24 June, 2013

90 Minute Metaphor

Today was Power Vinyasa (90 minutes) with Chelle Swierz at Be Luminous.

There was a lengthy internal dialog around which class I would do today. First, I thought, "Maybe I'll do Michel's 5:30" but I didn't want to take that brutal 90 minute class. Then I thought, "Oh, I know what I'll do! I'll take Chelle Swierz 7:15 class! It's still 90 minutes, but it's a Yoga Basics class!" but I started thinking I didn't want to do a 90 minute class no matter what the difficulty level. So, the next thought was "I can take Vanessa's 7:15! That's only an hour and I haven't seen Vanessa in a long time!" but as the day wore on, I couldn't imagine sticking around late enough for a 7:15 class, even if the reward would be a shorter 60 minute class. So, after all that spinning around and around, I landed back at Michel's 5:30 class, only to discover that Chelle was substituting for her. This was, after all, a welcome surprise, since (as you know) I enjoy any opportunity to take a class with a teacher I haven't had before.

And that's where the fun ended. 

To say that I felt slow, fat, heavy, and like a disgusting wet rat today would be to make slow, fat, heavy, and disgusting rats feel insecure about themselves. The entire class, dripping wet, I just felt like I could barely keep my body in motion. Interestingly, it wasn't the kind of fatigue that is usually accompanied by extra pain in the joints. It was just a sloth-like feeling, and weakness. Few of Chelle's flows were garden variety. She had a little something extra for the "Level 2" patrons in just about every sequence (how about throwing in a Crow right after Chair in every Sun B?!). 

I did the best I could, which involved a flat-out decision to modify liberally, dropping much of the extra hot sauce throughout the class. I decided, the way I felt, that whatever it took to maintain integrity without letting myself off the hook would be what I would do. It worked pretty well, but man did I go hard on myself internally. Thoughts of "What is wrong with me?" as I sideways-glanced around seeing all the other people lock-step with her instructions. I know it's my practice. And I know that I shouldn't be comparing myself. And I know that it doesn't matter what anyone else is doing. And, for that matter, I know that I didn't actually see what everyone was doing, or how they were doing it. But what I did see just fueled this feeling of inadequacy and feeling inexplicably worse than everyone else. I guess that's where my head was today, since it's what I saw. And now, the next morning, I awaken with a yoga hangover, from dehydration that was not properly addressed the night before.

The 90 minute classes tend to do this to me. And no matter how much I become cognizant of the tendency for this self-fulfilling prophecy, I continue to dole out that experience to myself. I wonder how many of these classes I would need to take before I learn to stop looking forward in tortuous anticipation. Perhaps this says something about how I approach "The Long Haul" in life? I am good at the short sprints of the psyche, but when I know it's a bigger commitment, I waver. I wish that didn't sound like me, but it does. And I really don't like that the lesson is so plain and obvious. 

So, do I avoid the 90 minute classes? Or do I charge them head-on?

Man, do I hate those 90 minute classes.

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