April 05, 2008

Vaguely Familiar.....

Lying in bed last night trying to process 5.5 hours of exceptionally difficult yoga with Seane Corn, it struck me that "she's got to be catholic". The cadence and tone of her verbalizing echoes with the religion of my childhood - "let us be open......and we ask the spirit....." with liberal references to god, a higher power, the mother, and the spirit. Lots of embedded references to the source material, so to speak. Put Bishop Sheen in a new age blender with Swami Kripalu.....

So I went looking for a web reference, and indeed, this article of GaiamLife Finding Spirit: Q&A with the Body Prayer Diva, Seane confirms my intuition.

But growing up in an environment that was both Jewish and Catholic yet didn't really celebrate either spiritual avenue, I really felt that this is what's missing — that mystery. Very interesting. Not a good thing or bad thing, just something I've noticed. I can see how some people might like this sort of style a lot, and others be turned off. I'm in between, it's familiar in many ways but the verbal echoes of the catholic prayers were a bit distracting.

In some ways I am not really resonating with her style; if I had a mute button for my ears I'd probably have hit it a few times yesterday, especially towards the end of practice when I was deep into a seated posture, and deep within myself. If the inner spirit was trying to reach me, the line was busy listening to her. I prefer to have a bit more silence at that point in the practice. At other times, when she would place us into a deep posture (head to ankle comes to mind) and then tick off a laundry list of fun facts about toxins (illnesses related to them, or sources of them, or ways the body deals with them, or what not) I was imagining her accessing an internal wikipedia page, and wondering how many things were added to the list since she started doing this workshop which served to effectively lengthen the time in the pose. So I'm sitting there listening and hoping for her to be done talking about whatever it was to get us out of the pose. Distracting. When I am working my edges, the last thing I want to be doing is processing information. Sorry, my left brain has left the premises and my right brain is not taking calls.....

There are yogi's who bring notebooks and pens to practice with these national teachers (I am not one of them) and write down everything that the teacher says that seems important, and I was laughing to myself at their inner struggle: stay in the pose, or write this stuff down? Because in a lot of ways there was a lecture and a yoga practice all wrapped up in one. Fortunately, my Homeresque brain is lulled into a comatose state by actual content and information, so it just became part of the background buzz of left brain monkey mind that yoga permits me to attenuate.

All that being said, I'm feeling pretty good about the physical practice. Yesterday's afternoon practice left me with some shakiness - a tweaky back and a sore right wrist (from a remedial chaturanga session that had has us going up and down repeatedly) - I actually thought (for the first time ever) about getting one of those wrist supports; I might end up taping my wrists today and tomorrow as Nykki has shown us. But I took it easier last night; I hit low cobra about 1/2 the time to save / stretch my back, and skipped a handful of vinyasa flows and headed straight into downdog a bunch of times as well.

Two more long sessions: today and tomorrow from 11:00 to 1:30.

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