Okay- so what has been going on.... let's see...Well, Tuesday was a kind of a "continuing to get my feet back on the ground day after the weekend" in addition to being mine and Kelly's wedding anniversary. It was a nice day. I used relationship as a theme in my 6:30 class for an Inner/Outer Spiral class that was full of lots of details about how to access the spirals for opening the hips and how to use open hips to access the arm balances like bakasana, eka hasta bhujasana, dwi hasta bhujasana, eka pada koundinyasana 2 and 1. It was a rollicking good time. It was decidedly less hot than it has been in the room and I kept the pace quite mellow but from all reports people felt worked and challenged.
I thought a lot about arm balances and how they relate to marriage throughout and after class. The thing about arm balances is that they are frustrating for many people. They are really challenging, they do not come right away, there is lots of falling and squirming and inability to access either the strength or openness needed. And did I say that they are really hard? Well, they are.
And they do come with practice. But a lot of people give up practicing them because of the afore mentioned reasons. They do not have the immediate pay off a good strong sweaty standing pose flow, they do not offer up the open hearted buzz that back bends give and so on. So the thing is that as we are struggling, we have to dedicate our efforts to something higher than the pose and we have to watch and cultivate who we want to be in the challenge.
And that is like marriage. I got to thinking about how when Kelly and I were facing some challenges in the last year, one of the things that kept me in the game was that I felt like the work we were doing for ourselves and for the relationship- while brutal and hard and frustrating and painful like your many arm balancing practices can be- was making me a better person. Who I was becoming in it was stronger, more compassionate, more honest, more aware and so I realized it was worth doing even if we did not end up staying together.
So I think that is how the poses and practices that we find challenging can be for us. We can use them to help us face ourselves, to grow, to develop, and so on. Even when we like hard strong classes and we find ourselves in a gentle, more introspective situation, that disparity between our preference and what we are actually experiencing can be a doorway to growth. So friction, internally in our relationship with ourselves and our environment or inter personally between ourselves and another person often has amazing opportunities hidden it it for growth.
Today I went to Juan's Mysore practice which was most illuminating. He helped me with supta kurmasana to get my feet over my head, and in the drop backs to open up my shoulders in an interesting way. He showed me some transitioning tips and even some of the second series. Really, what a fun time.
I taught my 4:30 class at Breath and Body. Again, I worked with a slower pace to really help people stay mindful and internally slow enough to engage and explore the principles as they applied to a variety of clasps and flow sequences. I used the theme about The Center and the midline being not just a physical place but a metaphysical invitation to remember what is at the very center of who we are. It is so fantastic to really see the same faces at Breath and Body returning to class each week. I am finally getting a handle on people's names and how to help them grow their asana practice and so that is fun. They are really so strong and well trained as a group that my job is pretty easy.
My 7:00 class at Bodhi Yoga used a lot of those same ideas of The Center and went instead of through the bird of paradise and revolved bird of paradise sequences to urdhva danurasana and that was fun as well. It was a new group of students at Bodhi tonight. I must have scared everyone off last time! But still the group was so attentive and hard working that we were able to really end up in deep poses by the end.
Okay, well, the day starts early tomorrow so time to rest for me.