Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Letting go to realise how much there is :)

Went away for a long weekend at the shala, 3 days.  It's hard not to have expectations sometimes when you see teachers so rarely.  Saturday and Sunday, Kapotasana did not go so well, just as deep as at home but no more.  Found myself frustrated and even angry and eventually upset during practice about many inconsequential things.  All unusual states for me so I observed and was amused by the my thoughts rather than reacting to them.  I knew I wasn't really annoyed and frustrated at the mundane things my mind was clinging too.

On Sunday the emotional release reached a pinnacle and I almost cried in Savasana as I realised that the anger I felt was towards my Dad, for being dead.  Obviously not his fault but perfectly understandable response from me, I think.  What was nice about this was realising that this anger related more to the now rather than when he died which was 3 years ago.  I miss him now, having gone through an intense grieving process, I think I had kinda felt our relationship was over, it isn't of course. He was my dad and I love him  still and everything I learnt from him is with me every day.  So it actually ended up being quite a nice insight.  When I was in Savasana and realised where the emotion was coming from, something happened in the main part of the shala and everyone laughed.  No idea what it was but it brought me back into the moment brilliantly.

After that went and had a nice breakfast and lunch with fellow blogger yogis Kevin, Mel and Susan.  Lovely to feel unrushed and share our experiences with this wonderful practice.  The wonderful thing with ashtanga is that we all share similar experiences so it is easy to relate to each others journey.

On Monday I had a much more focused practice, one of those wonderful practices where the mind stays in the moment.  Nice to practice with my teacher too.  Heels in Kapotasana felt better than last time, could breathe much easier, not easily though, it is Kapotasana afterall.  I also got a new pose bharadvajasana.  I grabbed my ankles in the final backbend too, with assistance.  My back is definitely opening, no wonder I am going through so much emotionally.  Feel really grateful and happy to have such a healing practice in my life.


  1. Hi Helen,2 shalas and 3 different teachers in 3 days for you too. I am still amazed at how yoga can bring unexpected emotions to the surface, hopefully they are cathartic and settling, rather than lingering and destructive.

    It was lovely to spend time chatting about practice, especially to yogis with a more advanced practice, I find it so helpful to talk to people who have been at the same stage and can talk about what got them through.

  2. Definitely cathartic and settling, I find yoga only seems to bring emotions to the surface when I am ready to process them. Which is very clever, not sure how that works, but so grateful that it does :)

    Advanced, not me, lol. Great to share the journey. Added Linda's new blog to my list it's kapalabheda.

  3. LOL well you seem to be a couple of years in front of me. I feel doomed to a life of Primary.

  4. Hi Helen, thank you for sharing this. It's interesting when you say that feeling frustrated, angry and upset during your practice are not things that normally happen for you - maybe *this* is the measure of an advanced practitioner!! I feel these things a lot, hopefully one day I will be able to observe them without getting caught up in them too. I know the theory, I just don't manage it in practice when it actually starts to happen. Also it's really interesting that you could label your tears, I have had it happen to me quite a few times but I've never been able to work out what I'm crying about. Of course grief is a major thing and perhaps it's easier to spot but it seems like it took you where you needed it to. And good to have some laughter in the shala too! If we can't laugh when we're doing all of these ridiculous things then when can we?
    and congratulations on the new pose!

  5. Hi Mel, thanks your comment made me think about how much my practice had inwardly changed. When I meditated a lot many years ago, I used to find it hard not to get caught up. I guess this process is different for everyone.

    I did not know what it was about to begin with. I was feeling angry and frustrated about things that do not normally bother me, waiting for assistance, etc. This I guess is what led me to observe it and realise that it wasn't about that. Usually for me I have the emotion arise first, it can be months before I realise what it was about and finally put it to rest. It's like it is knocking on the door letting me know it there and then when my mind is ready the door opens. "Yoga is amazing"

  6. The funny thing is that when you finally don't have an ego-trigger reaction to any of your key poses, then you worry about THAT. Or at least I do. My friends who are non yogis are rejoicing that I might finally be moving toward a more balanced approach.

    Ya I cried in savasana Thursday. I haven't done that in years and only once before. Goodbyes are hard. My move will probably be better for me, but even the fact that it was completely out of my hands didn't help me feel better.

  7. Hi Linda,

    Goodbyes are hard but necessary part of it. Funny how although I have never met you, I was wondering a lot about how your first day went. I realise it's a big deal and agree that it probably will be good for you.

    The first paragraph of your comment bemused me. There was a period of approx one year between me standing up from drop backs and me being given pasasana. Largely because I did not have a teacher for six months and then when I did, I could only visit once a month. Anyway, I went from the primary mindset of wishing I could do all the binds to the mindset of bummer I can do all this. Obviously there are always refinements but I think we ashtangis like our challenges, at least I do.