Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How Yoga Works.....shows you how yoga works....go figure

First I must say I am not through with How Yoga Works yet but pretty close. I can still give you an opinion of the book overall (at least as far as I have read it). It has taught me so much about the inside of yoga because before this class, I never knew it was so involved. I have taken a yoga course here and even went to a session at 24 Hour Fitness once but neither of those experience gave me as much as this book.  I honestly didn’t know that yoga was a taboo for Christian until this class which is funny because reading this book makes me feel like doing yoga is a way to be a better Christian (cause my practice in that is seriously lacking). How Yoga works is one of the very few BIC books I will keep and read again and again (that hasn’t happen since Cultures II).  The thing is I can’t remember the sutras mention off the top of my head but I do remember the captain working them out. The pen that is also a snack will forever be in my mind. In a way I feel grateful toward the book and glad that is was the first because it lets you know what you are getting yourself into if you want to pursue yoga seriously. It lets you know that there is more to it than the poses but also let you know that the poses are very necessary (knocking form the outside before you work on the inside).  Which makes perfect since if you are doing yoga and it makes your body feel better then I feel like you would be more open to seeing what else yoga can do for you. I don’t want to ramble on and on about how much I am in like with this book but I really do like it. It is not a best seller (well not in New York best seller way) but I can sit and be lost in it like any other good book I read; mainly because it teaches you so much about yoga, life, and the people living both. I think anyone who has these” yoga can make you levitate” thoughts should read this book just because they do. I also feel that anyone thinking about pursuing or persecuting yoga should also read this book just so you know what you are getting yourself into and what you are condemning. Basically the title got it right….the books teaches you how and why yoga works and how you can get it to work for others.

"Move your buttocks flesh down". "Really? Can it do that"?

So my practice last week was okay not sweat and tear wrenching like the week before but I did it so there. I did notice that I corrected myself more than I did anything else and I know that doing a pose right means doing it wrong a number of times but not when your instructor told you a number of time how to do it right. So I find myself when I am practicing or when I am bored outside of practice saying “spine lengthen, ribs in, feet together ankles apart, engage your quadriceps muscles, make your feet like leaves and move your buttocks flesh down”.
I will admit moving my ribs in does make me stand taller and engaging my quadriceps make more aware of my legs and what they are or are not doing; but I cannot get my buttock flesh to go down. I seriously don’t know if my buttock flesh knows it can go down…..I have tried planting the see but it is lying dormant. Then I started thinking “well maybe your buttock flesh is already down and you just want something significant to happen but it won’t”. So I stood in front of the mirror sideways and tried to see the difference between up and down. It sounds funny now but I did and still do on occasions. Even after all the talk about when others say they want to do it right and you encourage them and say at least you are doing it. When you were telling others it was easy for me to agree with you because….well I wasn’t practicing at home (so I saw the big deal in at least attempting to do the routine). Well now I see what the other students talking about when they express their concern on “doing it wrong”. It just feels like a waste of time if I am doing downward facing dog but the dog is too short. Not that my dog is short (that is the one pose I feel okay in). I realized that I am one of those people who need structure when I am doing something solely on my own and at least an outline when I am following someone. I am doing my poses and I do most of the standing ones and I have issues trying to incorporate the sitting or lying or back bending ones. I need to make up a routine where in move flows into the other. I know there is a form of yoga that does that because it was the form we followed in the HP I took here. I am rambling now so I will stop but the point is my practice was plague with the virtii of “is my buttock flesh down and what move should I do next”?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How Do Kleshas work into How Yoga Works

This should be super easy because there are a ton of examples of selfishness, ignorance, ego, attachment to pleasure, aversion to pain and fear of death cling to life but I am drawing a blank of a specific example that I want to talk about. I feel like the sergeant however houses a good number of afflictions. 

Friday, the teacher, is a prime example of what it looks like to not have these affliction lead your life.

Okay I am sorry I have read up to 30 but I cannot get over Friday taking a beating for the Sergeant after the Sergeant beat her to the point of not being able to stand. I could not do……so I suppose it is the sense of “I” or lack thereof Friday has. So the night she ran from the Sergeant because he came to the old lady house and the next day the Captain actually believed she “escape” pissed me off to no end. However, even though she knew it were a lie…that the Captain should have know it was a lie and didn’t so he punishes her by making her stay in the jail again; but she still continue to teach him Yoga earnestly teach it. There was no sense of “I” there, no attachment to pleasure (in this case that pleasure would have been food and the ability to wash), or lack of wisdom on her part. When the Sergeant was once again drunk and came after her…then beat her when she wouldn’t move and the next day the Captain saw it and was going to punish the Sergeant but she protected him with her body……another example of lack of the sense  of “I” and lack of aversion to pain. Anyway this blog was probably pointless but since that scene is stuck in my head for the rest of the book I will probably keep referring back to it because Friday is the personification of what doing Yoga really looks like and up until this part in the book (Yoga true yoga didn’t seem that difficult).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

So I choose you......I really do.(practice blog)

In a you or me situation I chose…….you? Since I didn’t write a blog for last week this one will cover the mind switch I have had from the last practice blog I was going to write until the one I am writing now.  I remember last week around this time I was reading “How Yoga Works” and it was on the part about putting other before you…..being willing to take others pain into yourself in order to eliminate it…ect. Ect. The whole time I am reading this….I am thinking so in a you or me situation I choose you…yeah no maybe yoga won’t work for me. Selfish I know, but I have been through more than any person my age should have to go through especially at the age I went through them. I have had to…emphasis on the “had” to think about others before I make a decision about myself…..I sacrifice a lot just so someone could feel better about themselves and I told myself I would never do it again…..never. Anyway I bet you are wondering what this has to do with my practice. I will tell you but later on in the blog. Once I finally got over the fact that the teacher in the book was still willing to teach the captain even after all the bull crap that happen to her….I realized she is a better person than I am and that I need to start keeping my room clean. So after reading….I went to clean my room…..thus I was doing yoga
Back to the how putting other before myself affected my practice. So in class this past Tuesday I felt out of sorts(one because I missed class on Thursday and two because I didn’t do my blog……not to mention I never really went through routines at home……..except for the restoratives one). The point is I realized that I wasn’t taking yoga a serious as I thought I was…..so the whole “good feeling” I wanted to get from this class wasn’t going to happen because I wasn’t planting the seed so it could happen(not to mention I felt guilty as hell). I figured something had to change and so I thought back to the beginning of the book and I remember when she told the Captain that if he was doing his practice for someone other than himself…he would actually do the practice at home. So I decided to start doing yoga for my brother, Peanut…..real name is Jimmy but we call him Peanut. I chose him because he is so lost…….I am not so delusional that I believe that if I am diligent in doing my practice he will magically see the light. However I do believe that is if I do yoga and believe in its message maybe I can help him find that peace he lost so long ago…..or at least move myself out the way enough to be his big sister again. Anyway it worked….Wednesday I did a little practice….nothing serious just straighten my spine standing in tadasanas(that is not how you spell it I know) and I think downward facing dog. I did it Friday same standing pose but I added tree pose and standing forward bend, big toe grab, and standing on your hands(though I feel like Friday I did the poses more to get my out of negative thoughts than my brother). Saturday I really almost didn’t do but (and I kid you not I thought about peanut and I got of bed). I did almost a full standing routine…all the ones I mention earlier and warrior one or 2….triangle and wide legged standing forward bend, and I added upward facing dog. Then I did give and take…more like take and pray. I imagine my brother in his room alone and laying down….sleeping and sad…..so I imagine myself taking deep breaths and sucking the sadness out of him and when I sucked all I could handle out of him into me…..I did something I haven’t done in a month or two…..I sincerely prayed for him. So anyway that is my outside of class practice. Oh and I decided to take Sunday off(my day of rest).
Apologies for all the bad grammar.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Too much/Too little of any vritti

Today I want to talk about what is mean to have too much or too little of my two prominent vrittis, imagining and sleep.
Well first let me say that I like how any vritti, including correct knowledge which is correct, can either enhance or hinder you yoga practice and therefore you way of life as a whole. For instance, when I   hear correct knowledge….I think that there is no such thing as too much CORRECT knowledge but such a thing can occur. Example this thing we call faith is founded in correct knowledge that is defined as a result of clear and direct perception, logical deduction, and the word of those who know.  There is nothing clear, direct, or logical in faith and even going on the “word of people who know” depends on the people you are talking to. Even though it is not founded in correct knowledge from my understanding the concept of faith, believing in the impossible, is very essential in any type of practice or growth you pursue in life.
Now we move on to discussing my two favorite vrittis imaging and sleep. I will start with sleep because I identify with it less than imagining. Everyone knows sleep is important; correct knowledge has proven this statement true time and time again. What some people have a hard time believing is the idea that there is such a thing as too much sleep. This ideas seems a little far fetch to people I know because well as college student or working adult you don’t get much sleep. I know such a thing exists because I have experience too little, too much and just the right amount of sleep. Everyone knows what happen when you get too little sleep….you are hype up on adrenaline for a time, then you get cranky, and then you slowly start to crash until you can’t function. A good number of times the thing you stayed up late or woke up early to get done is mediocre because you were not fully focus or paying attention. Well the effects of too much sleep are kind of the opposite. For one thing when you sleep for half the day, when you wake up all you want to do is go back to sleep. It makes no sense but the more sleep you get beyond the safe point…the sleepier you are when you wake up. You are still grumpy because you have to wake up and you still get nothing done because you slept the day away and just want to go back to sleep. Now the just right amount of sleep is amazing because you wake up fully rejuvenated; meaning you are not groggy and grumpy. You are cheerful and bubbly because you got a good nights or day rest. You will be so productive that day....you won’t know how to handle it.
Okay so that took longer than I expected so for imaging the vritti I identify most with I will be short, simply and to the point. Faith is an example of none hindering imaging. I have to be careful when I make a statement like that because even then too much is a bad thing. For example, that type of blind faith that had people killing women and children in the name of Jesus because a church official told them that is what God wanted. Or the type of faith that has you not taking your diabetes medicine that are pills and not insulin because you believe that if you pray enough God will take the diabetes away. When I say faith or belief in something that has no basis in reality…..I am talking about when you are on your last leg and you have nothing to go on but you still believe that there is a way….that is the good faith I am talking about the kind that doesn’t allow you to give up even though everything else says you should.
Now my imagining is also what I like to call laziness or procrastination. Even I have proven time and time again that this isn’t true, I still believe that the longer I put off doing work the more likely it is to get done. It is insanity by the way one of my high school teacher define it. Insanity is doing the exact same thing expecting different results. Okay I am going to stop writing now since I am at 747 words and counting. Anyway what you should take from this is there is such a thing as too much or too little of anything you do in life…..your goal is to find the happy median that leads you to your ultimate goal of being healthy, happy and at peace with yourself.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Fifth Obstacle is Laziness

So this is my reflection on practice blog and I want to reflect on how little practice I do outside of class. I remember in my last practice blog I mention practicing my stance and making my spine long and how I felt that would do for now. Writing this blog I realize my assumption was wrong. What I mean by that is my body or my mind is getting tired or doing the same thing and only that thing. I first came to this realization while on my computer reading and notice that my spine was curved. I straighten it and then I said forget this and went back to my original post. 

How did this make me realize I need to actually go through the routine? Well I am not going to take the time to correct my spine and stance all the time…..then I need to set 30 minutes out of the day specifically for practice. 

Another reason I need to start going through the routines at home…..I noticed in class it is difficult to keep my quads active and my ribs pushed back. I also noticed that my mind refuses to stop fluctuating; which also leads me to believe I need to practice at home. How will it help with the fluctuations…I don’t know but I am sure it will. Hopefully, practicing at home will help with the tree pose (Vrikshansana) because my foot finds my knee and stay there…no higher or lower. So the moral of this practice reflection is I need to start practicing.