02 September, 2012

Ninety-Nine Namastes

Today was Hatha/Yin with Jo.

As I approached these two days, #99 and #100, which felt symbolically important to me, it was easy to see that it was going to be Jo and Cassandra's classes that I'd want to take for the respective countdown. And it's not really that any day in that sequence was more important than any other day. As Patrick once said, regarding the importance of New Years Day, these are just arbitrarily defined points in time. In reality, each day is the first day of the rest of our lives. So, the big deal about a yoga "streak" is making the time and commitment to make yoga happen each day.

When I decided that this was going to be a longer streak than 60 days (or was it 45 days... I cannot even remember now), the first number that came to mind was 100. It sounded like a big deal, for whatever reason. Again, those arbitrary ways we define things. So, for a good chunk of it, the goal was 100 days. At some point along the way, the idea morphed into 108 days, as Jo mentioned to me that this was the magic number I should aim to attain. I know that 108 has some special meaning, and I am ashamed to say that, until today, I had no idea what its significance is. In fact, as I type this, I still don't know, but am about to (finally) Google it, so I can see what it is that I am actually doing.

According to Wikipedia, 108 is an abundant number and a semiperfect number. It is a tetranacci number.

I wouldn't mind being abundant and semiperfect. Though tetranacci sounds a little bit like a kind of pasta.

It is important in Hinduism, being the number of names of the gods. It is important in Buddhism, being the number of volumes of the words of Buddha, and is used as the number of beads in a Tibetan Buddha rosary. It is also the number of questions asked of the Buddha by Bodhisattva Mahamati. So there's all kinds of instances of it. 

So, I agreed to keep it going to the 108 mark, about whose significance I only now have an inkling. But, in my mind, 100 was the magic number.

Today's class with Jo was good. I felt pretty strong, and was glad that I did Hatha, instead of Vinyasa, since my upper body needed that rest. The challenge came when we got to the Yin portion of class, as it always does. The second we entered the first Yin pose, my mind immediately began with the "It's too hot in here" thoughts. I knew that the temperature had not changed at all. It was my mind that changed. Suddenly, my mind was fighting it, because I am faced with my inflexibility, and with being "not okay" with where my body is in the practice. I struggle to find a way to have the poses work for me, and have a hard time just accepting and being with whatever is.

The conversations over the last couple of days have danced around next steps for me. Will I go to the Baptiste training in February in Hawaii? Somehow it feels like I'm just naturally moving in that direction. I don't know that the objective is to teach yoga. But I don't know that it isn't, either. It's only clear that I am interested in the idea of self-inquiry, and of immersion in this process. It isn't even "goal-oriented" for me. 

So today was #99. Tomorrow will be #100. And the remaining days of the personal yoga challenge will simply follow from one another without much thought. There will be a little bit of challenge making it happen through the back half of this week, where I'll be traveling to Boston. But I have done it before. And I will find a way to make it to #108.

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