It’s about 60 degrees outside right now (it’s midnight), and I’m guessing it’s about 70 in my apartment. The windows are open and the ceiling fan is on, but that’s not enough to pull in too much of the cooler degrees outside. The kitchen floor (downstairs, tile on concrete) is pretty close to the temperature outside. All in all, I’d say the climate in my apartment is pretty perfect.
Christine’s cat, LailaJo is alternately hopping on my lap to make spelling corrections as I type, rolling on the carpet, or sitting to her back with me and giving me dirty/coy looks. I can’t really tell whether they’re dirty or coy – I’m pretty sure that has something to do with my Y chromosome. Understanding the fairer sex – or rather, not understanding – is a bit of karma I’ll have to carry and work out during the next turn of the wheel.
I went to yoga tonight (and fell asleep during the deep relaxation portion). It was awesome. Not the falling-asleep part, but the overall class. Nothing special happened, though I was definitely able to get my head/chest closer to my knees in Janusirshasana (head to knee pose) and Paschimothanasana (full forward bend) than ever before – and noticeably so. Instead of grabbing my ankles and increasing the tension on my back, I laid the backs of my hands on the mat by my calves and let my breathing do the work. Whoulda figured that listening to the instructor was such a good idea? Not me.
The yogis are starting to remember me – even remember my name. Yogi Pat Brown (he’s too cool for a cool yoga name) is in his sixties or seventies and sat in on the class tonight. After our manly elbows-down, thumbs-up “handshake” (like the brothers do) introduction, he even gave me a hug. At one point during class, he let one rip and I was really close to giggling. Not very spiritual of me, but fuckit, it was funny. I don’t think he noticed or cared – I’m guessing that when I get to be that old, my body will squeak of its own accord as well.
The instructor was fairly new, but he knew his stuff pretty well. I think he’s taken lots of classes, but hasn’t taught very many. He has a great understanding of how to explain the postures, but not the well-practiced rote way of guiding the class that I’ve seen with most of the experienced instructors.
One other not-very-spiritual moment for me (this was after Pat farted, I think) was during Dhanurasana (bow pose). In that asana, one lies on one’s stomach, bends the knees, grabs one’s feet, and lifts oneself by pushing one’s feet away from the head – I end up rocking back and forth on my belly button. The instructor suggested that we keep our knees spread apart, though I thought they should be as close together as possible. I peeked (my eyes are generally closed during yoga) to see what Pat was doing, and his knees were together.
Again, I almost giggled, because I imagined myself asking both instructors (did I mention that Pat’s one of the regular instructors?) which way is the proper way to execute the asana. In my mind, they disagreed and I got impatient and said something along the lines of “listen, you fucking hippies, which one is it??” Yeah, not too spiritual – the thought or the near-giggle.
Whatever, I had fun.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a nice chat with one of the instructors. I asked her if she’d ever been to Ananda Ashram in Monroe NY and she replied that she had. There was something about her demeanor that suggested to me that she didn’t dig the people or their type of yoga or something, so I asked her. She responded by explaining that Ananda Ashram is simply a different community. She doesn’t have anything against them or their yoga, but Integral Yoga is really her ashram – her community. That definitely resonated with me, and the more time I spend there, the more clear her explanation becomes.