Saturday, May 7, 2011

Back into my practice, one vertebrae at a time

Week 3 is almost over and I just can't believe how much has happened.  I can see why teachers I've talked with about training all emphasize that you should just write everything down and spend the next number of years digesting the information that's thrown at you.  Just reading all the recommended books alone would take years!  The anatomy classes are so fantastic, I had no idea that learning about the body could be so exciting.  I don't recall ever spending much time on anatomy in high school, which is probably why I never knew I was interested in it!  Science was never my strong suit, but I look forward to being able to take courses in the subject some time (soon!) in the future.  Somehow being able to apply this knowledge directly makes it more accessible for me and it's really fascinating.

Posture clinics are clicking right along and I'm looking forward to having the weekend to move ahead and be a bit ahead of each class, instead of learning one posture at a time while under the gun to then present right away.  That's no way to retain information, at least for myself.  Saying the dialogue and having people demonstrate the postures is really starting to be a fun experience and I can feel myself slowly unwinding and finding a way to (as has been suggested to everyone) "let my personality shine through".  Such a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to see how things unfold in the coming weeks on that front.

Yesterday (Thursday) had an incredible experience in class.  Maybe it was just that I was feeling pleased with myself at memorizing and presenting Eagle Pose so quickly, or maybe it was Rajashree killing us with kindness in that special way that she does, but I was determined to do as much as I could during afternoon class despite my back issue.  Second line, right near the podium, the hot blower blasting at me like the approach to the fiery gates of hell, I "explored the edges of my performance envelope" while being conscious of not blowing out my back.  Things were going well, I was moving into those damn pulling postures a little deeper than I had been able despite feeling easily as hot as it was during the very first class of training.  Then, during Camel, something amazing happened: I went gently into the posture and kept pushing little by little until my back spontaneously adjusted itself.  It was a loud, deep crack and I knew immediately that something that had been locked up for days finally let go.  I can't express how grateful I was at that moment that the pain I'd been grappling with was one huge step closer to removing itself from my training experience. Not totally gone yet, but about 75% back to pre-training condition in that area.

Another epiphany about my own practice occurred that same day.  During morning class, I was having a rough bout of the "sleepys".  This is my personal description of that condition where you are simply unable to keep your eyes open during class despite not feeling tired, a general lethargy of the body, weakness, dizziness, swaying back and forth, inability to focus. 

Now I've always thought this is just something that happens from time to time depending on body chemistry, food balance for the day, hydration, etc.  But I'm beginning to think that this is not a normal experience for most people and may have something to do with low blood sugar upon waking.  It was so bad for me yesterday that I actually left the room for the first time during training because I was so ineffectual and weak, I felt like something was pretty profoundly wrong.  I came back into the hot room after a few minutes of propping myself against a wall and feeling confused and pathetic, and mostly sat/lay on my mat until class was finished.  The whole blood-sugar hypothesis suggested itself to me on the way up to my room, so I experimented by making a fruit smoothie.  If only all experiments could be as fun. I told myself that if it was indeed low blood sugar that the smoothie should perk me up in 5-10 minutes.  Surprise, surprise, I was perfectly fine after drinking the darned thing.  So the new morning routine needs to include OJ if I plan on making it through morning class in one piece.

Internet connection is making the uploading of pictures nearly impossible so that's all for the night.  One class tomorrow morning, then the weekend is upon us!  Loads of time (not) to prepare for an exam and learn four postures for Monday. 

It's a good thing I get to see my friend Brian Keith for a massage tomorrow to prepare my brain for the rigors of studiousness that will fill my weekend.  I think I've earned this one.