Practicing yoga, teaching and living in Japan - assorted ramblings
8 Feb 2011
Pain and Laughter
So it's been a week of pain, not excruciating eye watering pain, but low level, just enough to dampen enjoyment of practice. Have been sticking to primary, minus Chaturanga, Prasarita Padottanasna C and Purvottanasana, they are the painful ones, tentatively did Prasarita C yesterday and hmmm it was OK. Am treating this with care as I want to heal well. Snowboarding is fine but balance a bit off.
Just finished reading The Name of the Rose, an interview with the author Umberto Eco drew me to reading it. He had such humour, a funny academic who said that "the first duty of human beings is not to take things too seriously, otherwise they become Bin Laden". Well I agree with that, being prone to seriousness, I try very hard to be light. But what a long, serious, philosophical, dark and misty book. Certainly not easy light reading, and I even thought about quitting at one point (I have never not finished a book!) but continued on, encouraged by the moments of medieval wit, and the beauty and darkness of monastic life. There were a few theological debates threaded throughout the essentailly who did it plot, one of which was the question of laughter and it's place in Christianity. Did Jesus laugh? Aristotle's comedy and views on laughter play a major role and in retrospect it was a thoroughly fulfilling novel.
Got me thinking, which is also a good sign, no? About laughter and pain. All those serious monks and their techniques of self torture, hair shirts, self-flagellation. At times Ashtanga could feel a bit this way, if it weren't for the laughter and joy that Pattabhi Jois taught with, as it should be. Some people, do however take it too seriously, yes it is serious business, but to enjoy and laugh and smile and practice makes the whole thing much more effective.
After which I was flipping through Gregor Maehle's book, talking about samskara...
"...the body we have today is nothing but the accumulation of our past thoughts, emotions and actions. In fact our body is the crystallised history of our past thoughts" Nicely put. Boy do I have some work. I have certianly changed A LOT but there are some deeply engrained samskara to be worked through. Feel as though I am getting there, slowly, surely in my own time. This injury is surely all part of the process.