07 June, 2012

All in the mind

Today was Hatha with Colette.

The room felt hot today, and the battle was all in the mind. When will I come to get used to heat? Ever? Never?

Oftentimes I start a hot class with the best of positive intentions. I tell myself that it's gonna be hot but it's gonna feel good. And I will just stay in that moment and enjoy it. But as the sweat starts flowing, my attitude starts to shift and I find myself angry. The whole cascade of thinking starts. First it's "I'm never taking her class again!" which is immediately followed by the "yogi-talk" of "I must definitely take her class again... and soon!" I'd say it's better, but it's still "Thinking" and that is not "The Moment."

Colette is very vocal in her instruction style. There are days where I have loved this. But this time I found it almost resonating with the internal struggle that I was experiencing. I wanted to find a quiet place in my mind and I couldn't get there. And the guidance, in this instance, was pulling me back to a moment that I was actively trying to escape. Right? So there's an interesting theme. My brain is trying to get to a happy place and the instruction returns me to a less happy, albeit more real place: Now. Heat. Anxiety.

It can be easy to "check out" and mistakenly think you've found bliss. Yoga is not about staying comfortable the entire class. It is about staying present the entire class. Yet we can trick ourselves into believing that a class that felt "great" was actually our best practice when, in fact, it may be that a class where we stayed present through constant discomfort may have been truly the great class.

This yoga thing ain't so simple.

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