Saturday, May 31, 2003

Yesterday was a day off from work. It came sandwiched between two days/nights of being on call so I wanted to do some stuff to take advantage of what free time I had. It was a cool cloudy day here, a nice respite from the unremitting sunny brightness that attracts people to this area. Since the kids were in school, I called a friend who tends to be able to do stuff at the drop of a hat and we played a round of golf. Well, he played. I mainly lost a bunch of golf balls and made big holes in the golf course. We both have always sneered at golfers who ride in carts or use those little pull cart thingies to tote their bags. "Real" golfers walk the course and carry their bags. That's how the game is supposed to be played. Right about the 16th hole, I was getting a little sore and achy. I think he was too. We were both kind of bracing our lower backs as we trudged up this small hill. We walked by a foursome of older guys breezing up the other fairway with their new pull carts. We looked at each other and knew. Our time was coming. Besides, the pull carts they have these days are really pretty cool.

My wife was able to pull some strings and get me a pass to this hoity toity health club where she sometimes teaches classes. They have a full first series class on Friday nights that's taught by one of Tim's more senior students. I knew I was gonna be stiff from golfing but I really wanted to practice, moon day or not, because I have to work today. In medicine, there's this unwritten rule called Intern's Law. It goes something like, "If you have the chance to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom, do it. You never know when you'll get another chance to do so." That's kind of how I approach practice. If I get a chance to go, I go. There's too many times when I'm not gonna have the chance to do so.

The practice room at this club is very different from my usual study place. It's all bright and fresh, slightly cushioned laminate floors, and.... wall to wall mirrors. Horrors. Last thing someone like me needs is even more visual distraction. It's actually really nice to be able to see my alignment in some poses. I now know where it is that my hands actually are in prasarita C, as opposed to where I thought or hoped they were ("Surely they're just an inch or so away from the floor?" Not.). I have confirmed that my virabhadrasana B is nowhere near the powerful warrior-like pose it could be. I also learned that some things aren't as bad as I had feared. My chest and shoulders are more open in my up dogs than they feel. But, I had to really work at keeping my attention where it was supposed to be and not use the mirrors to better look around the room. That took a lot out of me.

It was neat to be with a group of people that I was mostly unfamiliar with. I had seen one or two of the women in the class at a different yoga studio. One person in the class studies with Tim regularly but I didn't even know she was there until we were walking out. I met suburbfreak in the class. I had met her once before at a yoga demonstration when she came up to me and asked if I was okrgr. I didn't know how to respond at first. Nobody had ever asked me that. We talked for a bit about yoga and getting kids involved in doing yoga ( I had to admit I had little advice to offer there, since I can't drag my kids to a yoga class unless there's been some major quid pro quo offered.) I've never previously practiced with her though, despite the fact that we live within a few miles of each other. I didn't recognize her when she first came in the room but we figured out who each other was after a while and were able to chat a bit before we got started with class. I only got a few glances of her out of the corner of my eye during class but she is quite flexible and her practice appeared very smooth.

The class itself was quite nice. The room was a little cooler than I'm used to, but not too cool. I think the class was only for 1 1/2 hours, so it seemed like we didn't hold some of the poses as long. As a result, I felt stronger than I usually do. That was the first time in quite a while that I didn't get up and get a drink of water somewhere along the line. Everyone there seemed to know each other. They were a friendly group. The usual general mix of skills, body types, ages etc., but only a couple of other guys besides me. The class wasn't too large, I think about 14-15 people. I had some very good adjustments from the teacher. Since it was a smaller class, she would usually adjust a person for the whole count of a pose rather than moving between several people in one five count. The teacher is one of those who have a natural grace about their movements. Not the sorta theatrical dancer/ballet motions that some people feel the need to put in, just a natural fluidity and smoothness. It's a quality that I attend to because I don't perceive it much in my practice. Maybe some day.

Time to do some work, an admission just came in. Somebody who isn't in labor but who really wants to be. S'okay by me.

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