Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Work in this Yoga is Never Done

Those of us who practice Bikram Yoga, which is I assume most anyone reading this, know the work is never done. I was thinking about this in my morning practice today - after two days off; one by choice, one due to a 12-hour workday that didn't allow it (both of which I plan to make up by doing doubles). So, I didn't want to go, but I got there. This yoga is like running a marathon- an analogy I used when I was at training. Sometimes, I find I really, really push myself - it's like I'm there with a cattle prod pushing and pushing and pushing. And then days like today, I feel like I'm there to just encourage, give myself a big virtual hug and just let the class unfold, without the pressure of performance or achievement - but just the goal of practice. Period.

These kinds of classes feel very 'young' - like I feel like I'm just a little kid trying hard to do this thing and it's ok, because I'm there and I'm trying and no one is monitoring my success but me. Other times I do feel like a big bad grown up who can and should push to do more and do better, and I'm accountable to the teacher as well as myself in a heavier way. And I guess the point is (yes, I know you were waiting to see if there was one...) you can't be one way or the other all the time - like you can't sprint a marathon, but you sprint portions and then you rest and then you get in a groove, etc. Sometimes, I imagine I'm somewhere in between - just plugging away, doing the yoga, in a groove.

And part of me is anticipating - which is a no-no, I know - but I'm anticipating the torture chamber. The love and hate. That room that didn't win, but pushed me to new places within myself and my practice. That room that allowed me the privilege of teaching this yoga, with confidence and credibility. That room. And this time it's just one week, and I have a choice to be there or not. Going back reminds me of how it feels to revisit a place from the past - where you had a first kiss; or saw someone just before they died; or simply put - where something big happened to you that changed you forever more. And I want to be ready but I know deep down you can't be ready for That Room. You can prepare and set yourself up, but like the yoga itself, expectations are a bad idea in that you just never know what you're going to get. So, for now, I'm practicing daily to be strong and feel as physically and mentally prepared as I can going in. Just a couple weeks now!

Also, I'm re-reading my blog for the first time since I got home from TT. I'm reading it daily along with the students who are there now, and it's interesting and painful and fun to see what and how I experienced things while they were happening. Since returning, it's been easy to romanticize TT to some level, remembering the good and forgetting the bad like you do when you speak of the dead or after childbirth. Re-reading it is like reading an actual daily life diary - reminding you of the realistic aspects and nuances (good, bad, otherwise) of the experience. It's somewhat cathartic and it's especially cool to be doing it now, when I've amped up my practice over the past month. I'm enjoying the current students' blogs too, it's like the same only different...

Teaching is good - I've had a 5-day break this week due to some work stuff that came up, and kind fellow teachers who picked up my classes. I teach again Thursday and next week, then I'm off to visit TT, back for about 10 days where I've packed in a lot of classes, assuming I'll be super-energized from TT, and then off again to Arkansas to see Jill's family. We come back November 1st, whereupon I hope to just nestle into Seattle for the winter - teaching, practicing, working and playing inside while it's gray and rainy outside!

p.s. I updated my Bikram Yoga Calendar application on Facebook back to the beginning of the year (!!!) as I keep all my practices in my Google Calendar. Anyhow, to date this year, I've done 234 classes. That's 21,060 minutes of yoga. Or 351 hours. Or 14.625 days. There was an illness or two in the mix, out of 266 days this year I've only left 32 days yoga-less (though there was this 9-week period of doubles....). Super cool. Makes me want to try for 365 next year, but that's a bit lofty.


digdeeper said...

Jen - I have been following your teacher training blog since the beginning - and I want to thank you for providing the link to Isaac's blog - which I was following - I went out of town for a couple weeks and returned to find that it has become by invitation only -
I am not sure how to get an invitation - I am very interested in following it thru the rest of training - I understand that the students have been encouraged not to blog - and I am guessing this is why he switched it to invitation only - my email is robin@robindamore.com - please let me know what you know - thanks

ps - I have so enjoyed your writing - thank you for sharing so honestly and thoughtfully

Rox said...

Hey Jenn, so now I'm a bit jealous you're going to TT. I've been reading the blogs you're linked to and now would love to meet these people. BTW, I've told people to introduce themselves to you and that you're there to help with everything from dialog to rashes!!... sorry about that! ;) Okay, maybe not rashes! Have a great trip if I don't see you.