Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yoga with Glenn Black - Day #6

Today was day six.  And I worked, struggled and sweat for three more hours on my yoga mat, swung some kettlebells, tried to lay my left lower leg on top of my right lower leg and tried to be calm and relaxed and endure the discomfort as my hips screamed at me, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US!?!?!” 
Emotionally, mentally, I don’t know what, exactly, but I seem to have hit a wall. Not physically. I’m doing fine physically.  But I started to get the feeling that I don’t care about yoga anymore.  I don’t see the point anymore. I started to wonder what my life would be like if I never got my hips any more flexible than they are right now. And it didn’t seem so bad. I’m not in any pain.  I’ve never noticed any problems with my hips how they are. It’s never interrupted my quality of life. What happened to, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?”
Glenn has talked about the Buddhist concept of beginner’s mind.  And I think I went there. I suddenly became a yoga novice again. So, I can relate to those people who know nothing about yoga and who look at me with a blank stare when I tell them about how long I practiced my Warrior 3 or a Revolved Side Angle Pose, or how hard I’m working to be able to do my Peacock or my Half Moon Pose. 
One of the hardest questions I get asked by people who aren’t ‘into’ yoga is when they say, “why would you want to do that?”  I honestly don’t know. I just do. I want to do it. 
Or do I?
Yeah, I probably still do.  I think maybe just being immersed in such an intense study of it with such a deeply grounded master for three hours each morning for a whole week is a bit much for me. I think maybe “Balance” is rearing its ugly head and saying, “hey, take a break from it for a while.  Even if it’s just for a day.”
But even though today as I struggled physically and matched it with an emotional / mental struggle, in the end, after my Corpse Pose relaxation, I still felt the bliss. I felt such a relief. Not only a relief to be done with the practice for today, but the sense of accomplishment and achievement accompanied by the supreme relaxation that the work provides for my body every time. I smiled at the trees as I walked away from the pavilion, and on my way to lunch I literally said “Hi” to a hedgehog who looked up from munching on the grass as I strolled by.
Oh yeah... This is why I like yoga.  This is why I struggle, because without struggle, are we really alive?
And if I’m not improving, I’m either stagnating or growing worse. And given the choice between those three, I would definitely choose to grow. Even if it does require a bit of a struggle.   What if the caterpillar decided it was too much trouble to put the effort into getting out of that safe, comfortable cocoon? If she decided that there was nothing wrong with being in there?  Sure, nothing’s wrong inside that cocoon, but if she didn’t struggle, we would never see a butterfly.



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