11.02.2011

Primary Attachment and Teacher Appreciation

Giving up Primary is going to be harder than I thought.  I have come to realize over these past few days that, in spite of any desire I may or may not have had to move on to 2nd series, I am deeply attached to the way Primary makes me feel.  I miss the heat.  I miss the stretch.  And I miss the work of all the jump backs.  In fact, I miss it so much that, last night, I defaulted to 1/2 Primary plus Intermediate to Pincha instead of going straight into 2nd series.

I don't intend to do this every day.  Shelley told me not to for the sake of my shoulders and I believe she's right, but there's something about the effort of Primary that feels so grounding and real, whereas, with 2nd, the work sort of sneaks up on me all quiet-like.  There's just so much raging prana from all the backbends that the fatigue doesn't set in until I emerge like a dirty dish rag from Tittibhasana, shriveled and wet.  

I didn't even notice how much strength had built up in my legs from Titti and the kneeling backbends until yesterday when I put the drop backs back into my practice (haven't been dropping back this week because of the shoulder,  which was feeling much better last night).  After just one preparatory drop back -- slow and controlled, with several breaths in the hang -- I managed 3 smooth, unbroken drop backs in a row (haven't done that since before the biopsy).  Then three half-backs and a very deep final backbend, which I stood from unassisted without a wobble.  All in all, it was one of the better rounds of finishing backbends I can remember and I attribute that to the power 2nd series demands of the thighs.

And then there's Pincha.  I am having a hell of a time with Pincha in my practice.  Every day, I lay out the floor pillows at the top of my mat (don't laugh; the floor in my apartment is really hard), and every day I tumble, again and again.  BUT, however many tumbles it takes, I keep trying until I stick one for 5 breaths, which I have managed to do every day.  You might think all this crashing over would be disheartening, but, on the contrary, it is so freeing to be able to fall, to be liberated from the wall and to know that my efforts, regardless of my ability to balance, are tearing down the walls of fear for a much-needed renovation of the inner space.  This is the best kind of work and I feel privileged to have come this far.

It probably goes without saying, but those three weeks with David and Shelley have given my practice a complete overhaul.  Lightbulbs are flashing at random and I am only just now hearing some of what he said.  David's guidance on the breath completely changed the way I feel.  His pointers on economy of movement and continuum of motion have pushed my energy levels through the roof.  My aversion to the mat is gone, having been replaced with renewed enthusiasm and a wide-eyed appreciation for the potential of each and every practice.

I am filled with love and gratitude for my teachers.

1 comment:

  1. Love the evolution of your practice!

    A stable, comfortable Pincha took me 3 years. Now it's handstand - it's been over 3 years. Still searching.

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