Sunday, April 27, 2003

I'm here at work with my son Jake. The girls were away on sleepovers and my wife wanted to go to the 2nd series class at 8:00, so off to work with me he went. Like a lot of Ashtangis, things at our place tend to revolve around yoga--who's trying to get to what class when and what hoops they have to jump thru, or convince others to jump thru, to make it happen.

Used to be, when Jake would come to work with me while I did rounds on the weekend, I could just have him color or something to keep him occupied while I did my thing. Now, he stays busy by succumbing to the mind control system called Yu-Gi-Oh. If you're not familiar with it, consider yourself lucky and move on. It's kind of like Pokemon on steroids. He plays it on his GameBoy, when he hasn't lost that, or uses the actual cards, when he hasn't lost them, which he has today. That, or he watches Nickelodeon reruns of Spongebob Squarepants, etc. I guess I should find that objectionable too, but I like Spongebob. It's a great cartoon.

Sounds like the better half had an interesting class today. She was trying to do that thing after backbends where they walk their hands in and grab their ankles. Except she sort of did a cartwheel instead, sort of. To which the teacher, Tim, loudly gave her that time honored response, "BAD LADY!!"

The Sunday second series class at our place is a led class. It's part of Tim's weekly practice, so he does it along with the class instead of roaming the room adjusting. He does get up and help people at various places along the series. Even here, most folks in that class need help with karandavasana. Some need help with dwi pada sirsasana or even kapotasana too. There's kind of a mixed bag of people who go to that class. I've always thought of it as a sort of "By invitation only " class, but I don't know whether or not Tim feels that is how it should be. Some of students who go who are not yet accomplished full 2nd series practitioners. They're in the process of working thru that series. Others who come have not been given any postures in the 2nd series, they just want to try it. Most who go are quite good though. They're the "big kids".

A nice side effect of the 2nd series class is that the room has been nicely heated up for us 1st series students who come in for the 10:00 led class. In fact, around this time of year, late spring to summer, it is sometimes overly nicely heated. Steambath like at times. The led 1st series class on Sunday tends to be the most crowded class of the week. We're usually mat to mat. So, the extra heat that is left over from the exertions of the class ahead of us is sometimes overkill. One class that I remember as being on the edge of too hot, after people had rolled up their mats when the class was done, there was this one spot where you could see the outline of where the person's mat had been because the surrounding rug was wet from the sweat that had run off. That's some serious sweating. But it is nice to walk into a warm humid practice room in the winter. My wife is one who doesn't believe there is such a thing as a room that is too warm. She's one of those who is set up within a mat or two of the heater each day. I didn't used to like it when it got really hot, but now I appreciate it more. It used to bug me because the extra sweat would make me have to wipe my face even more than usual. I wipe my face a lot because when sweat starts to get in my nose, I have a hard time with ujjayi breathing and it all just falls to crap. The heat doesn't seem to bug me as much now. Could be old-age induced cold intolerance, but I think I'm not having to work as hard to do the postures lately, so I sweat less.

The Sunday classes tend to bring a lot of folks out of the wood work. It's probably like that everywhere. People who can't get to weekday classes make the effort to get to the weekend class with the teacher. There's usually a fair number of visitors from other areas as well. Problem is, there's too many people to actually be able to see how they all do. On most days, we set our mats up along the length of the room, facing the middle of the room (its a longish rectangular space). As such, if you're so inclined, you can see how at least half the class is doing with just a quick glance. On Sundays, for the 1st series class, we have to set them up facing the front of the room to get the extra people to fit in. So, even if I wanted to be a voyeur and scope out people's practices, I can't see most of them because of how we're facing. Plus, I don't think Tim is real big on folks looking around. He got asked once why there were no mirrors in the classroom. He said, "In Ashtanga Yoga, there is no such thing as "mirror" drishti."

I'm gonna have to try and watch out for repeating here what I may have already written about on EZBoard or somewhere else. Don't want to be too repetitious over and over again. I have intended this to be something that is read by others, not some writing that is meant just for me. I don't think I could write stuff "just for me". For me, there'd be no point to that kind of writing. I tend, for better or worse to have a tome like style. I have seen enough of other's blogs to know that most just post a few lines, their thoughts of the moment, and maybe some links to other interesting places. I kind of make you work, digging thru five or six paragraphs to see if I've managed to say anything interesting that day. And just as soon as I can actually get some practice in, I'll start writing about my practicing ashtanga. Kind of a dry spell here.

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