25 May, 2013

Finding true north can be a bumpy road

This week I attended the True North workshop with Michel and Nicole.

I'd recently attended a Baptiste workshop, so I had some sense of what would be happening here. But I was enthusiastic about doing this type of work with my local teachers, local community, home studio.

There were 13 of us, I think. The idea is that we start off and spend some time exploring proper alignment in a basic pose - Tadasana - the root of all poses. This involved hands on adjustments in pairs work which was kind of interesting since I had never "adjusted" anyone before. My partner was named Heidi. I recognized her from the teacher training grand finale. She'd been one of the teachers. We were supposed to help one another achieve right alignment. I discovered it is a lot of energy to get consciously into every aspect of the body position. And I had taken Elizabeth's class earlier that day so it may have been a mistake being fatigued already.

After these exercises we talked about the sensations. I didn't feel anything magical. Only fatigue. And then we did a moderate one hour practice that was supposed to be highlighting proper alignment - true north - in every pose. Problem was my body was so spent that I didn't really feel like I had a special northerly experience. It just felt like dead-tired yoga.

After the yoga we paired off again, this time I was with a woman named Linda whom I hadn't met before. We were supposed to talk about how being out of alignment in our lives shows up in our bodies. What are our triggers. I know that mine include feeling a true gut feeling below my solar plexus when something isn't right for me. Waking up with my teeth hurting from grinding (rarely happens but always indicates something). Or getting adrenalized. Then we talked about what causes this for us. Then we talked about what our intention is for our lives. What does true north mean for us. It was hard to talk about. And I wasn't feeling incredibly open. But I tried and I am sure I seemed open.

I came away with the realization that I have some conflicting desires. How does one have connection and freedom simultaneously? How does one have stability and possibility simultaneously? I feel that I sometimes am striving for A + not(A). And that logic doesn't go so well.

I am glad I did the true north workshop but I didn't come away with a blissful feeling. One of the Baptiste tenets is "give up what you must." And that one scares me more than any of the other catch phrases because I worry about what it will be that I must give up.

The days after the workshop were rocky for me. Often that happens when I do "work" - I come out of it in an internal struggle. And it's usually because I don't like the "inconvenient truths" that often arise for me.

But to run away from the truth is a fruitless endeavor.

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