Fear

Fear today. Not unbearable, but significant. Residual pain in the sacrum last night — enough to push me past ibuprofen and into (well, along with the ibuprofen) a scalding epsom salt bath and some arnica. I don’t know that the pain was any better or worse than any other night, but The Cop was invited to go do some mixed martial arts fighting, so I had the evening to myself and it seemed like a nice idea to do back pain treatment. So I think I might have brainwashed myself into thinking I was worse off than I actually was.

Weird, huh? A perfect example of (over)thinking being not necessarily useful.

So this morning I turn off the alarm and fall back to sleep for 15 minutes. This is hilarious because I never do it, and when I jolt awake 15 minutes later, I feel like the whole morning has escaped me. I am very dramatic inside, when I am half-conscious. Duh, just get up and get your coffee!

I have the coffee and head to practice. Got some Otis Redding for the iPod, and that’s some great music to listen to, driving in the pre-dawn.

Practice feels good, except for my mind, which is worried about my back. My back feels just fine. Not sure how to reconcile this. Apparently I’ve been taught my back is vulnerable (perhaps coming from a family of lower back pain sufferers explains this), and now kapotasana is challenging my deepest beliefs about physical weakness. Interesting.

Strangely, I feel frightened through practice, but in a very low-grade way. I have enough zen training to just keep putting down the thoughts as they arise, but my inner monitor notes that they keep rising. No way am I going to do a short practice: I want the security blanket of all of primary and my chunk of second. I let the fear thoughts bubble up unchecked once I get to ustrasana. That’s close enough to kapotasana to let them join the party.

As kapotasana is about to unfold, VBG steps over to assist, as he always does, and I realize that this is the pose I am most NOT afraid of, because he is always there. Cognitive dissonance! How can this be? My mind is actually fighting with me to keep me afraid of kapotasana, despite the fact that my emotions aren’t really feeling it. Obviously this is about something other than asana.

Kapo is fine and dropbacks go marvelously. VBG is now just using two fingers on either side of my hips to keep me aloft. At the end of 10 dropbacks (Jesus, I just realized that we did two sets of five), I laughed and said that I was imagining learning to ride a bike, how the dad runs behind the bike and the kid pedals, thinking they’re being held, but there’s the dad, holding his hands up, gesturing to the audience that the kid is, unbeknownst to her, riding all alone.

Yeah, okay. This is all related stuff. Now I think of VBG and imagine how he would get on with my psychoanalyst of decades ago. I’m sure they’d shake their heads at how difficult it is to get me to trust someone.

Especially my self.

Fine.

We’ll see, eventually, if trust trumps imaginary vulnerability.

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3 Responses

  1. Ohhh, Otis. “oooh she makes me weary, young girls they do get weary, wearing the same old shaggy dress….and when she gets weary, try a little tenderness…” Yes, perfect for driving to yoga. I will try it next time.

  2. I second that “ohhh, Otis.”

    I was thinking more along the lines of: “I’ve been loving you too long to stop now…”

  3. Maybe it’s cliched, but I particularly love “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” on the way to practice…

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