Just got back from day 13 of the 30 day challenge. and i know i am passing judgement here, and setting my expectation on having a "good" experience, but man, today's class was great! the past two days have been hellish. i don't know if it was me, or the heat, or my lack of hydration...but something un-nameable was getting the best of me and i was totally struggling through class once again. in fact, when i showed up today, i was quite nervous...i almost layed down during pranayama breathing, the very first thing we do in class. my mind was darting everywhere, my feet were fidgeting in the crooked way i hold them together, and my eyes couldn't even see the straight line down the ceiling as i exhaled and looked back...because my mind had taken me far, far away into my fears. i wasn't in the room.
and yet my body was doing the breathing, my lungs were filling and emptying, and somehow that called my mind back from another land, back into the room, back onto my mat. half moon pose. Ardha Chandrasana. always breathing, slowly, in and out through the nose. Pada-hastasana. i went further into this pose than ever before. and on i went, through every pose...with determination and strength. sure it was still a challenge to do the poses, but i could breathe and do them, to the best of my ability.
so, day 13 was a good class. and i especially loved when Meghan, our teacher this morning, shared how being in this heat and in an uncomfortable pose, using your mind strength to bear through it, to breathe through it...no matter how uncomfortable it is...this is one of the gifts we take out into the world. we take this ability into our everyday lives and we can go through the inevitable uncomfortable situations that life brings, we can stay there and breathe and not run away. and she shared how this leads to a more joyful life, in her experience. totally. and wouldn't you know, as soon as we got home (Jamie went with me today) we had a chance to work through an uncomfortable situation. it was over the fact that we disagreed on who got to use the car. a simple spat, but one that had the potential to escalate...jamie invited me to stay with it and not run away. and after a moment of thought, i stayed with it, and we worked it out. now that is mind strength, cause i totally wanted to run. avoid. i actually had already opened the door to just walk away and go to Amy's upstairs. but i didn't. thank you, yoga.
Yesterday I listened to disc 2 of the Pema Chodron CD How to Meditate, a Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind. i was totally distracted, not to mention exhausted from the torturous yoga right before. i felt guilty for not cleaning the house, for taking time for myself to go to yoga and then to sit a meditate for an hour. i heard my phone buzz and it took every ounce of energy i had, not much, to not run and check it. i was sure it was a dire situation that needed my immediate attention. yet, i sat. i have to say, i enjoy reading Pema more than listening and meditating with her. probably because i can avoid my mind when i read...i get it all filled up with these great ideas and concepts that i don't have to sit and practice. i get to keep reading, and feeling really great. my mind is like, oh, yeah...totally Pema, i hear ya. wow, you're awesome. i get to not be in my mind. so, today, even though i do have a ton of shit to do. it's cooking by the way, one of my favorite things to do, so don't feel bad for me :) i will take at least 15 minutes and sit. no matter if i hear "mama mama mama mama MAMA MAMA!" or if i hear the phone buzz. i can do it.
and I'll leave you with this from Pema's book, The Wisdom of No Escape. (cause like i said, it feels so good to read, and I challenge you to take this concept into your life just once today.)
"There are two common forms of human neurosis. One is getting caught up in worry and fear and hope, in wanting and not wanting, and things. We continually try to get away from the pain by seeking pleasure (samsara), and in doing so, we just keep going around and around. I'm hot so I open all the windows, and then I'm cold so I out on a sweater. Then the sweater is itchy so I put some cream on my arms, and then that's sticky so I take a bath. Then I am cold, so I close the windows, and on and on.
The other neurosis - which is just as common- is to get caught by peace and quiet, or liberation, or freedom. This is what we all doing a subtle way. If we have an experience of clarity or bliss, we want to keep it going. That's what a lot of addiction is about, wanting to feel good forever, but it usually ends up not working out. Sometimes that's expressed by arranging your life in such a way that it's very quiet, very smooth, very simplified; you become so attached to it that you just want to keep it like that. You resist and resent any kind of change or noisy situation, messing everything up."
Sounds kinda like my desire for a "good" yoga class.
it is what it is. keep breathing.
Just as I am.