14 September, 2012

Non dirlo a nessuno che Sue mi ha fatto piangere

This evening was Power Vinyasa with Sue.

A couple of us asked for abs tonight, since we hadn't seen abs in a class yet (other than the fact that every yoga pose works abs). Sue says to us, "Allllllright... but I can tell you right now, you're not gonna like the way I do abs."


We started off class with abs. It was a modification of the 30/60/90 abs series, where we rested our head on a block, and then you look down at your belly and suck your bellybutton all the way to your spine. Then, lower your legs from 90 degrees to the point that you feel like your belly wants to jump up, but no further. Then hold it there and breathe. Yes, difficult. Then, repeat the process with both legs swung about 45 degrees to the right before lowering, and again to the left. You get the idea. I like the fact that the exercise is "dialed-in" to your own personal threshold, as opposed to 30/60/90 where you may be beyond the point where you can keep the back flat and low abs firm. Good idea. Sue is full of these types of good ideas. Seriously. Her style is about helping you find the spot that is right for your body, and helping you arrive in that spot, and to become more aware of the impact of small adjustments to the overall sensation.

The main flow was a pretty standard series, and was relatively gentle, perhaps considering the tough classes we've had so far on this trip. But then it stepped up a notch with what I would like to call "The Toughest Pose I Have Ever Done." It goes like this. We all know the "get on your hands and knees, and then extend your left arm forward and your right leg back" deal. It's quite common, moderate intensity, and yadda yadda, not much to say about it. But, guess what happens if, after doing this standard pose, you lower the knee back down to the mat, but keep the arm up? Give up? Okay, I'll tell you what happens. The Toughest Pose I Have Ever Done. And what makes it harder is holding it for 60 seconds. I don't understand how or why this is harder than having the leg up, but it is. The abs completely fry out, and the shoulder and back muscles holding the arm up will burn like crazy, and the arm that you're balancing on is also dying in its own special way. I honestly hesitate to even mention this pose in here, for fear that Jo or Cassandra might start doing it in their classes too!

Thankfully, the last 20 minutes of class went back into the Land of Yin again. We did some stretches, with long holds, to open up the I-T band, and inner thigh. It was an awkward pose I hadn't done before. You lie on your belly, and extend your bottom leg out to the side, with your top leg straight back. The bottom leg gets a major I-T band stretch. It was super-intense, and I found all sorts of juicy stuff... on the right side. You then flip all the way over so the bottom leg is on top, and again extend it out to the side. More juicies.

Then, we flipped to the left side, and I was basically unable to get into the pose. I am not sure why, but no amount of twisting, turning, pulling would get me there. Finally, I decided I needed to "let go" and see where my body wanted to be so that I wasn't holding on to anything. And what I ended up in was nothing short of a crumpled mess, where I felt like I wasn't getting any juicy anything. I laid there, and felt bad about it, and tried to accept myself for it, and then something hit me. I got this overwhelming feeling of having made a mess out of my life that just can't be reordered or made pretty. It wasn't a feeling about my life now, but it was a feeling that felt familiar. And, just like that, the tears started flowing. It was not elegant, it did not feel right. And I had this sense of "How am I ever going to make this be right?" More tears. We flipped to the back side to do the leg on top, and it was marginally better than the bottom.

After that, we went right into Savasana. This time, I was alert in Savasana, whereas the previous few classes, I'd been close to sleeping. And I laid there, trying to be curious about this sensation. Where does this come from? When was it real for me? Why is it such a trigger? And I couldn't even remotely put my finger on it. But as I let the questions run through my mind, more tears flowed, streaming down the sides of my face. I could feel them wrapping in front of, and behind my ears, and around and down the back of my head. I stopped trying to think about it, and focused on the sensation of drops flowing across skin.

Even writing this, it's welling up again.

And I honestly don't know why.

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