Training Day 6: Or the time when we held dolphin for 3 minutes
Coconuts Drunk: Steady at 2
Favourite Pose: Fidgetasana
Text Focus: Hatha Yoga Pradipika
“Feel the pain – look it straight in the face and say 'I am bigger than you'”
3 minutes in dolphin later I had dealt with a menu of emotions – anger, hopefulness, hopelessness, ecstasy, humility and again, anger. Breathe. Just breathe.
Many more minutes later and it was philosophy time with Eric, which I love but I could fidget for England. Trying hard to respect the upright, attentive and energetically conducive posture that had been assigned, we opened up the doorstop tome that is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (with commentary).
Except that for a book so important for our asana practice it's not actually that great at describing postures. The fun game of 'guess the asana from the text' ensued. We had at least 10 variations for dhanurasana, of varying degree of ridiculous.
But then it doesn't actually matter what the pose is. Not really. Looking around at our wonky upside down and back to front bow poses Eric smiled, his point made. His point being that Yoga is a science, it's not a dogma. And as a science it is subject to experiment. Everyone is different – what if I move my hip this way, what about that way? Hmm, that makes my back crunch – maybe I shouldn't do that. Everyone will need a different variation to feel free, to drive the Pranic energy vigorously through the body. So we can feel good.
Toes towards ears as a bastardisation of happy baby pose is actually the drawing that we find in the Muslim Art of the period to depict 'bow pose'. The Pradipika still talks of Yoga as esoteric, a secret practice – potent when secret; impotent when revealed. Not all is laid out for the reader of the texts – that's where a guru, or self practice, is meant to step in.
Eric called us up on this – why are we telling our stories? Posting photos on Facebook? Instagram? (reminder to self – post on Instagram) Blog? Do you have an authentically higher purpose for revealing what you are revealing or is it ego? Kathryn Budig, to me, is the most amazing Instagram heroine – spreading the love of our own bodies, our amazingness, through inspiration and funky pincha mayurasanas. So what I have I got...today I did 3 minutes in dolphin. Am I proud of this? Yes. Is it ego? Probably. My higher purpose? To tempt you to try it anyway, and be inspired. Oh, and remember to breathe.
In gratitude yogis! Day off tomorrow – I'm thinking waterfall...and then homework. xx