Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I was scheduled to be on call Tuesday night. Kind of a bummer because it meant I'd miss the chance at Tuesday evening first series. I don't work the morning after call, but I get off at 8:00 and class on Wednesday goes from 7-9 AM, so no chance at a morning mysore class either. Then I had a brainstorm: Give the call away. Then I could go to Tuesday night class. Since I had nothing scheduled Wednesday morning because I had been scheduled to be on call, I could also then go to mysore Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, like most of my brainstorms, this came way to late to be useful. Nobody was willing to pick up the call with less than 24 hours notice. Good thing too, I guess. My wife was less than pleased to find that I had planned on passing up the pay for a night of call to go to class. I accepted my fate and did the call. Turned out okay. No calls came in after about 2 AM, so I got some sleep. It's always nice to be paid to sleep.

Having missed out on my chance to get in a mysore class Wednesday morning, tonight I went to led first series with Tim. I think I make it to this class more than any other. The class is in a transition right now, student-wise. There's a bunch of people who used to always come to these evening classes who I haven't seen in a couple of months now. On the other hand, there's also four or five new people who have started to come regularly. I guess that's how it usually goes, the ebb and flow of student populations, the ever-changing mix of students for the teachers to work with. I wonder what changed for those who have stopped coming. Different interests now? Money or time constraints? Injuries? Long term teachers probably have a good feel for the attrition rate of their students. How many who start out going two or three times on a regular basis are still there a year later? Of those, how many still around the next year. What percent are still there after five or six years? Are the drop out rates better or worse for the folks who go to mysore each morning? I've wondered if Tim can look at a person who's been there for a few weeks or months and be able to predict how long they'll stick with it, what level of practice they'll grow into.

Nothing stood out in my practice tonight, in any direction. I didn't excel at anything but I wasn't disappointed in any aspects of the practice either. I'll take that any day, it's a glass that's more than half full. I still seem to get more fatigued in Tim's classes than I think I should be. If getting more flexible has allowed me to burn less energy, I have been probably frittering away all those energy savings on my attempts to develop a jump back and a better jump thru. Not knowing what to contract and what not to contract leads to a lot of counterproductive exertion. While I can't see much difference in my strength and endurance from week to week, I can see a big improvement from a year ago. Tonight, I wanted to take a minute to catch my breath after garbha pindasana. This is the point in the practice that I have evolved as my "break time". I can do the pose, get up to the bathroom for a quick sip of water (well, a few long draughts actually), rinse my face and usually be back on the mat by the time they're only a count or two into baddha konasana. Sometimes, I really do need to stop here, other times, I'm just being lazy. When I got up to the bathroom today, I accidently walked in on someone who was changing there. I hadn't noticed anyone getting up and the door wasn't locked so I was halfway in before noticing that there was a girl there and she wasn't not fully dressed. Ever the discrete one, I mumbled my apologies and beat a hasty retreat. I couldn't figure out why somebody was changing in the middle of class. So I went back to my mat and started back with the rest of the class. When the person still hadn't come out after two or three more postures, I had about given up on a break. I made my peace with it and was trying to suss out how I would be doing by the time backbends came around. Fortunately, or unfortunately if you want to look at it that way, she finally came out so I hopped up and dashed in for a quick but unnecessary refresher. I know I have enough endurance to do fine most times without getting up, I just still haven't made myself push on. It's like the person who won't do handstand away from the wall, even though they can do a perfectly fine handstand. But, I am getting closer. After accepting that I would be able to go on without a break today and that I would do just fine, I've lost some of the rational that I use when searching for excuses to take a break.

I'm wanting to get in as much as I can here these next two weeks, After that, Tim has his teacher training. The room will be filled wall to wall with all of his teacher trainees. Practice becomes pretty difficult those two weeks. It's just very crowded with so many people. There's room enough for your mat, so I guess there's room enough to practice. That's about all the space that was available in the old mysore shala, so I should quit sniveling.

Time to quit here. I'm going to give that black, panic filled state of perceived hypoxia known as pranayama another try early tomorrow morning. Tomorrow is an 8A to 6P day at work, so no classes that I can get to other than pranayama.

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