10 March, 2012

Receiving the gift

Today was 90 minutes of Power Vinyasa with Odessa.

It's been a long week, and it was nice to get a solid 10 hours of sleep, the first 2 hours of which occurred on my living room floor in front of the fireplace last night. Woke up refreshed, and utterly enthusiastic about taking a long, morning yoga class. Yogurt for some energy. 800mg of ibuprofen for the knees. Ready for the bus ride downtown.

Because it's a long class, I once again came equipped with 2 liters of water (1 with Emergen-C, the other without) and positioned myself by the door (more accurate would be to say "in the door").

Today's class was great. Pretty intense, with a few balancing series that had me almost falling over. By the time we got to standing balance poses like Eagle and Tree, I was fuzzy-minded and wavering from fatigue, but in an entirely awesome way.

It was amusing and rather ironic that, in today's class, I ended up having a bull's eye view of the clock that Odessa uses for making sure class stays on schedule. There are no clocks in the room, except this tiny one. And every time I was in Downward Dog, my eyes were pointing straight at the clock. So, for most of a 90 minute Vinyasa class, I was keenly aware of exactly where we were in the class. 10:15 doing Sun-A. 10:35 in Twisted Chair, etc. I recognized immediately that this could be a bad thing or a non-thing. So, when it came time to set intention in today's class, it was a no-brainer:  "Timelessness". The clock is there, but it does not matter, because I am going to be feeling my body move through every nuance of every pose. When my legs are burning in Half Moon so much that I just want to crumble, my mind will not go to "It's 10:47" because my mind will be too busy experiencing what it feels like to have my legs burning in Half Moon so much that I just might crumble (though I won't actually crumble; maybe just wobble).

Near the end of the class, Odessa commented that one of her teachers, Baron Baptiste (she says, casually), once said that the final Wheel of the class will determine whether you walk out of the class, or fly out of the class. Today, I achieved a kind of elevation and elation on "Wheel #6" that was far beyond anything I have ever experienced in that pose. And the inspiration came from knowing that Odessa's words were only one-degree separated from an iconic figure in the yoga practice.

I've only taken three of Odessa's classes, due to the way the schedule tends to work, but I think I would like to seek her class a little more frequently, because she has a wonderful calming energy, and her sequences are a bit of a complement to many of the other classes offered.

There's been a change in the past week. I am not sure if it's just a phase I am now in, or if it may reflect an actual progression. The big difference I am feeling is that I am no longer impatient with classes, even in the face of challenge, fatigue, heat. I am starting to welcome whatever comes. This seems to be happening off the mat too, which I find very satisfying.

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