I am finally emerging from this blasted winter funk! As the week went on, with each day the practice felt less and less like torture and more and more like home. Today's Primary was actually quite nice.
I started the week with my current Intermediate practice (to Pincha, with Kapo twice and Pincha twice), but aborted Intermediate entirely no later than Tuesday as it became clear that 2nd series was not at all what I needed. I needed therapy. I needed Primary. And Primary is what I've had, straight up and uncut since Tuesday. It's been lovely. Oh, how I love my Primary...
However, I can't help but wonder if this whole episode of the past few weeks, or even the entire month, is a direct consequence of my Intermediate exploration. The nerve cleansing, the prying open of the body. I have put myself in some pretty vulnerable positions recently, both professionally and personally, something I have spent my entire life avoiding. This resulted first in a level anxiety unseen since adolescence, followed almost immediately by rapid weight gain disproportionate to the changes in my diet and activity level. (Note: I'm not trying to be dramatic about the weight gain. It's like 5 pounds. It'll be gone by next week. It just came on so fast.)
It occurred to me today that the weight gain may have been an unconscious effort at self-preservation. I have taken cover under my own flesh to recover from the overexposure of the past month. The good news is that Primary seems to be aiding my emotional and physical recoveries. I am feeling much better. The bad news is that I haven't done a full week of Intermediate practice since I-don't-know-when. And -- call me paranoid -- here is where I get suspicious: Teachers have been pushing me into Intermediate practically since I took up the Ashtanga. But any time that I have moved forward into 2nd series, obstacles have arisen that have forced me to step back... or have they?
Maybe all of this is just self-sabotage. Intermediate is the unknown. It is fearsome and incomplete. Primary is my cozy little home, with every breath accounted for, every moment a part of the meditation. Why would I ever want to leave? Have I been rationalizing my own plateau into existence, holding myself back, afraid of whatever else might be revealed? I don't know, but it's a compelling explanation.