Wednesday, December 26, 2012

the right way and monsters from the id

On xmas eve, I had a little home sci-fi movie festival. I watched Forbidden Planet, and The Day the Earth Stood StillThe Day the Earth Stood Still is one of the first movies I remember seeing, because I was in the hospital, after having my adenoids out. My childhood was not filled with seeing a lot of movies as seeing Bambi upset me so much, that my parents didn't want to take me to see much after that. To this day, I still get waaaay more upset at movies than most people.

Anyway, both these movies have great robots, space ships and visuals. I miss flying SAUCERS as such in movies: clean, sleek and spinning! In Forbidden Planet, the "mad" scientist and his daughter are living on an planet seemingly long abandoned by a very technologically advanced civilization. Their advanced technology allowed the former inhabitants to operate this huge machine (which reminded me of the death star) inside the planet - by their thoughts, a sort of brainwave accelerator. As it turns out, this was a really really bad idea. Unstoppable "monsters from the id", i.e. the subconscious, also emerged and pretty much did in their entire civilization, as well as the original expedition to the planet. Putting all your energy into one thing and while ignoring your emotions (i.e. your subconscious) just doesn't pay.

image taken from here

It reminded me of why I practice yoga, to safely let those monsters at least have a little air, so that one day they will be less disruptive. I suspect that some of my recent anger and volatility about practice, as well as sort of injuring myself in practice, comes from trying to make a lot of conscious changes to do things the "right" way. Real change occurs gradually.

Of course, sometimes the "right" way looks a whole lot harder and scarier..but turns out to be easier. Well, almost easier.

I can now lift up into headstand with straight legs. Complete revelation. I have been spending a few breaths in half headstand after full headstand almost every day..but the thought of going back up without flipping over after that seemed, well, impossible. Yesterday, however, I thought I would give coming up from the floor with straight legs a shot. It took me about 5 breaths to get all the way up and I can feel it in my core as I lift up, but it feels pretty damn steady, steadier than coming up with bent knees actually. I can feel my balance as I go up, and i am coming up in a much more controlled way. Still not ready to try it after half headstand..but someday.

My teacher got me to do chakrasana after uttana padasana, without letting me drop my legs to the ground first, though I am allowed to lower my back to the ground first. This too seemed like it would be hellishly difficult to start the roll back with my legs in the air..but turns out to be easier (softer landing in chatauranga), and it discourages resting for too long (I still like to rest where I can) Bandhas are more engaged when my legs are in the air. Duh.

Meanwhile, what will those monsters want today?

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