04 March, 2012

Overcoming obstacles

Today was 90 minutes of Hatha with Erin.

It was another morning where I could have just as easily stayed in bed. But I don't want to miss the opportunity to do these long classes (actually, I am not entirely sure if it's commitment, discipline, obsession, or what, but it is driving me to get up and go every day).

Erin's classes are a little bit more "granular" in terms of detail around form than most of the other Hatha classes. She is very good at using literal directions (e.g. telling you about proper body alignment and motion), as well as figurative directions (e.g. "fluff up your chest") to draw the most out of us in every pose. It's funny, because those little suggestions like fluffing things up really help, even though I am not exactly sure what it means to fluff something. Somehow, just the thought, the idea, the bringing of awareness amounts to more extension. Erin is consistent throughout the class in repeating these types of small messages that bring better form and more extension. I also like that, on any given week, she may choose a single detail on which to focus. For example, this week, she spoke a lot about drawing our shoulder blades down in the back, to open our chest more. This message related to many different poses, and it really altered my thinking about the practice.

Class was not too hot, which was again very nice.

Today, I came equipped with 2 liters of water again, but barely needed to finish the first liter. Sharp contrast from the previous day. I really do think it's just my body (not necessarily the room conditions) that vary considerably from one day to the next.

This weekend felt like a mental victory. The long classes had been really killing me. A big part of the reason was that I kept showing up in anticipation of hell, and got what I was expecting. I tried to come to these classes with a feeling of positivity and confidence: "I want to do this, and I am going to enjoy this."

Perhaps an hour class is going to feel short now?

In line with this accomplishment, I also finally managed to get myself to sit down (off the mat) and finish a very tedious project that had been lingering for weeks. It was a report that I needed to write. The report was no longer important, but needed to be done, and I had been procrastinating it forever. Every time I would think about sitting down to do it, there would be this feeling of doom, and it would automatically morph into avoidance... write a blog... browse the web... play music... text with a friend... This yoga practice is absolutely shining a light on these types of thoughts and avoidance. I see myself doing it, and I know that just doing it would be far less unpleasant than moaning about it. I didn't get there as quickly as I might have liked, but I finally got there. And it feels good to have the weight lifted.

For that, I have to give thanks to UYS instructors for making me sit deep in Chair pose, when my legs were screaming, or to try to remain stable, with my top leg raised, in Side Plank, while stinging sweat is dripping into my eyes. These uncomfortable experiences make report writing seem just a little more tolerable.


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