23 September, 2014

Trying to reconcile the fire

Today was vinyasa with Elizabeth at The White Studio.

I thought this was a one hour class but it turned out to be ninety minutes (actually, 75 minutes but it ran a little long). Was not sure what was going on there, but it was fine with me. With no heat, my durability is pretty good. We focused on lengthening the body in all the poses. As always, Elizabeth's words were a welcome part of the practice.

At one point during class Elizabeth said something that really resonated for me, but then I wondered if I was just looking for excuses for my slackings. She pointed out that backbends are "Fire" poses, and forward bends are "Water" poses. And according to the Ayurvedic medicine quizzes, I always test as "Pitta" which is supposedly the fiery one, if you believe any of that stuff, which I am still not sure I do, and also not sure I don't...

So, I've already attributed in the past my dislike for heat, especially hot yoga studios, as being related this (supposed) Pitta energy. And then, when Elizabeth mentioned the point about backbends, I started thinking maybe that's why I don't really like backbends either. I always avoid Wheel, Fish, Tabletop, you name it. I don't usually resist Camel, but I also don't seek it in my own practice at home. Maybe it all makes sense? Maybe I don't need heat and I don't need all the backbends, because I already have enough fire? And what I really need is cooling things, forward folds (which I love)?

But then there's the part of me that kicks in the judgment and says "You're just looking for excuses for weaseling out of the backbends at the end of class..." And the teachers certainly place more emphasis on a pose like Wheel than they do on any other pose in the class. It's almost like Baptiste decided that the entire practice is about getting to Wheel, and if you don't rock it, then you get zero benefits... at least that's how they make me feel sometimes. That's when you really hear the teachers with their "If you can then you must" speech.

Fact is, I can. But I don't know that I must.

I talked about it with Elizabeth the other day. She agreed with me. Of course, she's also Pitta, and also isn't a huge fan of heat or backbends. So maybe it's a thing?

I dunno. I dunno. I dunno.

No comments:

Post a Comment