Two Blogs for the Price of One

by Joanna D.

Chilling on the purple shala couch, post Tuesday night mysore.

The Heat

I remember being a kid and hiding in the car on a hot day. Was afraid I would get in trouble for doing something wrong. Too scared to get out, huddled on the floorboards of the front seat of our old green pontiac. It was so hot. Miserable and claustrophobic. Feeling trapped as beads of sweat ran down my cheeks; the stagnant aroma of hot upholstery; suffocating, sobbing. Motivated by the overwhelming fear of being reprimanded or disapproved of I sat there. Frozen… so to speak.

It’s interesting to me, these triggers to memories and emotions. The memory of believing I would be reprimanded if I was to get out of that car, face the consequences and then my life would somehow be over. Believing myself to be trapped; hot, miserable and unable to make the decision to open the door. Fairly primal reaction. Hiding. What felt like a smart move towards self-preservation was actually the development of a bad habit. Many layers of development. JUST OPEN THE DOOR!

There have been a few times this summer while adjusting to the east coast heat, when I felt like that little girl. Suffocating, afraid of failure, of blowing it, trapping myself in the green pontiac of my own thought process. Interesting. The rad part? Recognition of inaccurate beliefs and dropping into a place where opening the door isn’t so hard. Actually feels quite good.

Minding the Mysore Room

Thursdays practice? A veritable sauna. Sweat factory. Unbelievably whoa. Amazing for my somewhat stealthily stiff joints though tough to maintain rhythm. Still… It was pretty friggin’ super. No panic, only practice. Felt good, light, ready. Inspired by events earlier that morning…

As part of the apprenticeship I am working on with David at AYSP, two other ladies and I take turns opening the shala and teaching/facilitating the space until David gets there. Thursday was my day. So far, the time spent observing, assisting and teaching, has been… awesome. The amount of activity that goes on in there is mind blowing. Inspiring. Students of all different levels, requiring all different levels of assistance. From the small tweak of a twist to the fundamentals of learning the sequence. Some flying, some dragging (yes, that’s me sometimes), some breathing, some learning to breathe. Each having their own individual experience within themselves while sharing space with twenty other people. And ONE teacher.

He walks in, puts down his keys, takes a second to assess the room and dives straight in. Like a ninja he moves through the room. Talk about animalistic. As if he can see things before they happen. Like a cats keen night vision; useful on a hunt. In this case, for alignment. As many of his students can attest to, his ability to see what is going on with their bodies in regards to alignment and engagement is scary accurate.

The inspiration I get from being in the mysore room is immense. Watching the rhythm of movement, seeing the beauty of the room breathing. Observing and developing an understanding where/how things can shift into alignment with a slight this or a subtle that. Learning to understand a persons practice and how I can best facilitate their evolution in it… whoa. Incredible.