Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Viparita Karani...I think I love you

My mind was all over the place this morning and I already anticipated that it would be but in spite of feeling very drawn to my warm spot in bed, I resisted the pull and trudged to the shower.

Within 20 minutes, I was driving to the studio with barely enough space in between origin and destination to aptly heat my car but I was so consumed with berating myself that I hardly felt the icy cold.

I sighed on the mat and I closed my eyes to the studio around me, trying as best I could to find my center and to cultivate peace before our teacher began the invocation.

You can't strong arm peace but try telling that to my mind when she gets caught in a loop...geez.

We were called to standing and with palms pressed in front of my heart, while the others chanted along, I practically begged for peace, acceptance...anything that could possibly still the quaking inside, even if just to muffle the messages of inadequacy I was feeding myself.

All along, thinking to myself, this can't end well.

Sun Salutation A...the first was effortless and divine as I floated from posture to posture.

But then...

A buzz kill. Ujayi breath became irritating...literally, irritating the back of my throat. I live in Florida, I thought to myself, are we seriously lacking in enough humidity to moisten my breath for just this hour? The 'constriction' in the back of my throat tickled every time I inhaled...change the breath, you say? Hell no...I'm a serious yogini, surely I can create moisture there if I just swallow enough spit.

Focus Tina.

Calm the mind...soothe your practice with a gentle breath.

But I kid you not, if practices have themes--and I think, over time, themes emerge in strange ways, from day to day, practice to practice--this practice would be 'the spot in the back of my throat that moisture forgot'. Ideally, however, themes should be that which takes you beyond yourself and your tendencies to explore new possibilities, not turn your mind into one gigantic crock-pot, a veritable hot mess of stagnation.


Finally, nearing the end of class the humidifier was turned on and with every spare brain cell that wasn't occupied by the many available loops in my brain, I willed that wet, warm air my way.

Pray for moisture Tina and moisture you shall have.

The snot faucet swelled with what began as a tickle of impending sneeze pressure before graduating to a double-nostril slurpy clog with lousy surface tension as it repeatedly trickled beyond the brink of my nose.

Every forward folding of my body exacerbated the snot-predicament and my focus was shot, my breath was fragmented at best and worst of all, I wouldn't just take the 2 minute bathroom break for a good blow to get me back on track.

No, no. I stubbornly intended to stick it out. THIS, by the way, is precisely what I teach against in my classes--ignoring your body and all its various messages as you practice.

By the time we came to our backs, I was so distracted by the lingering sneeze pressure piercing my nose, I knew that my asana practice was over...I had fought the good fight and was going to call it quits...just as my instructor changed her usual flow and had us rest our legs up the wall.

This was it--no going upside down, no shoulder stand...just legs up the wall to restore the body, to cultivate healing and peace.

One more good wipe of my wet nose and I obliged.

And at that, the peace came as I settled into my space, warmed by my blanket and lulling my mind with the stillness.

Some days are 'quieter' than others in my head, some days certainly have an element of comedy but the practice continues...I hear all is coming.

Peace and love...


Emma said...

this was the grossest post ever. ever. do they make a blog award for that?



La Gitane said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog!

I LOVED this post! I can totally relate to the "mind modifications" on those days when it seems like your practice is a battle against your mind and your body. My teacher used to say "my mat is my battlefield with myself" - but if you can fight that fight, you can do anything! I guess it also shows you that sometimes the best strategy is just to put your feet up the wall and chill. LOL.

Peace! :)


Funny Emma--I think if they did, this one should be a picture of a green snot-glob meditating with a determined look on its face and a thought bubble above its 'head' full of various symbols to represent its frustration.

Surprisingly, I gave that about 2 seconds of thought...my mind can be a crazy place :)

Hello La Gitane--thanks for posting! I love your teacher's wisdom "my mat is my battlefield with myself", thanks for sharing.


Annabellie said...

I have so had this practice! The one where your head just won't shut up and you know that you should be really lovely and peaceful and enjoying yourself, but you just CAN'T. So frustrating! I hope your day improved afterwards.