Thursday, August 25, 2011

30 DAY YOGA CHALLENGE: DAY 15, Class 12.

The focus of today's practice was surrender.  Waking up and feeling extremely grounded and solid with both weight and form without heaviness or discomfort, I made the mistake of eating a scrambled egg.  From that point forward, I felt heavy, nausiated, dizzy, and moderately exhausted.  I should have left my stomach 1/4 empty, perhaps more.  At this time, the egg was too filling.  My body and meat are also not friends, so I am sure that did not help my cause by any means.  Despite how I was feeling, I vowed to remain dedicated to my practice and shuttled off to the studio.

I was the only one to arrive prior to the beginning of class.  Although that initially made me nervous, I gathered my thoughts and reminded myself of my intentions, hearing the words in the back of my mind, "They will be thankful if even one person shows up, so let it be you."  I ascended the staircase, laid down my yoga mat in the usual spot near the windows and fan and kindly greeted the instructor.  She was considerably sweet and set me up with a block to place along my spine and one to rest my head so that I could relax and meditate while opening up my chest, breathing deeply and calmly until any others arrived.  Shortly later, in a burst, they did.

The class was not my favorite as far as Asanas and flow are concerned.  I felt that I needed more warming up prior to twisting and stretching than I normally do today.  I believe it was my body anticipating the forthcoming rain and hurricane to follow.  My joints were cracking constantly today and I felt a bit like the Tin Man.  I need to flaxseed oil them up.  I noticed that putting in seven consecutive days of work with no summer vacation to be had this year and little to now sleep in the last month or so has really taken its toll on me.  Normally calm, collected, strong, and enthusiastic in my poses, I found myself unable to focus or find peace in my practice.  There was much discomfort mentally due to some recent disappointments and a natural hormonal shift and imbalance as yet another month comes to a close.  Half way through practice, I found myself wishing it to be over.  It was not until the instructor began to share with us the truths she has come to reflect on this week that I was able to decide the intention at which I needed to dedicate my practice.

The focus of today's practice was surrender.

Turning our backs to one another and our gaze outside through the windows at the trees, we stood in tree pose, hands at heart center pushing together gently in prayer, up through the mid-line, above the head, and out into tree pose, holding the energy and my focus like a ball of energy between my palms as I watched the trees steady and strong swaying gently in the wind outside.  My particular focus was on a tree planted along the sidewalk in a small patch of dirt.  I identified with it.  A lonesome organic organism standing tall and strong, rooted in the city amid man-made industrial constructs.  My toes extended down into the floor like the roots of the tree as I closed my eyes and felt fully present for the first time today.  I surrendered to who I was.

The focus of today's practice was surrender.

I struggled a bit through the other poses, not fully stretched because of my overworked mind during the asanas prior, but managed to come to a relaxing savasana.  Savasana is always different for me.  Sometimes it is full of visions... ballerinas, the stage, parading in a pale green gown with flowers in my hair as I dance through Central Park on a bright sunny spring afternoon... sometimes I picture myself falling backward through my body, through the floor and the darkness into what seems like an endless abyss like a droplet of water hitting an endless deeply purple sea of universal unity, oneness, and peace.  I feel my body gently rocking with the waves as they absorb me fully.  Today, however, I focused on surrendering to the thoughts and situations that had been plaguing me through class and resolved to sit with them presently, then pass.

The focus of today's practice IS surrender.

I have a long night ahead of me tonight at work in the bookstore.  Today's practice was completely necessary to give me something to focus on during the often taxing and stressful points in my work-night.  Now that I am aware, I can breathe in and out deeply, bringing oxygen to my brain and clearing my mind to properly move through the situation.  Let's hope that by surrendering to the situation, remaining present, and breathing hope and positive energy into even the most negative patron, tonight will pass quickly and smoothly and I can return to a restful state tonight before practice in the morning.

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