January 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

We spent the Christmas weekend holed up in an award-winning apartment by the Sonoma Coast, listening to the sounds of the howling wind and pounding waves. The space was a modest loft with windows giving out to an expansive view of the ocean and the bluff. And hardwood floors. Bliss! I had visions of waking up at the crack of dawn, rolling out my yoga mat in front of one of these huge windows to greet the sunrise in Downward Dog. Well, not quite. I managed two days out of the four we spent there and the first practice was basically forgettable. The air was really dry so I hardly perspired and in Trikonasana I spotted a creepy crawly making its way to my mat that freaked me out immensely. It was all I could do not to kill it!! Instead, I swooshed it to the furthest corner of the room, to bide some time before it returned, headed for the Manduka.

The second practice was a little better, less stiff , less distracted by the views and no creepy crawlies. However in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana, there was a sharp twitch in the muscles around the heart, so sharp that I had to stop and breathe through the pain, slowly and steadily. All the while wondering “Am I having a heart attack? Is this what a heart attack feels like? Was it because of all the pork we ate over Christmas?”

Good ol’ fashioned Paranoia.

The twitch eventually went away and practice continued. Got up to Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana where the vortex of immense frustration started to gain momentum. I got my forehead down to the floor ok (although my upper back is still probably curved), but when it came to walking my feet in to bind, OH. GOD. They could just as well be made of lead and I would be none the wiser! It was all I could do to learn how to let go and not push my hamstrings and heavy thighs, but there was this very strong sense of dissatisfaction and disappointment, possibly perpetuated by how hard I was pushing myself mentally to BIND! DAMMIT!!

And then Garbha P rolled around (pun unintended), and despite the lack of perspiration and no Mr Spray Bottle in sight, I continued the mental push and forced my arms through my thighs. Interesting enough, I managed to get them through all the way to the elbows, with a bit of huffing and pushing of course. Rolled down, rolled up, tried to roll to the side and beached. And that’s when I lost it. In a split second, I was bawling my eyes out, crying as if there was no tomorrow. Part of me was asking myself “What’s up with this? It’s only a pose!!”, but the other part just didn’t care. It was a much-needed emotional release apparently that surfaced again during a post-backbend Paschimottanasana. It felt good though….like a letting go of some emotional deadweight that I’ve been carrying around. Of what specifically, I don’t know, but it sure as hell was promising to have a release like this in such a beautiful environment, before we headed back to real life. Like a sanctuary, almost.

Made it for practice three times last week, a wonderful improvement from the one-two times of the previous week. Missed yesterday’s practice because of the iPhone glitch and passed on today because the husband was leaving on a work trip so I chose to spend those precious few hours with him instead. It took some quieting of the ego to arrive at the decision – when I told him I’d stay and that I hoped I wasn’t being a ‘bad yogi’ by not going for practice, he responded ‘No one is judging you’. Ah, my voice of reason.


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