7 December 2007

Vipassana and forearm balance

Tuesday 4th December 2007

Have you ever driven your car somewhere and at some point during the journey you find yourself sitting at the wheel wondering how you go there alive because your mind was completely absent?
You wake up out of a dreamworld and realise your body has been driving on autopilot while you’ve been away – it’s scary.
I wasn’t quite that bad during practice but over and over I had to keep waking myself up to where I was.
Practice happened a great distance away from where I actually was - or vice versa.

So I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the Vipassana retreat this year.
I’ll do 7 days this time instead of 10, starting December 15th. As it approaches, I’m becoming acutely aware of how much my mind really really needs this annual detox and space-clearing.

Some women indulge in face and body make-overs. I go get my mind purified.

Eleven hours a day of seated mindfulness of breath and body sensations is the backdrop against which all the impurities that clog up the system are flushed to the surface and whisked away, leaving clear mind, pure mind.
Sounds like an ad for a cleaning product.

On the Mat
As I went through the motions of practice this morning, the physical practice receded into the background as what was on my mind asserted its false urgency and demanded undue attention.
Standing poses were strong to start with because my initial focus was strong – I think this planted and established the strong Ujjiya rhythmic breath that lasted for the entire practice. It remained deep and connected long after my mind lost the plot near the end of the standing poses. Everything but the breath started dropping away and the practice veered off the Ashtanga course.

I went to the wall and did 2 long handstands then kicked up for a couple of Pincha Mayurasanas (forearm balance).
What possessed me???
I hadn’t done this pose for yonks (that’s Aussie slang for a very long time!)
PS: Sssshhhhhh...maybe it was because I had dinner with a few yoga friends last Sunday evening, one of them the senior Iyengar teacher that I absolutely adore (not mentioning any names) and who’s Friday morning led class I occasionally hook into for a while. I haven’t been to his class for at least 6 months hadn’t seen him for that long and had almost forgotten how much I adore him. To cut this long story short…his class is always a megadose of handstands, forearm balances and backbends. Maybe me go back next year…maybe me infatuated...maybe me talking like sillly girl....anyway must practice handstands and forearm balances now…maybe mad…maybe love…

Back to earth, back to the mat for some forward bends. No vinyasas but luckily the deep Ujjiya breath kept all the poses connected together like a string of pearls. Forward bends were difficult, only because my mind was occupied elsewhere.
Rest of practice - lost in translation.

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