06 July, 2012

Covalence

Today was Power Vinyasa with Cassandra.

She had us line up with half the room facing the other half, like several of the teachers have been doing lately. Normally, this involves a "Neutral Zone" in the middle of the class where the teacher stands. But today, I was feeling feisty and decided that I was lining up in that space.

But my plan got one-upped when Heidi suggested that we line up our mats face-to-face, in perfect alignment, with virtually no gap. I knew immediately what some of the implications of this would be. Certain poses were going to be very humorous. Others would have the potential to be rather intimate.

What I didn't fully anticipate was that the entire practice was going to have an intensity and energy to it that was truly unlike anything I have ever experienced before. It is an amazing motivator, having a fellow yogi standing practically as a "mirror" across from you, sharing the experience of each pose. It's not just the knowing that you're acting as a physical mirror, but there's this connection around knowing that they are "in their practice" but sharing that with you.

I have often found that staring directly into my own eyes in the mirror helps focus during tough poses. What I could never have guessed would be that staring into someone else's eyes would help even more.

Class itself was pretty intense. Cassandra had a newish routine today compared to the previous several classes I've done with her. But it didn't really matter what poses she called out. The effect of that mirror was to effectively lock me in the moment. Staying there because I am now sharing the ownership of being in this moment. To cop out or drift is to break the energy.

Near the end of class, I came to the realization that this practice was sort of like a "covalent bond," where energy was passed back and forth. After class I felt euphoria, as well as a very odd sensation that I hadn't really felt before. I'm not the "woo woo" type of person, but I cannot help but wonder if there is a tangible type of energy that we exchange in class together. We are always sharing it just by being in the same class together. But is it possible to really elevate that energy by co-practicing?

Probably.

Thanks, Heidi, for sharing that.

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