Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday Afternoon

So the day is just flying by today.

I was up kind of late last night talking with Amy and Darren about our 2011 programs- (Mark your calendars because we have a few date changes: Amy and I will offer a program together inAustin January 14-16, 2011 not January 28 like I said yesterday. AND in other news-- me, Amy and Darren are gonna team up in Tucson in May 18-22, 2011 for a "Beyond the Part 1 Immersion" for people who have completed the 108 hour program and who want to keep going without listening to another talk on the tattvas! (okay, kidding. sort of. Think more asana, great discussion, a few focused dharma talks, great people, lots of asana, meditation and did I say, a lot of asana? you can sign up for that through yoga oasis.)

Anyway- I got to bed late, slept in and by the time I got done with my morning practices, and went for a walk it was lunch time! I am spending a few hours on the computer today since I didn't have my normal office hours yesterday. I went down to San Marcos instead and met up with some folks for a practice which was super fun. It was great to be back in the old studio and reconnect in a low key way. Don't get me wrong, the asana was far from low key. Just the mood of the practice was kind no frills and back to basics. I really miss practicing down in that space. It reminded me of some very good times.

Here is our sequence, more or less:
vamadevasana prep- one leg in baddha konasana, one leg in wide open virasana- 5 minutes each side
dwi pada viparita dandasana over a chair- 5 minutes
surya namaskar A- 5 minutes
surya namaskar B-5 minutes
supta padangusthasana-1,2,3
janu sirsasana with bent leg foot on block
paryankasana over a block
sirsasana 2-bakasana
vira 1
parivritta parsvakonasana
eka pada koundinyasana
sirsasana 2-parsva bakasana
sirsasana 2- kukkutasana
padmasana with twist
sirsasana 2-parsva kukkutasana
pinca with backbend- feet at wall
parivritta janu sirsasana
parsva danurasana
ardha matsyendrasana 2
urdhva danurasana
urdhva danurasana 2
dwi pada viparita dandasana head up
dwi pada viparita dandasana head down
eka pada raja kapotasana
]headstand drop overs
ekapadaviparitadandasana 2
padangustha danurasana
parsva uttanasana
parsva agnisthambasana
janu sirsasana
chair sarvangasana

Here are a few links from our practice:

sirsasana 2- bakasana-handstand, etc.

sirsasana 2-parsva kukkutasana, etc

Gia- sirsasana to eka pada viparita dandasana

me- sirsasana to eka pada virparita dandasana

So I also thought I would share one of my favorite passages from some of Mr. Iyengar's autobiographical writing. I was reading some of this to Darren on the phone last night. He and I share a similar kind of orientation to what we find inspiring. Poetic descriptions of the non-dual state and so on rarely really get us going. Instead we tend to find inspiration in the real life struggles of The Great One's. Mr. Iyengar has one of those stories and his dedication to this art in the face of many obstacles is truly inspiring. Nothing he accomplished came easily and yet he persevered and his legacy is somewhat stunning. I mean even if you don't practice much in that method, most modern schools of yoga are indebted to his work in some way. (Just my opinion-- but it is my blog, after all.) So I am into reading about what it took along the way. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good ecstatic poem and all that. I am just saying, give me a glimpse of the real story-- of the blood sweat and tears involved-- and I am all over that.

So, this is from the Astadala Yogamala, a set of writings by BKS Iyengar. He is telling his life story and the challenges he faced a long the way:

I cannot put into words the suffering I underwent. My hard practice caused agony to my body, to my nerves, to my mind and even to my self. I was tossed from one side to the other; sometimes the body refused to cooperate and at other times the mind would not bear the pain. This way my body and my mind oscillated. My energies were sapped and mental fatigue set in. If I did not try, the self within grew restless:if I tried, failure brought on dejection. Very often exhaustion brought me to the point of collapse. I could neither eat nor drink with comfort. Sleep was almost impossible due to pain and failure causing restlessness in my body and mind. Even easing myself had become a problem. Though I continued practicing yoga for years, defection and doubt tormented me and my mind found no rest except in renewed effort. Each day was an ordeal but God's grace forced me to make one more attempt for every failure. As I had no guide, I made enormous mistakes but I learnt discrimination from observing my own errors. When circumstances forced me to live on my own, I had to go without food for days. Often I lived only on a cup of tea, but the inner flame kept on goading me to do my daily practice with zeal. Slowly I began to feel that my body was growing in strength, my restless, agitated mind was gaining stability. Though I started with the practice of yoga in 1934 it was only in 1946 that an innate interest in yoga rose in me.

That just rocks my world. 12 years of that kind of suffering and he stayed with it. Puts the new-age notion of "being a balanced person" into a new perspective, doesn't it? More on that later.

A few pics from yesterday. More on Facebook.


Svetha said...

Loved the videos! Miss you lots.

Emma at South Mountain Yoga said...

Okay, first of all, I'm totally with you about the blood, sweat, n tears being inspiring thing. I'm never inspired by lila or shri, I like STRUGGLE.

Second, what do you think THIS means in that passage? "Even easing myself had become a problem."


Christina Sell said...

I was wondering the same thing...