And It Begins… or Continues?

by Joanna D.

The yoga has been intense to say the least. Getting deeper as they say. Dedicating much of my energy to morning practice, working to understand the movements in my body, the openings as they come and my reactions to them. This physical body is a constant source for investigation which often leads one directly into the non-physical body. What comes up is not always pleasant or comfortable. Some of you may be familiar. My tendency is to cozy-up with what feels good like the power of the standing postures or getting lost in the comfort and security of a forward fold. Like a daydream.

Then it happens. Something changes.

It’s been over a year since I received a new posture and to be honest… I was getting quite comfortable with the idea of not. Forgetting that there is more out there. More to do. Blinded by my love of the familiar and my desire to stay with what I had come to sanction as my daily routine. No need to move forward. I have LOTS to work on. Forgetting that one day I DO want to complete second series. And do it well. With knowledge, comprehension and solidity.

The new pose – Mayurasana. First off, I didn’t even know what it was let alone how to do it, the breath and movement. Completely caught off guard. Immediately flooded with embarrassment because I didn’t know the sequence. Having to be talked through it. I fumbled, teetered, fell over, giggled, winced. As the attempt progressed the image of a drunken squirrel on a telephone line popped into my head. Awfully uncoordinated; off kilter and out of sorts.

After this dysfunctional first attempt, through numerous drop-backs and extended closing postures my thoughts, though humbled, stayed positive. I have to say, the changing of my coveted routine was exhausting. Exciting too. Exhilarating. Inspiring. It meant things were gearing up for yet a new phase, for the work to really start. A bang on the door, a punch to the interior walls with a swift one-two. Two days later… that one-two punch got some unexpected results.

A rush, a flood of overwhelming… emotion. That’s right. Emotion. Smack-dab in the middle of my practice. Not so much physical pain as an intense physical discomfort manifested as emotional pain. Emotional pain. Released from my hips and pushed into my solar plexus. Or was it from someplace else? My spine? My thoughts, my mind? Was it all my mind? An unreal paralyzing effect limiting the ability to move, think or breathe. What the hell?  Am I pushing too hard? Not hard enough? Did I get too hot? What is off balance here? What do I do? I sat there for what felt like hours. Trying to figure out my next move. Every attempt to get up thwarted by a gasp for breath. Come on, you have a new posture to work on. Get up. Eyes filled with salty drops, I laid down. GET UP! Come on! Part of me looking down on my being like Judge Judy and the other laying there amazed I had enough moisture left in my body to produce tears.

Has this type of thing happened before? Yes. Exactly like this? No. Can I say I could have finished had I tried harder? No. Is it a matter of trying harder? I don’t think so. Will I keep trying? Everyday. Ultimately I submitted to the rising but I didn’t let anyone down. Not myself, not my teacher. It’s uncomfortable being able to see something yet not knowing what it’s going to take to turn it around. How much time it’s going to take to move through it or what else is going to come up. It’s a strange yet not so strange place. Both difficult and good. Ultimately, it’s good. The yoga is working.