March 25, Monday:

90 minute practice with Polina… Well, the minutes don’t really mean anything. We did Surya Namaskara A ~3 or 4 times (I think 3), Namaskara B 3 times, all of standing sequence (we always do all of standing sequence), and bits and pieces of primary/finishing: Dandasana, Paschimottanasana A-C, Janu Sirsasana A, Marichyasana C, two headstands, and the backbends/shoulder stance/blah blah of finishing.

We skip too many poses. I was thinking that one day a week I’d practice the entire primary series on my own. Maybe this Sunday.

Mentored Beginning Yoga after that…

Also had a chat with Polina. Why oh why did I open my big mouth about Chadd showing me adjustments? Now she’s going to talk to him and… ugh. I can tell Chadd doesn’t like her. Polina all but wants me to sign an oath in blood, pledging my allegiance to her.

She said once I mentor a full class she will show me adjustments. So I’m going to do that by the end of the week. Maybe her class on Saturday! Exciting! Kind of.

Also means work. Writing out more script. Which is quickly becoming monotonous.

I mentored Parsvottanasana to VIrabhadrasana B in Lindsey’s beginning class. I did fine; I’ve gotten over my anal retentiveness re: perfection with regards to details in cadence, tone, various adjusmtnets/emphasis/breath; that stuff will come with time. The fundamentals are what one must get down.

Confidence. Comfortability. Competence. Being yourself. Conquering fear.

I forgot tree pose. The last three times I’ve mentored with Lindsey I’ve forgotten a pose or two. Bleh.

In a few minutes I’m going to take off to mentor her two evening classes. I think I’ll mentor the entire beginning of her Ashtanga class — Surya Namaskara to the end of Standing. Suppose the same standing sequence for beginning.

Nine mentor hours down, 31 to go. Seems daunting. Sigh.

March 26, Tuesday:

All day at ATY. Kino MacGregor is coming. Should I put an exclamation point? I don’t know.

I am skeptical. But as Chadd pointed out, she is the first and only woman to be certified by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.

The workshops don’t jump off the page for me, though. I want some next-level shit.

She is certainly a renown instructor. Polina really wanted me to go. And Chadd’s gonna be there. Vegan lunch! Should be fun.

March 27,Wednesday:

Let’s recap yesterday:

Kino is cool but she’s not all that. She just seems like someone dedicated to her craft. Her technique and ability are spot on. But I didn’t get an exceptional vibe from her. It’s just like, Hey, when you love to do something, this efficacy and success is a natural outcropping from it. It’s not like she’s the LeBron James of yoga.

Not to say that I didn’t learn a lot. But the main thing I learned is that I must be myself. A perfectionist who emphases proper technique and five long breaths more than anything. One who does not sugar coat. And one who pushes my students to their edges.

The first two workshops were arm balances and strength. She worked the hell out of us. It amazes me, though, how aside from myself, only a handful of other practitioners were sweating. Chadd was one, and some middle-aged foreign dude — whose calm demeanor always impresses me — was the other. There may have been more — the room was packed — but pretty much every woman I saw was not sweating. It seems most people in the studio don’t have that same one-pointedness of mind that I have towards the practice.

I was more impressed with myself. I have been practicing yoga for eight months. I did not come into the practice as a “natural,” and I do not have a “yoga body”; I am still seeing massive week-to-week improvements. Yet I can already do so much that it’s like: Woah. Stick with it, stay disciplined, love the practice, and the fruits of my labor shall be sweet.

I stuck around for the “vegan lunch” (not nearly as good as it sounds; more like a snack) and waterfall hike. I regretted smoking the ganja with Bryan and Rodrigo. It changed me; I was not me and I hated it. I’m vowing to never smoke again. I felt flooded with “insights,” but it’s hard to trust them when you’re high. Anxiety and tension and hyper-analyzation of social dynamics haunted me.

It is different getting to know these people outside a yoga context. I realized I am not a big fan of groups. I am a one-on-one guy. I also realized wordliness annoys me. So much wordliness when you’re around worldly people. I also talk too much. We all talk too much.

I just want a quieter, simpler life of renunciation. That is what I am working towards.

This morning: I’m going going, back back to Janus, Janus. DA BESS PRACTICE!

March 28, Thursday:

Janus, oh how I’ve missed thee.

She fits in the most poses of anyone. Humbling practice (yesterday).

The more I work on the Primary Series, the more effective my instruction shall be.

Thursday is my day off (for now), so no yoga today. Tomorrow I may be forced to practice on my own. Class Friday mornings means no Ashtanga class at the studio… And Ashtanga >>> Heated Flow or [insert substitute]. If I wake up at 5:30 again I’ll definitely practice. Play it by ear.

March 29, Friday:

Class with Polina.

It’s definitely not 90 minutes. She begins late and stops early. An hour, more or less. Janus’ class is more fulfilling, but whatever. I must do my best to stop judging and comparing everything with everything. This is my experience, my practice. Let it blossom naturally.

I felt like shit upon waking. Just in a bad mood. Wanted to stay in bed all day. So while I didn’t plan to come to the studio today, I skipped the first two hours of my class and came away.

As the sweat distilled from my body, my mind cleared, tension freed, worries dissipated. Mucho sweat.

Tomorrow I mentor ~90 minutes of a 120 minute class. Got a lot of work to do. I’m confident but as of this writing not as prepared as I’d like to be. As long as I’m at least half as prepared as I’d like to be, I’ll be awesome.

March 30, Saturday:

Mentor with Polina.

Did about 70-80% of the class. Everything up until Marichyasana D. Then Baddha Padmasana A and B, Supta Padangusthasana A, B and C, and the finishing sequence (Sirsasana A & B aside).

Did not do Savasana. Grrr.

I prepared the most for Savasana! It was gonna be the sickest guided meditation. -shrugs-

A serious crash course in yoga poses last evening. So much learning. Now the stress is gone. I did a great job. Many little errors, but no big errors. Great pacing (this is the feedback I got, not me just subjectively evaluating myself), strong cues, confident voice, etc.

Couple of things: get off of the mat more and observe/adjust. Personally, I know I need more familiarity with the Primary Series, specifically after Marichyasana D. Master the modifications for Marichyasana B-D. And so on.

Polina said she can’t wait to put me on the schedule. Weeee!

Gotta keep workin’. Tomorrow: the full Primary Series on my own. Very much looking forward to it. Gonna take at least two hours, I imagine. You know me: five deep, full breaths.

March 31, Sunday:

Hahaha, okay, so I didn’t follow through. I just did the Sun Salutations. My body felt quite tight.

Excuses, though. Teaching and practicing is proving difficult. But I’ll get there.

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