15 August, 2012

Harmony of the collective Om

Today was Power Vinyasa with Carley.

At Be Luminous, the "Om" is a part of every class. This is not true at Urban Yoga Spa, where Om'ing only occurs occasionally, at the discretion of the instructor. So, prior to coming to this studio, I had very little context for appreciating or experiencing the variability and nature of a collective Om.

The first time I really noticed it was in Michel's class, my first day at Be Luminous. The room was quieter, brighter, and new to me. My senses were heightened. I was a little nervous, out of my familiar element. When the Om began, I was immediately struck with the perfect harmony of the room. It was like a Major chord. You could clearly hear the root, the third, and the fifth. And it was like a choir. That chance perfection of the particular collection of yogis, on that particular day, led me to become interested in the tonality of the Om going forward from class to class.

What I've noticed is that it's much more likely to have the collective hold a strong "pentatonic" nature, a lot of some root note, and a lot of a fifth. Today's Om, for instance, was very crisply on that vibe. I even heard a very faint minor third in there, which may have only been one or two voices, but enough to subtly affect the overall feel of it.

On one day, I cannot remember when it was, the Oms were scattered... dissipated... dissonant. There was no common ground. And I wonder, is there something about the energy of the group? Or is it the mood of the day? Or something else that is not tangible, but is nonetheless very real, driving the tonality either toward, or away from something that feels congruent?

I don't know the answer to that.

Today's class was amazing, and difficult.

Lately, I have been pushing pretty hard to get my hips up during poses like Belly of the Beast. It's a ton of core, and quite difficult for me to keep the hips up. And I often feel the soreness in the side muscles the next day. These are muscles so foreign to me, I am not even sure what they're called. They're not obliques. What are they?

We experienced a couple of really tough sequences today. Crescent Lunge, bind the arms behind, forward into Dekasana with the bound arms, pivot into Half Moon, step back to Warrior II, then down into a Low Lunge and stretch the hips letting the front foot fall outward. When we did the Triangle, to wide-leg stretching, to Pyramid near the end of class, Carley had us substitute the second wide-leg stretch with a High Squat plus Eagle arms right, then left, all holding in the High Squat. Quite a burn near the end of class. She also had us do a very novel entry into Tree pose (which I couldn't really execute) by lifting the leg way up and holding the foot with both hands, then placing the foot into Tree. My hips do not yet move that way.

Good things to note: (1) no shoulder pain lately, because I think I have really learned how to do Chaturanga in a non-damaging fashion, (2) my right knee is now so close to "better" that I can even sit comfortably cross-legged without feeling even a hint of pain, and am even able to squat pretty deeply into that knee without pain.

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