The ego is strong. Is the Sacred Fire stronger?
Apologies for the lack of posting.
It’s my fault.
Bobbie’s taking in a ton of fascinating information — she describes it, since the teacher training with Tim Miller is still in its infancy, as layered on to things she’s learned before, and moving deeper (ultimately more toward the Subtle Body — but instead of describing it to you, via her computer, she’s talking to me.
And then time has flown and there isn’t time to get on the computer. (I have something like 100 happy birthday messages on Facebook from yesterday, but haven’t gotten on the computer to respond. So it’s both of us.) Next week, when I’m back to the real world, she’ll get more posts up. Perhaps tonight I’ll urge her to put some thoughts down.
It’s a bit before 6 a.m., Encinitas time, and she’s off to the pranayama practice. Next up, we’ll be doing Tim’s Led First, which I believe is followed by his leading everyone in the Hanuman Chalisa. I’ve never been here on a Tuesday, though, so I don’t know.
“Hold on,” you’re saying. “Led First? I thought this is the Second Series training.”
You’re right. But, let me tell you, Tim’s Mysore room on Monday was packed — as tight as the Monday after the Confluence — and I believe he’s encouraging the training students to break things up a bit. So our friends in the training are all doing the Led.
Which is good and bad (is everything good and bad?). It’s good because I get the sense I get more attention during a Led, because I’m surrounded by folks who perhaps don’t need a ton of adjustment. It’s bad because, as a result, the Led class is hard. Hard.
I know, from Sunday’s experience. And, to give you something substantial and satisfying, here are a few of the yet-again new and different adjustments I received. Perhaps something will set off a “oh!” for you:
- I got an adjustment during both Surya A and B, and honestly thought I might be done. In the first, he pulled my hips up and back — pretty standards — but also straightened and rotated my legs inward. Right on some “sticky” spots for me. But I could feel the length I was supposed to have.
- Tim really encourages me to use a block for Trikonasana and Parsvakonasana (included rotated). I’ll admit I have a lot of hang-ups about this. Obviously there are the ego ones: “Hey, look at Mr. Stiff over there with his blocks.” But it’s also the aesthetics of it. I like being on my mat, just me and my mat. (I’m like this going to the beach; I’m happiest with a towel and a surfboard and nothing else.) Props mess with that, as well as with the movement of the vinyasa. But, when I use a prop like a block, I see how in these poses, for instance, I’m able to get the width or length in my shoulders. I collapse less and lift more.
- Tim made me laugh in Uttitha Hasta, which isn’t an easy thing to do. (Well, he often has such a great humor to him, but still… Uttitha!) But as he held my foot, I realized he was manipulating it like Russ Pfeiffer does in the Rolfing sessions. Bonus foot work!
- In backbends, Tim tried a strategy to get my arms straight that was entirely new. I think I can describe it: He bent down low enough (I’m of course holding his ankles) so he could hold my arms but then also use his legs as leverage against his arms to try (in vain) to get my arms straight. It was extremely hot that day, and we were the second class — after his Led Second — and I truly thought I was going to throw up after. It was brutal, in that wonderful, beautiful way that the Ashtanga Sacred Fire is brutal.
- Two final moments: At one point, after Tim was done adjusting the guy next to me, he called for us to pick up and pull back. I did, conscious of course of the guru there. “Ah, very light,” he said to me. Validation! But then, in Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana, I got, “Man of Steel.” And not in the good, Superman kind of way. But every pose needs a counter, right?
After that practice, Bobbie and I got to the beach, spent a huge amount of time in the water (cooling, like a bonus oil bath) and on Monday — I’m a day behind, but Monday was my birthday, so I call birthday privilege) we did it all over again. Only I surfed like crazy and was a full beach bum.
And now, we’re really going to do it all over again. More on that to come.
Addendum: I forgot Tuesdays are when Tim practices along with the class. That doesn’t make it any easier, though. His breaths may be slightly longer than mine.
Posted by Steve