My day began walking to class, alone in the pitch black, with every single dog in Mysore (I swear) howling like something out of a horror movie. In the distance I could see packs of dogs running through the streets, or standing scarily still as though they were ready to tear me limb from limb. It was like something out of Pet Cemetary. I’m not kidding! Not fun.
Today was an off day. I don’t think it was just me either. Tonight we were allowed to leave 30 minutes early as Bharath could feel the energy in the room wasn’t great. (I love how aware and intune he is with all of us).
Firstly, I was the teacher for today. Although I got great overall feedback, one of the asanas I presented was incorrect. We were meant to present on Virabadrasana B but I presented on Virabadrasana A (warrior pose). Oops. The rest was fine, but I was mortified when I realised I made the error. But in saying that, I think errors like this are necessary for someone like me. You see, I tend to place a lot of pressure on myself to do well at whatever I try. I accept I am always a student, and therefore learning, but i want to be a good student - always. So the fact that I made an error today and still made it out alive is a good reminder. Again, I need to be gentler on myself. Relax a little!
Something I have noticed over the weeks re the feedback other students give, is how badly and sometimes violently, people communicate with one another. Some people have no idea how to give constructive criticism to others. Ever heard of the sandwich technique? Over the weeks I have witnessed people being unnecessarily rude about a person’s presentation and yet when they get up and present themselves (the critical one), they are all over the place! It tends to be the much younger ones who behave this way. Very opinionated, know-it-alls, who fail to recognise that we are all learning here. That this is new to us all and some tact is necessary if you want to have positive relationships with people in life. It baffles me why so many people are quick to point out someones error, or where they may have demonstrated a weakness or imperfection, rather than focus on the positives of a person. I appreciate from a learning perspective we need to know what could have been improved etc, but again its about the language and how that information is presented which can make all the difference. I guess being exposed to this process is also part of this journey right? Learning how to be amongst people like this and not lose my centre.
Tonight we did Vinyasa Flow. Far out! I thought I had done proper Vinyasa in the past but I am now realising I absolutely wasn’t! It’s an incredibly challenging way of incorporating all the asanas we are learning into literally a ‘flow’ practice. I am completely uncoordinated at the moment. I am quite strong and can lower into Chaturanga quite easily, for example, but its bringing all the steps together into a lovely ‘flow’ effect which I struggle with. But i can see it would be a powerful practice which would have some amazing benefits. Something to work on.
As a final note, I wanted to mention another few words of wisdom my teacher shared with us tonight. We were chatting about meditation and the ability to remain completely still for at least 20 minutes (he expects this of us now. Holy sh*t!). He explained that any pain can be controlled with our mind. That we must consciously pay little attention to any distracting thoughts, like pain or anything other than what we are to be focused on, and through doing so the thoughts weaken. We need to learn to stop responding, as this takes energy. Personally, I struggle with this, however I will continue to pay ‘less’ attention to the disturbing thoughts and commit to remaining focused on the practice. God help me tomorrow…