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While We’re On the Subject of Self-Flaggelation April 14, 2007

Posted by KG in Yoga.

Like most addictions, it seems yoga is one of diminishing returns.  I’m on month four of a twice weekly yoga regimen, and surprise surprise, I’m seeing progress.  Nothing amazing, but the moves are feeling much more natural and less forced.  And as I progress, part of me becomes less satisfied.  The newfound flexibility isn’t enough — I want more: challenging positions, backbends, balances, crazy inversions.  This feeling isn’t particularly a healthy one for me to have.  Here’s an activity that requires patience, persistence, and calm.  I’m attacking it in a typical type-A way and practically begging to skip steps and get from “beginner” to “amazing.”  How does that jive?

Today’s class was a good example.  My ambiguously accented Saturday AM teacher started putting us through moves she said were in preparation for handstands.  That was surprising and exciting; never mind all these slack armed new kids, we were going up on our hands today! (Four months in and I’m thinking of others as new; if that isn’t the single best example of unadulterated arrogance…) Of course, my teacher is just that, a teacher, and she knew as well as I did that this was not the best group of people to push into handstands.  I’d misheard; she’d said “headstand” (bo-ring!).  I was instantly irritated at the “new kids” in the class, especially the woman I’d never seen who kept repeating “I can’t do that.”  Because clearly, the yoga class was just for me, and all the other students were just background.

Wow, reading back on that last paragraph I realize I’m even more of a jerk than I thought I was.

Luckily, for all my deficits in patience and calm, I’ve got dogged persistence down pat.  So maybe it’s time to start trying to straighten my legs a bit more, get my wrists closer to the ground, hold the hip openers past the point of comfort.  And start being more charitable in my thoughts to others.  Everyone has to start somewhere.



1. smuttynose - April 17, 2007

My social psych class taught me that the first step toward changing your attitude is recognizing wrongheaded thoughts when you have them. (I think that was right before we watched The Sneetches.) In short, sounds like you’ve got step 1 conquered. Next challenge: master the flying crow.

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