. Today, after having run my first 2 sessions, and everything went well, my balance was much better. Balance may be a useful barometer for me to measure something about my state. Of course, sometimes my balance may just be off because my legs are tired. So there's that.

I don't know why I continue to experience such stress every time there's a new milestone, when I repeatedly meet the occasion with the necessary effort. And I don't disappoint people. But I do spend a lot of time explaining myself and my emotions, and that's probably the only weird part. I don't want to be difficult to work with. I don't want to be a freak. I don't want to be one of those people where others are thinking "If I have to listen to one more time of Bob talking about sometimes he feels this, or sometimes he feels that... why can't he just shut the fuck up and do his job?!"

These are the things I fear.

Among others.

16 February, 2015

Walking on the ceiling

Today was vinyasa with Tara.

When I was younger and I would go running or do intense workouts at the gym, I would often lie on the floor after the workout and stare blankly at the ceiling, in a state of euphoria from the exercise. At the gym I attended at the university, the ceiling was very high. It was easily 40 feet, perhaps even 60 feet from the floor. In that euphoric state, it was not unusual for me to imagine that I was walking on the ceiling, and the the world was upside-down. Alternatively, I might have imagined that the world was upside-down, but I was hanging by my back from the floor, which was now the ceiling. It was interesting to try to induce the psychological sense of "fear of heights" in that position.

Today, at the end of Tara's class, I found myself imagining walking on the billowy looking ceiling of the room. I'd come into class fairly agitated. I felt sad. She spoke about some things that were happening for her, in terms of experiencing stress or contraction in a situation, and how that situation becomes much bigger than it actually is. And I could totally relate to that. I don't know why I feel the sadness lately. It's not foreign to me. It's been off and on in my life for as long as I can remember. And it's not always brought on by tangible stimuli or events that I can identify. Right now, all is well. But I have gone through periods of existential angst, and periods of undefined sadness. The good news is that they're brief, and they tend to be interspersed with periods of hours or days where I am in a perfectly good state of mind. Case in point: I felt considerably better after this yoga class than I had felt before it.

I don't know any magic trick to not feel these feelings. Some people have told me "You want to feel that way." Is that true? Do I want it? I can't definitively say that I don't, but why would I? It may be true that I am compelled to go there.

I think I have a hard time just being where I am.

The yoga mat is a good place to work on that.

Tree was only a little better today than it was yesterday. And I was only a little less irritated with it. And I recognize that there's an opportunity to let go. Balance poses are a place where it's more difficult to appear composed. In any pose where you've got two feet on the ground, there's always a modification that can be done to achieve stability. Well, truth is, the same can be said for the balance poses. But for some reason, I must be less willing to take those modifications. What does that say? It would be kind of funny to go down the avenue that I don't believe, that of astrology, and say that because I am a Libra, balance is especially a point of pride for me, and that I have high standards.

But let's not go down the occult avenues just yet. Or else I may find myself walking on the ceiling.

15 February, 2015

Disharmony and ignorance

Today was vinyasa with Jodi.

It was a really tough class for me. I don't know why, since I think her classes are supposedly gentler, but they just don't seem it to me. My balance was way off, to the point that it felt like I was taking my first yoga class, and that I didn't even know what Tree is. And since I was in the front row, that even started some of the thoughts creeping into my head about how I must look. I didn't go too far with the thought but it was in there.

At the end of the class, she read something. It was about how all of the disharmony in the world is caused by ignorance. And the specific example was very illustrative, talking about how we might react to being bumped into by someone, and about how that reaction would change if we discovered that the person who bumped us is blind. It was a very literal example, and I started by imagining that situation and I felt a good deal of emotional pain thinking about it. And after class, I took it further, and realized that it was universally true, when taken to an abstract level. If someone treats us poorly, even if it's intentional (from our perspective), there is still this entire level of unknown about that person's life, their past, their day, their problems. We are ignorant of all these things that may be impacting their behavior, and we are presented with this choice of whether to react, or to have compassion. And it doesn't even matter if they're right or wrong. The choice is between harmony and disharmony. When we react, we create more disharmony. And we only get to choose how we act. We do not get to choose how others act.

It's a pretty big thought. It feels like a burden to have that awareness and the responsibility that comes with it.

And when one takes it even further, to understand why we have our own difficulties and failings... example: why I couldn't balance today... I may be ignorant as to why my balance is off, but I still get to choose whether to be mad at my body, or to be compassionate.

It seems like it's ingrained in me to react.

13 February, 2015

Flexibility is...

Today was vinyasa with Chelle.

I had a hard time in this class today. Chelle talked about flexibility. She proposed that "flexibility is saying yes to doing something when you want to say no." And I guess that really triggered me today, because I found myself battling inside about "Why is that what flexibility means?!" I felt like maybe for some people who are Type A, flexibility might be to go a little easy instead of pushing to the max. I felt like everyone has a different definition of what it means, and that why am I being asked, in the name of "flexibility," to do exactly what I am being asked to do...

But, as you can probably imagine, as time passed, only shortly after class, I realized that this may be true. But, in that case, perhaps for me, flexibility means "accepting that not everyone is going to have the same definition of flexibility as I do." And it also means that I have to choose whether to spiral out of control and become Mr. Defiance for the rest of the class (proving nothing to no one), or regain center, let it go, and keep practicing.

I often find myself dialing up the defiance channel in Chelle's class, and I am not sure why that is. But I also know that this is a great opportunity for me to explore it, rather than react and run away from it.

12 February, 2015

Novelty versus predictability

Today was vinyasa with Zak.

For the first few times I attended these classes, it all felt new, and I had no idea what was coming next. But as I've come a few more times, I now realize that a Level 1.5 Creative Flow will have a certain arc to the sequences, and a Level 2 Flow will have a particular series of things that will happen, with a few variations within that pattern. The classes are great, but once I know what's coming next, then it gets into that game of turning the mind off, so as not to overthink "What's coming next?"

I don't know what the metaphor is off the mat. I suppose it's that interactions or responsibilities in life that may be recurrent still should only be attended with presence in the moment as if it is the first time they've ever happened. For example, this is the first time that I will ever take this drive home from work, even though I've taken the same route every day. Instead I tend to find anything I can do to fill my mind and not need to think about this drive, since that's boring. Or tedious. And can't wait for it to be over.

I know so clearly how much more rich the life could be if I weren't spinning off into past, future, or other universes of possibility. And yet it remains something I have difficulty doing.