Tuesday, August 7, 2012

the practice of not knowing

Slept in this morning..til 630. Made it to the shala a bit past 8, giving me enough time for standing to purvotanasana. I am finally going to try to have a 6 day practice week, my first since I started with ashtanga in January. Today became an exercise remembering the big picture: that it is more important to practice daily than to force myself through my full practice every day. I will have to build up to 6 days in a row of full practice over time.

Practice today was pretty uneventful. I missed the heat, and I was wicked sore everywhere.

I am still working on bhuja. No idea how to lift up without putting my toes on the ground (guessing I need a bit more strength and to find the proper balance point) or to to jump back once I get my legs into a low bakasana. My teacher pointed out that I need to look up and lift my chest up when I jump, rather than look at the floor. I tried a couple times, and landed in a modified bellyflop. Pretty amusing thus far. I am thinking this will be weeks if not months of further flopping fun til I get this. Will getting this transition make me a better person? nah.. But it is fun to try.

I feel like something is slowly shifting for me this summer. One of the things that the feldenkrais trainers constantly told us was to get comfortable with to the feeling of not knowing. I discovered that I am (still!) not so comfortable with this feeling, although I felt that way most of the training..often that I was just touching the surface of things, if that much. Knowing is security, permanence..not knowing..is...scary. All my insecurities were activated: am I doing this correctly, what should I be feeling, that person I am working with knows better than me, they are all better at this than me..and on and on. The thing is, as I talked with other people in the training, I found out pretty much everyone felt this way at some point. The trainers would say that if we thought we knew something..we really didn't. This is a real practice in itself, learning this method, becoming more aware of my body and my thoughts, and most importantly, accepting not knowing.

Not knowing has been a real tough thing for me always. I could accept that somewhat when I made art, but not, say, in my personal life. When I was younger, the ambiguity of whether or not a guy I went out with liked me...well, that was too much for me.

This yoga practice is the first place where I don't feel a sense of urgency to know everything. In time, I will learn what I need to learn; it can't really be rushed. I am getting more comfortable with not knowing, falling over, trying my best but not getting as attached to the results.


  1. Fear of going too far and falling on our face can be a problem with bhuja, can mean you don't take yourself forward enough and find the sweet spot. Putting a cushion..or two just in frount of your arms can help, removes some of the fear factor. Seem to remember Kino had a good video on working it on Youtube.

  2. Hi Grimmly,

    i really like that kino video. sadly, no props allowed at the shala..i never thought about the possibility of falling forward on the way back up, but i bet you are right...i did manage the exit 1 time..yesterday, after supta K..so it is possible for me..and i dont need as much strength for it as i thought (seems to be a theme with ashtanga). so it seems more attainable than i first thought.