Teaching, laughing, eating, showering, name dropping

I think I would like being a psychoanalyst, but I’m not sure I’d be a very good yoga teacher. I say that after this morning’s practice with The Cop.

Oftentimes, when I am doing my thing as a manager at work, I go with Freud’s recommendation that analysts listen to their analysands with evenly hovering or suspended attention and depend on their unconscious to do the rest.

The technique… is a very simple one… It consists simply in not directing one’s notice to anything in particular and in maintaining the same ‘evenly-suspended attention’… in the face of all that one hears.

Works a charm, as people in Skelly’s part of England may or may not say. 😉 Anyhow, listening is a strong practice. Someone can be talking about a project or event, and if I am not getting emotionally entangled in the story (in other words, practicing the evenly suspended attention), all of a sudden an intuition will pop up — “He’s feeling insecure about his place on the team hierarchy,” “She has something else going on outside of work that’s upsetting her,” etc. Generally speaking, you’re running into the same feelings pretty frequently: fear, insecurity, frustration, anger. All the human stuff.

And with psychoanalysis, all of the feelings are mediated by words. I love words. One of my favorite materials.

It’s a whole ‘nother ballgame, though, to be in relationship with someone else’s raw feelings. Especially the deep subconscious of bodily experience. Man, how do you even begin to get into that stuff? And translated through words?? Laughable notion.

It’s one thing for me to mess around with my own intuitions about physical practice… but someone else’s?? In traditional psychoanalysis, the analyst is not ready to practice until they have undergone their own successful analysis. I guess this is analogous to a teacher’s years of practice, and it suggests some interesting questions about the teacher’s relationship to his or her teacher.

[Karen folding her hand of cards and saying, “I’m out.”]

Anyhow, none of this is to say that this morning’s practice with The Cop wasn’t good. Just to say that there is more going on than I can possibly handle. Or articulate. The end.


Last night The Cop and I went to the local comedy club and saw Kevin Pollack. Very good show. He does a hilarous Christopher Walken impression. They serve dinner at the club, and The Cop had wings. During practice (yes, right around Marichy C) he started to look a little green and mentioned that he regretted his dinner. Ah yes, now my weird dinner practices (The earlier, the better! Nothing spicy! Dear God, no margaritas!) start to make sense…

This morning is a baby shower for Crim Girl. I don’t like baby showers (Hey, this is a good thing to mention on Cody’s “5 Reasons to Hate Me” meme!), but I was delighted to find these little yoga tees. Also got a Ganesha, a peace sign, and a Buddha one. Great colors, too!


Tim and Patrick commented on my Ashtangar torture chamber. Guilty as charged (Oh, another thing for the “Hate Me” meme: I am an Ashtangi who loves props!).

I did have a bit of a revelation this morning, regarding the chamber. I spent a bunch of time playing in it the other day, and today I felt crinky in urdhva dhanurasana. It may well be that my research is hindering progress. I’m gonna scale back and just play on Moon Days for a while. I particularly like the little Yoga Journal sequence Patrick mentioned in a comment.

Truth be told, though, plain old primary has been working quite well for me, UD-wise, lately, so why fight it? As a wise yogi told me: “Watch out for the mind’s ceaseless reach for novelty.”


4 Responses

  1. jesus gets pretty nutty when he does his practice. he says he has thoughts of physical torture in some of the poses (this is because he has read too many inappropriate books in his lifetime that feed his dark side). Anyway, i find it fascinating and think it would be GREAT for him to have a daily practice, but he won’t . at least he’ll do once a week. Still, i’d love to see what comes up if he were more regular.

  2. Freud is being so zen there! I love that the listening he describes undercuts the search for master keys to the psyche, and/or that it seems to say that any “secrets” are as much in the mundane as anywhere else.

    When the words shut off, suddenly all this other information comes in to play. Tension patterns and breath. I’m starting to feel that insanely huge amounts of information come into play when you get in to a QUIET space with a teacher who has really processed himself. But… it’s kind of hard to even begin to put into words, yes. 🙂

    I like the torture chamber.

  3. I find it ok with strangers and general friends, listening is ok and I can understand what they’re getting at and how they might be feeling. With really close people though, it can be a total mess. I sometimes get totally the wrong end of the stick and can start thinking I’ve annoyed someone when I haven’t at all or something like that.

    How strange.

    Good post!

    cj x

  4. Those baby tees are precious. I wish I had a baby so I could buy them…wait, no, what am I saying, I don’t want any more babies! Baby stuff is so cute, though.

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