Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shakti and Tough Love.

Hooray hooray hooray! I made it to class. Today I finally made myself wake up and get dressed right away like a normal person and immediately drag my cast and crutch to midtown to visit a longtime teacher of mine. Yippeeee! I have been focused on this moment for the past month. Ever since I broke my foot I have been waiting for the minute I could get back into the yoga room. And it was great. Really great. Having 10 people practicing alongside me, all serious and focused and sweaty, with a teacher watching to see what I'd do and when to help, all of this made me really focus and work extra hard. The Shakti was flowing!

But a funny thing, it really wasn't all that different than my self practices. He had only a couple of new poses to suggest, and while I got a few really nice feel-good adjustments, there really wasn't a lot he could do for me. I have kind of figured it out myself apparently. At least as far as the different series are concerned and what is ok for the foot.

On the other hand, at the end he came up and suggested a way to work on my upper body strength and sort of suggested I'm not pushing hard enough at the things that are tough for me. And this from the teacher who more often works my strengths than weaknesses! Crap! I mean, I've been doing lots of pushups, as I know I've mentioned, but Mr. Tough Love said "that's only half your body weight." He wants me to do lift ups with my legs straight out in front of me. Like a Dandasana lift up for those of you who practice. That's like taking a normal "pick it up" and making it 8 times harder! I don't even get close to that!

But oh boy, he's right. And here's the funny thing, my non-yoga practicing manly other half (in other words, the husband) has been harping on that for two week! Now, I keep telling the both of them I can't do it. And really, I'm nowhere with it. Almost don't even know how to "try" appropriately. But it's amusing to me that they both mentioned it, and the husband may have actually been right on.

So, my first reaction was defensive. As in "you're a man, that's easy for you! How do I do it?" His answer: "You have four weeks to figure it out!" And I got all pissed off. But really, I got up at 6 AM, drove to midtown, paid to park, paid an exorbitant drop in fee all to be defensive and pout like a child? No. That doesn't sound right. So project "pick it up" has begun. I don't know how to work on it really, but the new focus of my practice will be to add as many of these in as possible. I think I have to start by lifting up with crossed legs then trying to straighten them and hold a bit before landing. Then later maybe I'll be able to go for straight legs to begin. But in any case, if I'm serious about holding steady during this incredibly frustrating time, then I'm going to have to work at what's hard, and do it a new way.

Just don't tell the better half he was right!

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