20 January, 2012

There's not always much to say

Today was Hatha with Bret.

Usually, I have some idea or theme that emerges in my mind during the class, or just after, that I know I'll want to write about in the blog. Tonight, there wasn't really one. It makes me wonder, "Is it really possible to write a blog entry for every single class? Or is this going to run out of interest value for just about everyone including myself?" But I believe that doing this is going to take me somewhere so, in spite of that voice inside my head, I am just going to stick with it.

I have found that a number of the "causes" that I have pursued have hit a similar wall, where I suddenly began questioning the value of whatever it was that I was doing. And this is in spite of the fact that I always begin with a very clear idea of what I am trying to achieve. One of my primary goals in writing this blog was to get me writing again, because I'd hit a sort of writer's block that, with a few exceptions, had lasted well over a year.

So...

Today's class was cool again. End of class, only at 88 degrees. I guess there's something going on with getting the heat and the new humidifiers to cooperate with the outdoor temperatures. I don't pretend to understand how the equipment works. But today's Hatha felt quite a bit like yesterday's Hatha, with the exception being the difference in styles between Bret and Colette. After a few weeks of going without, I started reinserting a good set of push-ups at the start of the class, since Hatha does lack much to speak of in terms of upper body strengthening. Self-consciously, I often wonder if I look like a pretentious you-know-what doing my push-ups, but this is my practice, and I'd like to have that little bit extra at the start.

Bret, as always, offered a number of opportunities for including flow sequences in the class. Often, when the heat is up, I would take the pass on these and go for the Savasana, but in the cooler conditions, I felt the desire to add just about everything he offered. I like the looseness of his class. I like the idea that there are things that we do together; prescribed steps. But there are also things that we can choose to do, as Bret puts it, "to suit our own personalities." I really like the idea of the combination between individuality and working together as a single unit.

One challenge, I am realizing, in classes, is that instructors (most) provide a lot of guidance. In some cases, it's specifications for adjustments. In other cases, it may be words of encouragement. But I have seen in myself that when I focus on what the instructor is saying, I often lose connection with my breath. It's tricky. Because there are a lot of things to think about. There's the breath, the guidance, physical sensations, the reflection in the mirror. There's the almost constant recognizing (and hopefully dismissing) of the little thoughts that come up. And the first thing that seems to suffer is the breath.

Perhaps I need to put more attention in my breath. In fact, I think I heard an instructor either yesterday or today note that a lot of what the instructor says may just go in one ear and out the other. Perhaps I am focusing a little too much on what they're saying.

Something to consider.

Final note, relating to the progress with my lower back. It appears that it's recovering pretty quickly. The difficulty I had on Standing Bow earlier in the week is slowly letting up. I am still being cautious, but finding that the left side is not as tender as it was.

And a final, final note. I noticed, as I began sweating on my gray towel, that the pattern of markings on the towel reminded me exactly of the patterns of markings on the underside of the manta rays that I saw in Hawaii last week. I like little things like that.

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