Yes, I realize I listen to Richard Freeman too much. And refer to him in my blog too much. And tell everyone else to listen to him too much.
But seriously, you should check out his podcast: Deep Avoidance and Fear of Yoga.
He talks about the kleshas, and really hones in on abhinivesha. Ah, abhinivesha! What an interesting torment. The wikipedia definition is pretty lacking. How about: clinging to life — that seems more accurate. I can’t help but think that my karma, the part that makes me Irish in this lifetime, and that connects me to an Irish literature of loss and death and melancholy, is just another way for the Universe to manifest abhinivesha.
I am a sensitive carrier, and have been all my life.
Enough so that I keep this little Buddhist poem close to my heart (and physically on my desk):
I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill health. There is not want to escape ill health.
I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
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.
I’ve always wondered why I am so attuned to this awareness — I really did figure it had something to do with the Irish ancestry.
Okay, enough of that. What the podcast starts to get at is that fear of change, and more specifically, fear of losing one’s self, is what not-wanting-to-practice is all about. That disinclination. Even though you know it is a good idea, that it will feel great afterwards, etc. There is that kind of resistance to zazen practice, too, by the way.
So listen to RF! He says MUCH more than I can express here. When I was driving to work this morning, thinking about listening to him yesterday, I realized that I have a very high tolerance for ambiguity and obliquity — it’s the poet in me. On the other hand, the instructional designer in me would LOVE to spend an afternoon designing one of his talks — really honing in on the objectives in order to make a super-focused delivery. I guess that might take away from the homespun quality, though. If I ever DO get such a chance, I promise I won’t ask him to use PowerPoint.
Practice this morning: I wanted to do some of my old second series poses. I have no idea why. So I did up to ustrasana. I was tempted to do laghu vajrasana, too, since I can do it easily — but I think laghu v is meant to balance kapotasana, which I do not want to mess with right now. So LV is off the menu.
Interestingly, just as I crouched into pasasana, I heard myself say “abhinivesha” to myself. I wonder what that meant?
Urdhva dhanurasana felt gorgeous (said in Steve Irwin voice) after the intermediate backbends. Of course, now I am in a huge quandary, because I have given myself poses. Of course, they are poses I was given before, by a teacher. But I took them away in October and am now giving them back. I can’t tell if this is criminal behavior because it is exercise of free will, or if it was criminal behavior to have taken them away. And maybe double criminal to reinstate them now. And a little more criminal sprinkled on top for taking some back but not all.
I need a consultation with the Ashtanga Police.
Filed under: ashtanga yoga