Monday, July 10, 2006

divine moments

The John Scott 'Ashtanga Yoga from the Heart' weekend has turned out for some to include glimpses of the divine - not for me though I have to say that not one teacher I have yet come across has managed to communicate so effectively, in practice, at the time of practice, the deep spiritual and emotional nature of the practice of ashtanga that sometimes makes itself felt. Over 5 two hour sessions we had a good mixture of physical practice and talk, mostly on the subject of grounding, rooting from the ground to the sky, allowing prana to flow and carry the practice. During these moments some students will feel powerful forces and emotions shifting within then. My friend JS said that as he was talking, John Scott passed her and touched her head. She thought he had put some substance on her crown because she suddenly breathed in the rich scent of a tropical bloom - perhaps a lotus flower. A glimpse of the divine. Like the penny dropping. There is something more.

At the end of the final session, as we were doing baddha padmasana, Lucy Scott came over and assisted me with the best way for me to get into the lotus position - the old hips and knees are pretty tight, but they are opening. As she was assisting, my left knee gave a pretty decent pop. That was the end of practice for me. She did a bit of craniosacral while I took rest and this morning it was stiff, sore and pretty immobile. It seemed to fit just right the way this has happened, right at the end of the workshop, just so the ever so lovely Lucy could give me some much needed yogic attention.

Anyway, enough of yogic yoga teacher crushes. This morning I went to get some acupuncture, much needed - some very sore sites mid way down the outside calf - and it appears I may have slightly torn the lateral collateral ligament. Need a week or so to see if it's torn or just badly strained but it has been niggling for many months. This is definitely going to slow things down. I took a whole week off a couple back because I could feel the knees were taking a bit too much strain, but it wasn't enough so now there is an injury. Ice for a couple of days to reduce potential swelling, then probably heat as well as some intensive acupuncture, this is the recipe. Was inspired by John Scott's recounting of his practices in the early days of being a father - sleep deprived, but getting up at 5am anyway to practice, getting to the mat and saying the opening chant then simply lying down and resting. That was his lot. Today I did 3 very careful Suryanamaskara A, then examined possible standing asana to find that none were going to work so sat and did one side of Janu sirsana A and that was it. Could be more of the same for a little while.

I am definitely getting better at tking this kind of event in my stride. For example, if I were working now then there is no way I could go in to anything other than the most undemanding things (at least in a job where physical mobility was important a it was in the world of winemaking). When I had my wisdom teeth out in January it took me 3 weeks to get my practice back to the same stage of physical fitness and suppleness as it had been at prior to the op. It freaked me out a little at the time, and I worried that I somehow might not make it to where I 'had been'. When I had the 'week off' lately I really felt it when coming back to practice. The aching arms by the end of Surya Ns was a telltale sign. This was nearly a thing of the past. But these things are false markers. Some people probably never get past the standing sequence, there's the whole of my life to work on what comes next. I'll get as far into the sequences as I get, there's nothing I can do about that. An injury is the best reminder of this. Definitely Kapha with a smidgen of vatta.

Right at the start of the world cup I got given the Italians in a sweepstake. Would have happily swapped them for several other teams. But they just won the world cup on penalties. $40 to me.

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