03 November, 2013

Practicing patience with others, but not self

Today was vinyasa with Alice.

I spent the day working on music. I've been doing some recording of a neighbor who is much younger than I am. He brought a friend over to do some additional parts on the song, and the friend had a very different energy than "what I had signed up for." The guy I have been working with is very mellow. This guy seemed like a great candidate for ADHD medications. My initial reaction was that he wasn't going to be a good drummer, based on the first few minutes. But I was also feeling a bit anxious because I had never recorded drums before, and wasn't sure we really needed to do it. And, as we started listening to what had already been recorded, this guy had lots of "opinions" and "ideas" about how the song should sound. Bit by bit, it was coming clear that he thought that everything that I had recorded should be removed, and that the only parts worth keeping were the ones that were not played by me. This could have been, and sort of was, a little bit hard to hear. And he was having some noticeable influence over his friend's thinking. They asked my opinion, but I decided that my role in this situation was "recording engineer" and that I should defer to their preferences, or at least save the debate for when it was back to being just the two of us.

I didn't lose my patience, though it was a little tough. And after the drummer guy left, we ended up discussing further and coming to a balance that was a happy medium from where we started. It was a balance that I think was indeed in service of the best interest of "The Music." And much of what I had recorded remained in the mix.

So the lesson was to be patient, hold the pose, not react, and things will likely be better than the negative reactions that impulsively bounce about in the mind.

It feels counterintuitive, then, that I should walk from that experience onto the yoga mat, immediately be brutally harsh with myself the entire class, berating myself with negative thoughts about my physical inadequacy, actually angry at myself for being in pain. My knees hurt, probably due to the change toward colder weather. And my low back was really aching, most likely from the tough class I had taken the day before. And the amount of tolerance I had for my own limitations was exactly zero.

Why?

The whole point of the practice is to accept. So what was going on?

Perhaps, after all that "holding in" of reactions to the guys when I was feeling like my efforts were not appreciated, or my ideas were not good enough, there was a residual echo of inadequacy that hadn't been addressed? Yoga teaches us not to be reactive in life, but is it really a valid practice to save it all up for self-torture on the mat?

There was a lot of Crescent Lunge in today's class, and it made me frustrated because of how fatiguing that pose is for me. Everything hurts. Things that don't usually hurt are hurting. I kinked my neck when sleeping, and felt the effects of that too. My quads felt like someone had hammered on them with a tenderizing mallet.

Practice patience. With yourself first.

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