Monday, October 18, 2010

Time to Restore

I took the week off and did an Iyengar restorative sequence that one of my first teachers, Rama Nina Patella gave me. I think she got it from a studio in Chicago called the The Yoga Circle. This was so restful. Just what I needed.

Every pose was supported with blankets, bolsters and blocks as needed.The sequence was:
1. Supta Virasana (5 minutes)
2.Supta Padmasana (3-5 minutes each side) I did half lotus on both sides
3. Supta Baddha Konasana (7-10 minutes) with a strap (this was my fave)
4. Janusirsasana
5. Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
6. Upavista Konasana
7. Paschimottanasana
All the forward bends were 2-3 minutes and required the forehead to be resting on a blanket, or block.
8. Viparita Dandasana (10-15 minutes) This is a backbend over a yoga chair, which I do not own. Sadly I skipped this one. There is a strap around the thighs, tall block under feet. Arms in headstand position resting on blankets. Blanket rolled under lumbar spine.
9. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (10-15) minutes. Strap around thighs, tall block under pelvis and one under the heels. Shoulders rest on folded blankets.
10. Savasana

Lately I have been pondering whether or not to post about my practice that is off the mat - like my confrontations with ego (asmita), working on non-attachment (vairyagya) and attempts at maintaining equanimity (upeksha). Does this blog only have to be about my experiences with the asanas? More things have been coming up for me.

First, the hardest one - ego (asmita). I did not make the cut for the Equinox audition last month. I waited about 2.5 weeks before I contacted them at which point they told me that they had already contacted those they were interested in hiring. I thought that was rude not to let the those that didn't make it know at the same time. Maybe I wouldn't want to work for people like that anyway (says my wounded ego). But this has been disappointing to me and of course makes me wonder if I should be teaching in the first place. After some consideration and feeling sorry for myself I came to the conclusion that I really cannot let one rejection get in my way. This is one door that closed and hopefully there will be others that will open. In order to experience success I must also experience failure. ok enough with that.

Working on non-attachment: this has come up in a new way for me. I am not fixated on material things but on information. I am so eager to learn from many of the great teachers here in NYC and I have had a hard time deciding on where to start - which to study with first. I have been attending free open houses with Leslie Kaminoff, Amy Mathews and Jason Brown. I also want to try yoga classes at Laughing Lotus, Naam Yoga and with Genny Kapuler. So much to do and so little time, not to mention limited resources. I was all over the place and had this desperate feeling of wanting to learn everything at the same time. After many weeks and many back and forth, wishy washy decisions I decided that my next intensive/certification will be Yoga Anatomy studies with Jason Brown. As of last week it was Leslie Kaminoff's anatomy course but now I feel confident and settled in my choice now. 

Maintaining equanimity: I had a fight with a cab driver a few weeks ago. I give myself some credit- I lost it at the end right before I paid. I went to Trader Joes and treated myself to a cab home thinking it would be the usual 10 minute/$10 ride. I saved a lot at TJ's so it was worth it. Long story longer, there was a parade and it was impossible to get across to the east side. Traffic was obscene. It took 1.5 hours and $40 to get home. It costs less to get to the airport. So I calmly explained that there was no way I could pay this amount and how it was not the driver's fault but nor was it mine and could he give me a break. Well the driver did not understand me and started yelling at me to get out of his car and not pay anything. That's when I lost it. I had no intention of doing that. no way. I started yelling obscenities - more at the situation rather then at the driver. We kept yelling over each other - getting nowhere. He didn't understand and I had to go so I PAID the full amount. This still makes me cringe.

When I got home I explained what happened to my husband and I told him how I tried to stay calm and maintain equanimity. He asked me WHY? This was such a great and simple question. WHY? I wasn't sure myself at first. But then I threw out the idea that it's worth it to maintain composure and not let your mood be affected by external/constantly changing circumstances. This relates back to ego too and my feeling sorry for myself about not getting hired by Equinox. Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don't but there is a part of ourselves that does not have to be tethered to those changes. There is a part of us that is unchanging and eternal that resides in calm abiding. Yoga helps me discover that space.

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