15 July, 2012

Time to rest...

Today was Hatha/Yin with Patrick.

It was Day 45 of the challenge. The final day. I met the challenge, and then some, having done yoga for 53 consecutive days. I woke up this morning, feeling like I couldn't believe I actually had to go do yoga. It shouldn't have really been any different from any other day in the past couple of months, but for some reason I was just tired, and feeling not-looking-forward-to-it. There were not many familiar faces in class today, just a couple, which surprised me, because I expected the final day to be a big turnout. I guess people were opting for Power Yoga as a last hurrah for the challenge, and this was not that.

The last week or so, I've really been feeling tired and sore in my hips. Every Warrior II has felt like it's just making my joints creak, and like my hip sockets don't want to rotate that way. But today was the last day of the run, I should be able to pull it together.

But, it turns out, today was the day where I found myself giving in to the voice that was saying "For fuck sake, just rest, already, will you?" And I know it was my mind that really wanted the rest, because this lapse occurred during the Yin part of the class, not the Hatha part (which I did, for the most part, as prescribed). After 45 days (53) of heat, and no air, and sore muscles, and struggling mind, Day 45 was the day where I gave in to it. And it wasn't without some inner conflict. We were doing wide-leg stretching, long holds. I was seated on a block, and trying to get into the hamstrings. There was no air. I am sure this was not a crisis for everyone in the room. But my crisis was that I wanted more of it, and I didn't have it. And I knew that the practice is to quiet that mind, and to not stir up the chaos. The entire point of Yin is to be in that, more than any other form of practice that we do at UYS. And it's here that I encountered the greatest resistance and, ultimately, gave in to it.

Yin is a lot like meditation. Yoga is a lot like meditation, but Yin is a little more like it than any-old-yoga. And that's because there's not a whole lot you are doing physically to distract from the places the mind wants to go. It's pretty much just you, the mind, and some connective tissue (the latter of which is either cooperating, or not, depending on your body).

So it's back to the meditation thing. It's apropos that I concede in this space, because it's where I have had my big wall ever since forever.

I'm being hard on myself.

I was just tired, right? But I was tired in Odessa's class yesterday, and I kept going, because Power Yoga always has the next pose to keep your mind busy with the sheer mechanics of it. It certainly is a challenge for the mind, but it's a different kind of challenge. Power Yoga builds "mental toughness," and it has the capacity to quiet the mind, but that's not a sure bet. You can have a really decent Vinyasa practice and still have the little monkeys running full speed in their wheel. But in Yin, or in meditation, you are either doing the practice, stillness, or you are not. There's no faking it. No escaping it.

There's my edge. I knew it was there all along. I am not faking my way through yoga practice, but I am a beginner. I have a long way to go. I did, and do deserve a rest, and it's okay to pat myself on the back for the accomplishment. But the rest could have started 15 minutes later.

I'm beating myself up again. I don't know if I know how not to.


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