Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Well, I am home from teaching and enjoying a luscious piece of grapefruit. I was so hungry this afternoon that I ate my dinner before I taught instead of after class.

I woke up this morning, did my meditation practice, wrote in my journal and then braved the rain (which really means braving the traffic on South Lamar!) and went to teach Focus on Form at Castle Hill. We worked on some lateral angle poses like parsvakonasana, trikonasana and parighasana with some detailed work in baddha konasana and supta padangusthasana 2 to inform the work in our legs. All in all in was a great class- although I must say I was feeling the time difference and was worse than usual about left and right. Oh well, the group seemed forgiving.

I worked with the theme of muscle energy as a hugging embrace on ALL SIDES and how we can practice loving all sides of ourselves- even the hard-to-love parts. I think that is the thing I am thinking about the most these days. (And yes, I know I wrote a book about this already. And guess what, maybe this year a second book will come out on the very topic!) But the thing is, self-love is really an essential component of change. And sometimes the change is not behavioral, it might be attitudinal or contextual. But either way, I have never had a lot of lasting success or happiness arise from manhandling myself into change. And believe me I have had lots of practice at that approach.

For me, change seems to sink into my heart the deepest when it is motivated by love, acceptance, compassion and forgiveness. As far as I can tell, every single one of my worst qualities are some kind of learned behavior, attitude, and/or idea that I adopted as a strategy to cope with some place of hurt, anger, disappointment, etc. And rarely does that hurt part of me need another lecture or scolding about how I should be different, better, less of something or more of something than I am. Seriously. Usually, I need my own loving understanding before I can release the pattern and move on to a higher response.

So- muscle energy is an all-sides embrace and so too, can be self-love.

I ate some lunch, did some computer work, and had time for a long asana practice before heading back out to teach Level 2-4 at 6:00. We worked deep into back bends and went for drop backs, which was fun. (Yay!for Mark for keeping his heels all the way down and Yay! for Sam for her first drop back and well, wow, yay! for everyone for working so freakin' hard during that class and laughing while they did it!) Good times.

Well, Kelly is home from the clinic now and so he and I are gonna catch up on the day and maybe head to Lifetime Fitness for a soak in the hot tub. Oh, by the way, Kelly is now an intern in the clinic and he needs patients to treat. Treatments cost $25 and are totally supervised by the teaching faculty there. So if you or anyone you know has aches, pains, allergies, conditions or anything else you would like some help with, give him a call (512-665-3743) and he can set you up with a time to come see him. (And just think, you will be helping his educational/vocational dreams come true since he has to get like 350 treatments done before he can graduate!)

Okay, more tomorrow!


mark said...

I am so happy to have kept my heels down. Like a deep and astonishing kind of happiness. It is weird, really, how happy I am about. But I know you can appreciate it. Yoga geeks forever!

Anonymous said...


Elisa said...

This heartfelt post reminded me of one of those yoga moments that completely shook my world. About 10 years ago, the Chicago studio where I taught brought in Dennis Dean for an astanga workshop, part of which was a Friday night free demo. The studio was packed for the event, and Dennis did this stunning vinyasa which included third and fourth series poses. He was kind enough to agree to a Q and A afterward, and one student asked him: "What is the most difficult asana for you?" After this remarkable display of advanced poses, he paused and simply said: "Self-Love."