Huffing and Puffing

I found the black hole that is parsva dhanurasana. Actually, I found it last time, but didn’t quite know what it was. I thought it was just a fleeting sensation. But no, it was back again today. Not between the shoulderblades, as I would imagine, but deeper. Not muscular, but more energetic, more emotional. Kind of a ball of energy — in Zen, there is the ancient image of a red-hot iron ball stuck in your throat that you cannot spit out or swallow. Yeah, like that. Always, for me, this is about mortality. “All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.” Makes for a kind of compassion, makes for a kind of grief.

Is this wabi-sabi? Not really grief, at least not simply. Like kapotasana makes my heart race and gives a rush of adrenaline, so I call it “fear.” This is more “torn heart.” Perhaps the chakra? So many names for phantom states of the body/mind.

So there I am, lying on my side, simultaneously curious about this unfathomably deep space and frantic to escape it. …two… three… four… five! Ha! The joke is that I have to roll up and over to make my escape, hanging on to my ankles the whole way.

Oh, the huffing and puffing part. Some days (the best days) I get both a clear, soft mind and an easy breath for the intermediate poses. Other days I get busy mind and easy breath. Today, it was clear mind and huffing and puffing. Couldn’t regulate my breath at all. By the time I got through supta vajrasana, did urdhva dhanurasana and started in on the dropbacks, I was sucking wind. Nothing I could fix with a few extra breaths — just had to pant and bend. Not very Yoga Journal, I’m afraid. Oh well.


3 Responses

  1. “The joke is that I have to roll up and over to make my escape, hanging on to my ankles the whole way.” And, furthermore, do it again on the other side.

    This is the first of five dynamic postures in 2nd (tittib, karanda, nakra, supta urdvha pada vajrasana): and there is a joke embedded in each one. The sequencing is so brilliant on a physical level, but also has this component of connecting you with your sense of humor, whatever it might be. (I don’t know if third would be possible without that levity.)

  2. I love these insights about connections in the system. But then, I love systems. 🙂 All of the poses you mention have a peculiar kind of exuberance. Did you identify them as the dynamic postures in the system just by virtue of practicing them, or did a teacher point this out? Levity for third, huh? Yup, I can see where you’ll definitely need it to get off the ground.

  3. That’s just my list of the dynamic ones. I like the idea of them as exuberant (which is a kind of energy that falls midway between aggressive and lazy)–but finding this “full expression of the posture” isn’t always easy….

    I am still working out the answers to some of them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: