I'm sorry if the recent string of yoga-related posts bores anyone. I've been trying to keep to my WoYoPracMo commitment. So far, I'm still on track. The funny thing with yoga -- what keeps bringing you back to the mat is showing up in the first place. It's a paradox my friend Missy and I talked about recently.
Missy has been feeling rather low on energy during the Christmas period. She skipped a few classes, felt bad about it, but couldn't quite find the energy to turn up. Then one day Missy just forced herself to show up for practice. The next day, she felt better. She told me it was the practice from the previous day that gave her that bout of energy to make it through practice the following day.
I understood what she meant, because I have often felt it myself, when things are not going well in my life. The chaos and stress of life can be draining, and it becomes difficult to find the energy to turn up for class. Much easier to just go home, lie in bed, close your eyes and hope everything will just blow over. But usually what actually helps me most is pushing myself back onto the mat. When I am upset, I need a class with lots of heart-openers poses and backbends. Perhaps that is why I love the Wheel. Nothing lifts you out of a flunk like yoga.
Anyway, I believe I have stepped out of my holiday lethargy, thanks to WoYoPracMo. I turned up for a LED Ashtanga class today -- my second Ashtanga class in the last eight (?) months since my previous Ashtanga teacher left. I first tried Ashtanga in 2006, when I signed up for an Ashtanga Workshop on Christmas. I liked the Ashtanga teacher, and started turning up for regular Ashtanga classes -- but she soon left the studio. I didn't feel as comfortable with the other Ashtanga teachers, and around the same time my interest in the Anusara practice was growing. Anusara soon became the focus of my practice in 2007. I admit, when I first started Anusara, the principles of alignment sounded pretty technical. But slowly they began to make sense. And once I started being able to apply the principles -- I felt the difference.
For tonight's Ashtanga class, I am still challenged by the balance poses and the more advanced binds, but on the whole, I felt strong.
Well, something non-yoga related, but it's something that made me smile.
The black-and-white picture above is a shot of a postcard (sitting on my laptop) I received in the mail today. It's from a friend who is travelling in France right now, who made the "obligatory literary pilgrimage to Shakespeare & Co". Knowing this would be the sort of thing I would like, she wrote me a postcard from Shakespeare & Co. (sorry the picture couldn't be clearer -- I had no access to a better camera). The postcard shows the interor of Shakespeare & Co.
I'm smiling because it's a postcard of a place full of books. But most of all, it tells me my friend is all right and she thought of me when she was backpacking in France. :)