17 February, 2012

The sun never says...

Tonight was Vinyasa with Cassandra.

I'll start by sharing another poem that Cassandra shared with us. It's by an Iranian "mystic" named Hafiz Shirazi:

Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth, "You owe Me."
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights up the Whole Sky.

These words stir in me both inspiration, as well as sadness... unfortunately, people are not like celestial bodies. We err. We hurt. We go into darkness. We have the capacity to shine like that, but it is not automatic. It takes work. Every day. Endless, tireless work. As soon as we let up, there's a tendency to slip backward. How wonderful it would be to move as a planet does, in orbit... governed by the law of universal gravitation. 

Tonight's class was not too hot, not too hard. But, as usual, it started with Cassandra rattling off a series of her thoughts, some from poetry, some from her own life. And I found myself almost shaking on the floor, trying not to cry, but not really caring if I did.

The rain was coming down in such torrents when I left work today that I could barely see. There were sheets of water, moving at an angle. My pants were drenched all the way through. My shoes, which were not leather, but a suede-like Timberland shoe, soaked through as well. I was cold. I was also feeling down. The fatigue of days upon days of working late, or not sleeping enough, are taking their toll on both my energy, as well as my state of mind.

I arrived on my mat, not sure how I was going to do it today. When it came time to set our intention, Cassandra encouraged us to consider a dedication of love to someone in our lives who needs it most. She encouraged us to picture their smiling, loving face. And I could not do it. I had no dedication. I had nothing to send up and out to the universe today. The shred of intention that I mustered was, once again, to try to just be here now. That's all I had to give to the universe today. Here. Now.

The flow with Cassandra is always at a fast clip. She is the only instructor with whom one really needs to F-L-O-W if you want to keep up. It's true that one does not need to keep up. But, generally speaking, one wants to keep up... Halfway Lift... Forward Fold... Circle-Sweep Up... And Fold... Halfway Lift... Hands to the mat, jump or step back... Chaturanga... Upward Facing Dog... Downward Facing Dog... Knees Bent... Look Forward... walk forward or hop... Halfway Lift... Drop Hips... Utketasna: Chair Pose... one breath in... and exhale, fold.... Halfway Lift... hands to the mat... jump or step back... Chaturanga... Upward Facing Dog.... Downward Facing Dog... right leg lifts... Warrior I... Open Up to Warrior II... Side Angle Pose... top arm pulls you up... reach... and reverse your Warrior... deep breath in... and F-L-O-W...

That entire sequence in 20 seconds, tops... repeated again and again... she like to flow.

For some reason, it turned out to be easier than I expected. Even in my frazzlement... even in my state of half-light... the yoga was a kind of blessing today.

Final note, my Crow poses were pretty good today. I think that falling out of Crow is all about thinking too much about the fact that you're in Crow. If you don't think, then you do Crow (not a lot of thinking, just a lot of doing).

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