20 November 2010

YTT Week 5 - Friday

Friday night was a philosophy discussion night.  We started by opening up in Salamba Supta Badha Konasana, which my hips and back liked but my thighs and hamstrings were not completely happy about afterwards. Next time: blocks under my knees.

We reviewed the latter half of Patanjali's Sutras, Pada I. This one really stuck out to me:

1.33 In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or evil. 
We can reduce our own suffering if we will keep these four "keys" in our pocket when dealing with people in our lives. And by reducing our suffering, we reduce the overall amount of suffering in the world, which will benefit not only ourselves, but all of those around us.

Friendliness, Compassion, Goodwill, and Indifference

The indifference one is the one I need to work on the most. It's challenging not to want to fire back when one is confronted with another person's wickedness (ok that word is a little funny to me but I get the intent of the meaning). It all comes back to: Let it go.

Just breathe and let it go. As Jackie would say, this is my work.

After class I stayed over with a classmate who has 1. the most comfortable guest bed ever (with the softest sheets ever) and 2. the cutest Aussie Shephered puppy ever. Oh, and she made a fabulous breakfast that keep me not hungry all the way through practice on Saturday, but also not feeling overstuffed and uncomfortable. Thanks Lori for your hospitality!

YTT Week 4

So, I hate to admit this, but here it is actually YTT Week 5 and I never wrote about Week 4.  It was a magical weekend and words really just can't touch it.  Pranayama Friday night, Surya Nasmakara Saturday and Sunday.

All I can say is that I am so glad I am in this class with these women right now. It's an amazing experience and I wouldn't change a thing even if I could.

08 November 2010

YTT Week 3 - Sunday

Sunday, I was back for more. Really, as stubborn as I am, I'm not about to quit, even if I have days when that seems like an option. It's not.

I was surprised to wake up Sunday morning and not have major DOMS from Saturday's 2.5 hour practice. I felt very tired, but the Tiger Balm on my shoulder and the arnica montana helped to prevent major discomfort, for which I was thankful.

We started our Sunday with a quiz, and almost by sheer luck I got a perfect score.  The last couple of questions were worded a bit oddly and everyone was questioning what they meant. Our instructor was not able to explain it further, and simply repeated "think about the foundation." Somehow, that clicked for me and I figured out it was asking the position of the feet (the feet - or whatever parts are touching the ground - are the foundation of a pose).

After the quiz our practice began, and 5 minutes in my body decided that was a good time to demonstrate its soreness. Wow. I literally thought I would not be able to make it more than a few more minutes into the asana practice at that point. Every muscle in my body hurt. Especially my rhomboids. Another 5 minutes in and it didn't get easier, but the worst of the agony seemed to have passed. By the time we got to Surya Namascar A, my body was complaining but I knew I would make it through the practice.  Not without a few other instances of near tears simply because my body was protesting throughout the entire 2 hours. Not in a "ow, that hurts" way but in an "OMG my muscles are so tired" way.

Every weekend we have training brings such a new experience. Inversion weekend was incredibly challenging for me, physically and mentally. Having to fight the natural frustration that rises from not being able to get into a pose (heh, even the prep position of the pose) is a real struggle in my head. This is something that I hope to conquer during my training; it is something that I have struggled with in a way all my life. The feeling of not being good enough and the frustration that brings. And you know what? No one is telling me I am not good enough except me. IT'S ALL IN MY HEAD. Not a single person in this training has ever made me feel like I do not belong there - except for me. I wish I could find the words to explain how incredibly supportive this group of women is... it's something I have never experienced before and it's quite magical.

We are all our own worst critics. Why create suffering for ourselves when the world is full of suffering already? It's a hard lesson to learn I suppose, since it keeps recurring for me I clearly have not managed to learn it completely. One day at a time though. Habits take a while to build up, it's the same with breaking them as well.

No matter how difficult this journey becomes, I will not stop. I have never before felt more certainty about where my life should go than I have since the beginning of this training. This is what I was meant to do, what I *am* meant to do, this is my place. And I am cherishing every step of the journey, because though the destination may be great, the journey is something to be savored. I will never be this person again, with these exact people on the journey with me. It's not something that can be recreated, and it's all the more precious for it's uniqueness.