Monday, March 31, 2008

WoYoPracMo | My Own April Assignment

Monday is Power class with Teacher M. The focus of this evening is Balance. I growled -- literally -- I growled at the idea of a whole hour of balance poses.

Did I mention how much I detest balance poses?

Teacher M. led us through what she says is the Krishnamacharya Vinyasa -- where we flow from Virabhadrasana I to Virabhadrasana III to Virabhadrasana I to Parsvottanasana -- then back again. We had to do the sequences several times, and Teacher M. recommends increasing the number of sequence in our practice as we grow stronger. First you do it 5 times. Then 12. Then 16. It will increase our strength and flexibility, she assures us. Wonderful. :\

Sometimes I have to remind myself why I love Teacher M's Power classes -- especially when she punishes us with SO MANY Virabhadrasana III!

Honestly? When I look at Teacher M, I see a petite, soft-spoken blonde who also happens to be very strong and very flexible. When she stands in front of the class and speaks, her voice is always soft -- she never raises her voice. Yet her strength is evident, so much so I was surprised one day, to learn that I am actually taller than her. She feels taller, to me at least.

I guess I look to my teachers as the kind of yogini I want to become; I want to be strong yet flexible.

And I need to work on my Virabhadrasana III.

This brings me to the WoYoPracMo assignment for April. From Yogamum:

This month, pick a pose that is either difficult for you or that may bring feelings of aversion, helplessness or despair when you imagine including it in your practice.

As you reflect on the difficulty of this pose, ask yourself, what is the source of this difficulty? What actions are required to do this pose? Are there simpler poses that would allow you to work on theses actions? what poses will help the main pose?

Create a sequence of 6 poses that you believe will help you progress in your pose. Practice this sequence a minimum of 5 times a week.

I could work on my arm balances, but if I am to be honest with myself, my standing balance poses are the asanas that need the most work. Especially Virabhadrasana III.


But I also know that is not to be. At least, not yet. My surgery is slated for this Thursday -- unless something comes along and I have to postpone it. The doctor advises 4-6 weeks of leave from work and vigorous exercise. So, no yoga for 4-6 weeks after the surgery.

I have deferred my membership at the yoga studio for a month -- so for April, I will not be able to practice at the studio. This means I will be missing my usual Ashtanga and Power classes on the 1st and 2nd of April.

The office has found someone to go to Dubai. It should have been me, if not for the surgery; This stings. What is supposed to be a great opportunity -- lost, just like that. A part of me wonders why this affects me so much. I need to think more on this.

Since I can't do the WoYoPracMo assignment, I will set my own yoga assignment for April:

April shall be my month of solitary self-study.

For a start, I intend to re-read the Bhagavad Gita. I have wanted to re-read the text for a very long time, but never found the time. Let's see if I can add some Lama Surya Das along the way. (Jenclair's recent reading of Lama Surya Das reminds me it's time for a re-read) As a reader, my first spiritual teachers came to me through books. I would like to go back to my teachers this April. It's good to remind yourself of where you came from -- and find out if you are still the same confused young woman who first cried reading Thich Nhat Hanh. (Have I told this story? If not, it will be a tale for another day.)

I'm not sure how soon I can sit upright after the surgery -- but April will be an opportunity for more sitting meditation. Maybe I will write a bit more, either on this blog or just in my journal.

Our lives don't always turn out the way we want it to be. The most we can do is to maintain a sense of equanmity and an open mind -- and adapt accordingly.


jenclair said...

I'm enjoying my yoga classes (but only after they are over - in the process, I'm often miserable). I like the idea of creating your own sequences to practices particular moves.

Sorry your surgery will interfere with your yoga practice, but your yoga practice will probably make your recovery quicker and easier!

darkorpheus said...

Jenclair Thank you. I hope I will recover fast too. These past few weeks people have been sharing tales of what can go wrong with the surgery -- so I'm a little uneasy. it's silly, yes, but it's human.

I'm smiling at how you describe your yoga classes -- because I share your pain.

Especially when we're working our core (and I'm dying there) and the teacher pipes, "C'mon! Smile! This is fun stuff!"

I enjoy my Power classes and I do feel better and stronger after the classes. But often when I'm in class, I growl and ask myself why, oh why, am I doing this.

Rebecca H. said...

That sounds like a wonderful to spend the month -- it's wonderful that we can do yoga no matter what our physical limitations are.

That said, I'd hate to do nothing but balance poses too! I struggle with all of them.

Anonymous said...

hi--like jenclair says, you may find yourself recovering Fast thanks to your practice...

all the best with your surgery--lots of procedures go right too you know; just less exciting to talk about when you say 'i drove to work--no accidents. i had a great day--no disasters. i had surgery, recovered fast--uneventful.' you're having a great life but nobody wants to listen to your conversation.

But don't worry. After your rapid recovery from uneventful surgery you can talk to us about Bhagavad Gita!

darkorpheus said...

Dorothy I'm trying to make something out of the experience. Wonder if I can make it though.

Yay for not liking balance pose! :)

The paradox is, the poses that we struggle with are the ones we need the most. Maybe what I really need right now is that one-pointed focus in a standing balance pose.

Ovidia Love what you said about a lot of things going right but we never talk about it. There's a koan here somewhere. :)

Ah, the Bhagavad Gita. I wonder if it will be different reading it the second time?