Friday, February 15, 2008

Carl, Don't Trust Me Ever Again

I'm a bad man. I had promised Carl that I would come pick him up at his hotel and bring him to the pranayama class. The class starts a little after 6 AM and he would have otherwise had to walk about a mile uphill at 5:15 to make it there. I hopped out of bed in plenty of time, but I guess I got into daydream-land while in the shower, envisioning the great practice I was bound to have. I knew I had screwed up when I walked out the door. "Oops! It's not supposed to be that light out." I turned on the car and saw the clock read 5:56. Since I'm one of those neurotic types who keeps their car clock set about seven or eight minutes ahead of the real time, I knew I really had about twenty minutes to get him there, if the class really didn't start until 6:15. I got to his hotel in about 15 minutes, reasonably good time with no tickets. I screwed up trying to beat a light though and lost some time just shy of the shala. I dropped him off to scurry up to the studio but he didn't make it in time. They had already started and were about half way thru the second pranayam. Young innocent that he was, he went ahead and sat down and joined in. No problems.

This had been an unusual week of practice for me. The typical pattern for me is to get gradually better with each successive class, if they are done within a day or so of each other. I expected my first class back from snowboarding to suck wind. I was somewhat sore from the snowboarding and I had driven for six hours the night before. The class actually was a great one, for me. I managed all the hard stuff pretty well and even almost grabbed ankles (assisted) in Chakra Bandhasana after backbending drop backs. But from there, the rest of the week's practices went parivrrta, all bassackwards. Each following practice was a little worse. Went from landing Bakasana B on the first try to taking six tries to giving up today after eight or nine flops. Thank god Tiffany and Julie weren't there or I would have had to go to the ATM.

Yesterday's practice wasn't notable for much for me. The other guys had some fun though. Carl went to the Valentine's Day improv and had his heart opened. Tim did lots of backbending stuff. I think Carl had a good time doing stuff that was new to him, Natarajasana, Anjanayasana, Vamadevasana (I think that's what he was describing). In the Mysore class, Stu got wishboned in Kapotasana, one of the best feeling adjustments known to man. He's also been stoked about being helped to his heels in that pose, which he claimed he wasn't able to do.

We all practiced together today. They did the party line first series and I thought I'd give second another try. Shouldn't have. I was very defocused. Just zoned out several times. I kept to my internal punitive rule system in which I have to quit if I don't make it into a given pose. Since I lost the battle with my heavy butt in Bakasana B, I went to backbending after Ardha Matsyendrasana. My original goal this week had been to get better enough each day that I would be able to get back over at least once in my tic tocs. As sad as this sounds, I was really counting on having Boodiba there to motivate me to get it. Sometimes those external motivation games do the trick for me. I didn't do that bad with it but still didn't get past halfway sticking point. I got my heels after drop backs, with Tim's hearty assistance, but didn't get the heels down. It was an unfulfilling practice in a lot of ways early on, but the finish brought my mood around 180 degrees.

I waited outside the studio, drinking coffee while looking at the snow on the nearby hills, while I waited for Carl to get done. Man, those two guys are polar opposites. Stuart flies through and he finished in a little over an hour. Tim came by to do drop backs with him. "Finished already?" he asked, "Some kind of new land speed record." Carl is much more measured. He's the one person I've seen who takes longer than I do to get through a class. I'm usually the last one out of the room when I have the chance to do a full Mysore and not have to rush off to work. He was still going today when I got up from a long Savasana. Carl and I had some coffee and talked a bit, then we went home. Stuart was just getting ready to head out to go north to LA for a week. After he left, I did some honeydo-es, then grabbed the kids and we all went go-karting. Carl almost passed on it, preferring to work on the computer, but we all called him a pussy from Seattle and he went for the hook. After the post-practice infusion of speed on the track, we then had a yogic lunch of bacon and cheese fries, buffalo wings and cheeseburgers. In the car, we listened to my son replaying all the songs from the Tenacious D DVD that had curse words in them (as in, all the songs).

I'm in a much better mood today than yesterday. Just felt a cloud of gloom. I guess the rainy weather can affect us more than we know sometimes. Since we never get it much here, we don't know to watch out for it. Carl is probably immune to it.

He is planning on a surf lesson tomorrow morning, so i need to work on him for a while with shark and sting ray stories. I'm once again abandoning him though, forcing him to walk the mile or so the beach for the class, as I will be with my kids at their sports things. He'll do well catching waves. He's an athletic guy. I had hoped to be able to film it for him but that didn't come thru.

I hope to be able to see everyone who came out again sometime and I hope everyone has a safe trip back home. Best of luck to Annabelle on your upcoming exam. Be the bar!


jlafitte said...

John, you and Kiran are the best.

It was a great to wrap up the week practicing between you and Carl. The shala is great and I'll be visiting again someday, for sure. Preferably when the surfing is good!

okrgr said...

Surfing is always good, even when the waves are bad. for many, especially me, the catching of waves was really just part of the experience. the best part was just sitting out there, seperating from everything else, unknowingly achieving an empty mind.

it was good to have you. have a safe trip home. and work on that guitar hero. my daughter will want to play you for money

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