Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 52: Led Primary

I made it to Sharon's led primary today. I was hoping it would return some of the fire to my practice. 

I couldn't decide what to wear. I still can't fit into any of my regular Ashtanga wear. Not that I'd want to wear anything like that until I lose more weight. It's the fat person's dilemma. You don't want to go to yoga until you lose weight, but you aren't going to lose weight until you go to yoga. I'd like to wear the loose pants and t-shirt that I'd wear to a postnatal or Kundalini class, but a big t-shirt would end up around my arm pits on the first downward dog, not to mention head stand. I finally settled on some long drawstring cotton pants and a fitted girly t-shirt. Definitely not the typical Ashtangi outfit but that was the tightest outfit my ego would allow.

So, here I am walking into class dressed like someone who has no idea what's going on, too chubby to be a serious practitioner and instead of a rug I'm carrying a Winnie the Pooh beach towel. We're in the room I call the cave - small, dark, no windows with several small space heaters. The class is filling up but no one is moving their mats any closer together, especially not for a rank amateur. Fortunately, I'm not shy about pushing for my space in the row. I spy a spot almost wide enough for my mat, pause for a moment then put my mat down. After my mat is on the floor the man next to me says, "Oh! We'll make room for you!"

"Thank you!" I reply cheerfully.

Sharon was my first Ashtanga teacher. Well, the first Ashtanga teacher who didn't kick me out of class. Coming to her class is like coming home. She taught me the practice and for that I owe her a lot. I never would have tried Ashtanga again without her encouragement.

I love going to a led primary when my focus is off. I just stop thinking and do what I'm told. I don't have to think. I don't make any decisions. I just relax and let it happen. I guess that's why I like Ashtanga in general, but in a led class I don't even have to count. After practicing alone for over a month, it felt decadent.

The tiny, windowless room was quickly becoming a sauna. I was dangerously flexible. I kept telling myself as I stretched too far that my glory today would lead to punishment tomorrow. My ego was telling me to go for it but I knew I needed to hold back. With all that heat my Supta K was awesome, though.

Liz, I'd like to publicly apologize for never understanding boob in the face. I've never had boobs before. Now that I'm breastfeeding, I do. When I was in karnapidasana I understood what what you've been telling me all these years. I haven't been flexible enough to get my knees all the way to my ears, but today with all that extra heat, I did. I get it now. Sorry about that.

I still didn't have that post-practice euphoria that I miss, but my practice wasn't bad. I even enjoyed parts of it. I wasn't watching the clock or counting the postures until I could finish. At the end of Savasana Sharon read a beautiful Rumi poem that made me tear up.

I'm going to try to keep going to class once a week. I think it will keep me focused until my energy has returned.


  1. So much in this post made me laugh...

    I call that room "the tomb". HATE IT. And why does it need to be heated to a degree where everyone is gasping for air? Bodies produce heat. Ashtanga PRODUCES HEAT. Yes, I'm yelling. I get yell-y when talking overly hot Ashtanga rooms.

    Interesting that things never change. No one learns to be polite and make room for a student arriving. No one wants to give up their precious, precious space. I would have overlapped my mat on someone else's, but I practice in close quarters daily so I think having 6 inches on either side of me is luxurious.

    After all my years of complaining about the boobs, I don't even think about it anymore! ha! Just think of them as air bags protecting you.

    "...too chubby to be a serious practitioner "
    Jennifer, I'm going to kick your ass for that statement. You're gorgeous.

  2. Awww, you're so sweet Liz. You've got to admit that most of the Ashtangis are insanely skinny. It's not hard to be chubby by that standard. Instead of chubby, I'll just start writing that I'm curvy.

    I hope we can have lunch tomorrow. I'll call you in the morning.