Very difficult, very easy

This morning on ezBoard, someone was asking about the cross of the feet in bhujapidasana–right over left, or left over right? I can’t resist questions like that, and I hit the books: Maehle, Swenson, Yoga Mala, Sweeney = right over left. Lino’s book = left over right.

A few minutes later, I spied John Scott’s book, and, being a geek, just had to look up bhujapidasana. On my way, though, to bhuja p, I flipped past jumpbacks. Okay, so exhale in dandasana, then inhale into lolasana, then swing back on the exhalation. Oh, and wait a minute, after your butt is up and your legs are pulled back through your arms: “you may have to touch the floor lightly with one or both of your feet.” Okay! Now there’s a useful sentence! I can use it to substitute for my usual “after your butt is up and your legs are pulled back through your arms, you may have to grow confused, run out of strength and drop onto your knees.” Gosh, I love books. Mostly because they save me from my crazy ideas, like that there is no touching the feet in jumpbacks, even when you first start doing them.

Lately I’ve been reading Karen Armstrong’s biography of the Buddha (entitled, in proper zen-like fashion “Buddha”), and I was particularly interested in the time when Buddha studied and practiced yoga. I am always deeply struck by how Ashtanga practice intersects with zen practice–gosh, I’d love to talk with Huang Po or Hongzhi about their perspectives on this, but since they’ve been dead since 850 and 1157 respectively, I guess that’s out of the question. At the shala, of course, spiritual discourse revolves around the Hindu system, which is fine. I just always feel like I come from a different country. No worries, though: zen has plenty of ways to put these things in perspective. I can easily imagine the masters saying: “Are zen and Hinduism the same or different? If you say different, I’ll hit you 30 times. If you say the same, I’ll hit you 30 times.”

Looking forward to practice at the shala this morning.


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