So this morning I woke up just before 7, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for my Mysore session.
I was so nervous when I walked into the room. Everyone else in Mysore can do headstands and human pretzel-stuff and I can’t even get my heels on the ground in downward dog. Plus I have to work at the back of the room because I’m a baby-yogi and I’m totally not used to having so many people in my field of vision. But I just concentrated on breathing and reminded myself that nobody notices or cares about other people when they’re practicing.
And it was a great practice… I moved in and out of awareness, I had moments when the sweat cooled on my scalp and I would suddenly realise I’d stopped pushing myself, stopped breathing deeply — so I would push harder and go a little deeper, and start sweating like crazy again. It may sound far-fetched, but it was rather like being high, when occasionally you have moments where you feel normal and chilly and almost too grounded in reality, and then you go back to being high again… A couple of times Greg came over and pushed me further into the pose than I would have imagined possible — and it hurt so much — but I came out of each pose feeling even better.
I realise that I really want to learn the next step. I’ve had such a terrible relationship with utthita hasta padangusthasana which is the gateway to the rest of the first series in Ashtanga, and I have always wished I could stop just before, but now I understand how important it is. I’m ready to go back to Amanda and try again, because I’m starting to get the meaning of practicing “with intent”. It means even when you know you can’t do it, you push yourself as hard as you can to do the best you can — keep trying even if you’re sure you will fail, take pride in knowing you are doing your best. I didn’t understand this before and therefore I never strove to achieve poses when I knew I was going to “fail”… Of course I wasn’t going to improve.
I’ve always been like this; I resent being told what to do when I don’t understand why I should have to do it. My poor boss always has to explain himself and listen to my arguments and get me to understand his reasoning before I’ll do anything that doesn’t seem right to me. Being told that I have to do intro 2 and intro 3 before Mysore made sense, but I didn’t really appreciate what I was getting out of those intro classes. I hope my new attitude will give me the strength to keep going back. New class starts on the 5th of January… Will I be there?
And then I came home and went for a jog, because I’m so far from ticking off my 50km for December!