Thursday, May 12, 2005

Ashtanga 19 - Garlic and Ashtanga!

Note to self: I need to wake up a little earlier yet as my Ganesh Puja is not getting the focus it deserves. I'm still performing puja properly, but need to embrace the energies more properly. (In this and every aspect of my life! - I'm going to start putting up signs everywhere that say slow down!)

It was a strange practice this morning. Time escaped me at every turn. I was running slightly late and then the Suryas just seemed to drag. My body needed to warm up I guess and I'm attempting to listen to it as closely as possible. I did manage to finish Parsvottanasana before the chant. Coming out of the chant to Uttithia Hasta Padangusthasana gave me some extra time to focus on the bandhas (mula and uddiyana) and really root down through the mat. Not that it helped stabilize me too much, but it's good to focus on that aspect of the asana. Often, I find that I'm so concerned with time that I loose focus on the details that make this practice great. I know I will feel a release when I return from NY and it's my intention to buckle down to the details and cease with my foolish ambition to integrate the vinyasa of the primary.

I glanced at the clock prior to beginning the Marichys and was shocked to see it was already 7:30! I resolved to finish through Marichy D and then move onto finishing.

Problem areas this morning included Parivritta Parvakonasana (as always), getting my feet flat to the floor in Purvottanasana (I'm going to research that a little online today and see if I can read some suggestions). Matthew assisted with Marichy C and I think I understood. I need to shift the balance to the straight leg in order to get more of a lift and twist going. When the weight is on the bent leg side too much it collapses the back and prevents one from going deeply into the asana. I focused on this on the other side and was able to go further into the asana with each breath. I'm still frustrated by not being able to bind in Baddha Padmasana, but it will come in time.

Success was found in Janu Sirsasana B, I simply need to keep linking the breath to the Janus and move into and out of them with the breath. I'm still thrilled with getting into Marichy D on my own. I've been using a towel on my leg which may be considered "cheating" but it is stopping me from sliding right off the top of the knee.

My respect for Matthew grows. I spoke with him as I was leaving and asked him for any tips for NY. He was wonderfully honest with me and addressed the issue of my, how would you say, scent. I suppose that some people would get upset about this being raised, but being the type of guy I am I was thrilled that he would address it. I'm on the 20th day of my kitchari fast and have been making this delicious kitchari recipe that is simply over the top with onions and garlic! I mean there is a whole bulb of garlic in each batch. I typically wouldn't care if someone didn't care for it and would recommend that they simply move their mat. :) But Matthew explained that Brahmins avoid garlic and onions completely and that Ashtanga and garlic and onions don't mix well due to the fact that they both create a great deal of fire (angi). Based upon my Ayruvedic studies I know this to be true. I simply had not put 2 and 2 together. Another point at which I need to cease with categories and look at myself in my entirety. Of course my body is going through so many changes right now that it is sometimes hard to keep track of changes in my doshas. When the fast is over (May 20th) I'm sure that they will settle down a bit.

So, his tip for NY was to lay off the onions and garlic! How decent of him to bring that up especially based on the fact that my scent could dictate whether or not I get adjustments. (Of course, 300 attendees will probably be more likely to dictate this.) I mean, if Guriju and family avoid garlic and onions then they certainly should avoid me in my current state! So, I'm actually out of kitchari today and was planning on making a new batch. I'm going to eliminate the garlic, onions, ginger and cut the rest of the spices in half. It will be a bland batch, but I'd rather eat bland food for a week than miss out on an opportunity in NY. That is that.

Imagine what the world would be like if people would actually share that kind of info with others all the time AND if others could handle it. We'd probably be much further on in this process called liberation.

Matthew also mentioned paying attention to the subtle energies going on during practice next week. Due to this being the first time in my practice that I don't have to worry about getting to work or doing this or that, I think that I will be more open to these energies. I will attempt to be mindful of them and will set some NLP anchors with this intent to the chant on the first day in NY. Of course, since my fasting began I have been more aware of subtle aspects than I have since I was 11, but that story is for another blog.

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