Monday, February 9, 2015

Pulled from the Dustbin

NOTE: This post was written last year while my challenge was still ongoing.

"If you fall out, get right back in again."

I have heard those words so often over the last couple of months, it is high time I started applying them to my life outside of the studio.  It has been three weeks since I got a blog post up, and I had been doing so well.  It seems that the longer I wait the harder it is to pick it back up again.  So much to cover, I keep thinking to myself that one of these days I'll have the time, motivation, and energy to write a post that covers the entirety of my experiences over these last few weeks.  Since that hasn't happened, we will see what I get written tonight.

Luckily I continued to check in on Facebook after every class, so I have a fair record to draw from, starting with the morning of the 21st when it seems I was given grief for showing up "late" to yoga, going to the 9 AM instead of the 6 AM.  Where I needed the full recovery between the 6 AM and the 4:30 PM classes early in my practice, for the last several weeks I have been attending the 9 AM fairly regularly with no ill effect.  My body has been recovering fine without those three extra hours.

That is not to say that my classes are easy, by any means.  I described a somewhat common experience thusly:
At one point I was sitting out of a set, looked down, and saw that the muscles in my calves were twitching and I couldn't feel it. At first I thought I was hallucinating and just seeing scintillating patterns because I was sitting out for feeling like I was going to pass out. Sometimes, when I get dizzy and my vision starts to blur, I disappear in the front mirror. Poof. Vanished slowly like the Cheshire Cat and nothing left but a smile.
I was waxing somewhat poetic, but it is not uncommon in the standing series for my vision to blur or go out of focus for a few moments, and sometimes it gives the effect of making it look like I am disappearing entirely in the mirror.

On the 24th, Ahmad asked me to demonstrate triangle pose for the class. So that you understand how honored I feel, it has been my experience that teachers and advanced students are typically the ones asked to demonstrate postures in front of the class.  I do not consider myself in any regard to be an advanced student, but triangle is one posture that I have worked on the most over the time that I have been practicing, and I have maintained my streak of holding every set of the posture in every class.

In fact, doing some quick math, I have now done 258 sets in a row of triangle posture.  If each set of the posture was forty seconds (just a guess, assuming each side is 20 seconds), that would be 2 hrs and 52 minutes of triangles.  That number doesn't include my failed attempts before I conquered the posture at the end of that first week, and really begins to show the scope of just how much yoga I have been doing.

In the afternoon class the same day Ahmad had me demonstrate triangle in the morning, I made another huge breakthrough in my practice.  It was nothing that I had even considered being a possibility, but all through that afternoon class I felt like I was going crazy.  The room just did not feel hot.  If you had told me it was 80 degrees instead of 105, I would have believed it.  The same thing the next morning, that afternoon, the next day, the day after, and every day since.  I have acclimated to the heat.

I still sweat heavily, so my body is reacting appropriately to the heat, but the room does not feel oppressive like it did previously.  I no longer yearn for a cracked door or to have the fans on for just a few moments.  Sure, the breeze feels nice, but I am free to just focus on my yoga without even thinking about the heat anymore.  It is incredibly freeing to no longer have to divert any attention away from just the moving meditation of performing the postures.

Another completely unexpected turn of events late last month, an ambulance had to be called and class was abruptly cut short when Robin, a regular of the studio, had her replaced hip dislocate in the middle of a posture.  Luckily there were some experienced women right by who were able to support her and help her remain calm until the paramedics arrived.

Unfortunately, that was not the only injury to transpire over the last few weeks.  I had noticed that Charlie, one of the regulars, had been gone for several days before I finally asked where he was.  Turns out he had torn his meniscus while going too quickly into toe stand.  A sad and cautionary tale about really listening to the instructor, your body, and not rushing into postures.

Robin waited for the swelling to go down, and then was right back in the hot room, and Charlie too was only gone a short while before he returned for more.  Their steadfast strength and courage in returning again and again is inspiring.
A little taste of the beautiful weather we have been seeing here in Oregon this last several weeks.