Well, the new Immersion Cycle started today. We have 36 people signed up for Part One which is really great and makes for fantastic energy in the room at Breath and Body to have so many people together in a small space. (Many of you know I would rather teach a packed small room any day than a large room with people spread out. And yes, I know from the student's perspective that having personal space the size of Texas is the general preference. But for me, a small room that is packed full is the best. It is easier for me to get around, easier to observe alignment, easier to make adjustments, and more difficult for the students to space out.)
After a somewhat long preamble of "How to Take and Immersion from Christina Sell and other housekeeping details" we talked about the Power of Intention and how longing for freedom is the very basis of asana as a creative expression. It is really an interesting thing to consider.
I know for me personally, really allowing myself to long for something, to really admit to myself the depth of my wanting or need (I am not talking here about wanting a new outfit from Lululemon- I am talking about the deeper kind of longing- for connection, for meaning, for excellence, etc.) is a very vulnerable state. Doubt and insecurity arises- What happens if I do not get it? What if that is just too big to wish for? What if I cannot make that happen? And so forth. And really, the truth is I may not get what I most long for. There is no guarantee. But, lately, I think, why not risk the wanting anyway and spend my time, energy and attention dedicated to those things that might point me in that direction. At least then there is a chance. Why take the safe-seeming road of not admitting to myself what I want, not applying myself toward that end and thus guaranteeing that I won't get it?
And what is "getting it" anyway? It may not be what we think it is. HTe process of moving from the longing, being guided and inspired form it and engaging our practice with such intentionality is actually "it" as much as anything else. I am reminded of a poem by Rumi about longing. I mentioned it last night in class and thought I might include it here.
One night a man was crying Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said, "So I have heard you calling out,
but have you ever
gotten any response?"
The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidir, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
"Why did you stop praising?"
"Because I've never heard anything back."
"This longing you express is the return message."
The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.
Then we did an asan practice: (This is actually John's sequence from his notes that he shared with me.)
Adho Mukha Svanasana
eka pada raja kapotasana prep
eka pada raja kapotasana prep with thigh stretch
We have a great group. I could not be more thrilled. It will be a great year together.