Stayed up way too late. I was tired. Thought I would go to sleep but then I’m wide awake. I decided to watch a show. Not a good thing before bed. Oh boy. Ah, whatever. I can sleep when I’m dead.
Beautiful morning in the glory that is South Florida in January. Coming back home...what a mental chore. I’m filled with memories and nostalgia. I wonder why I’m not here. And that feeling is quickly changed by people filling the streets. Pastel walls of struggling to move flesh. Blind to what happens around them. Blind to what happens to Florida. Why are these people driving giant pick-ups that aren’t for work. Why are you so unconscious to those around you. Why does your pale polo-shirt drive me mad. My own bias. My own bias. We’re all ignorant in our own special way. I should have eaten more yesterday.
Another day another practice. I brought myself through second today and it was smooth despite it being not a great breath day. Tomorrow will be different. Maybe worse maybe better. I’ll have to wait and see. I’m not quite sure I let second series work its magic on me completely. This opening up I resist. I’m strong, my leg wants to go behind my head most days, and I can work on the breath moving me from asana to asana. The deep emotional work of second becomes the trail. I’m supposed to ball up those feelings and pushed deep inside.
Maybe I’m over analyzing. Maybe I want problems so I try to find them. Maybe I’m not as relaxed I let on. Maybe I am.
New stuff! At the last breathing exercises of practice I am told I’m skipping some things. What? After baddha padmasana Yoga mudra Manju(his helper mostly) adds a few more seated breathing tasks. Interlace fingers, palms pushing away flat, and straight arms over head. Ten breath. Arms stay but fold. Relax hands. Ten breath. Sit up. Hands come to dhyana mudra. Ten breath. Continue as “normal.”
Interesting, I hope I can remember to ask what these new breathing task are all about. My default is to just listen and do without asking why. Is this a struggle for others? I see the benefit to both and I see the destruction that not asking why could bring. If I follow a bad person blindly there’s no benefit to this until I learn to see. When sight is never granted my blind faith will spread the teacher’s ill faith. What harm can a question bring? It takes time? I have time.
Practice was nice. I don’t think there has been a time I didn’t enjoy practice after I finished. “After” being the key word. Colon, space, close parenthesis.
Break time. Eat an apple and take myself for a shoeless stroll through the empty city with a full parking-lot. Where are all the people?
Today’s assisting lesson begins with dandasana and a nice massage and ends with janu sirsasana and no hands. Manju’s all about the person in the asana being relaxed as much as possible. And his assists do this. I would say that someone a teacher doesn’t know may feel odd or worse when the teacher trots over and rubs their trapezius. It does feel nice though and the teacher can simply ask the student how they feel about that. A teacher should ask the student if pushing, pulling, rubbing, hands-on is okay always. I know I don’t but I am getting better at it.
Neck relaxing and into Pashimattanasana.
A bit of a confidence buster today. The assist for all these sitting postures are more or less what I do in my own classes. I always have a worry that I don’t know what I’m doing. Or worse that I haven’t learned or retained any knowledge. There it is. Ground the student. Move in the direction of the asana. Don’t over do it. Not all asanas need physical assistance and props are fine. Plus the added reminder of the teacher should not be hurting themself by assisting. Got to keep that in mind.
I don’t remember if I was told to not assist physically in janu sirsasana B or if I came up with that on my own. Either way this is a great posture to not touch a student. The heel of the foot is already in a sensitive area and you could have been helping them on less sensitive forward folds before B. Same goes for C. The student has been folding for eight asanas prior. If their head is not down yet help them next class. Let the heel do its healing on its own. Let the student work on finding comfort on their own. A teacher will not always be around. Teachers come and go but practice stays. The more comfortable practice is the easier it is to want to do it.
Practice contains more than just asana. A student needs morals, pranayama, mediation. All together making up Yoga. Chant to bring words into your spirit. Mudra to connect to a higher self. Pranayama to face death. Asana to live. We all do Yoga. I may go about it different than you but we’re the same.
The drive home. Along the Indian River intracoastal and full of bird friends. The turkey vulture I saw yesterday soars in the same spot today. The ibis flock grew. The sandhill found a friend. Of course a pelican or two. The whole drive a solitary vulture would fly by from time to time. I like to think it was the same one just traveling down the road with me.