YC locks her car keys in her SUV in front of the house that she wishes to purchase, causing YC to enlist Postal Worker Tom to lend his cell phone to call Police Officer Tom, who later comes out to the house to oversee Local Mechanic Tom (not his real name) unlocking YC’s car doors, as, all the while, Lewis the Bagle happily hangs out inside said car. Shortly thereafter, YC is seen driving up to the house to sign the contract of sale and hand over a deposit. Said trip, plus the collapse of a building in the vicinity of East 23rd Street, make YC a few minutes late to teaching her first class at AYS – a “Beginner” Ashtanga Class. Nevertheless, we cut to YC composing herself and managing to teach Ujaii breath and Surya Namaskar A and B to the students, as planned.
Today was the first day of Primary Series Adjustments with Guy. The first adjustment we learned was the one for Uttitha Hasta Padangushtasana. That one was fairly simple, at least as far as supporting the lifting of the leg and the alignment of the hips. The more difficult adjustment that we learned today was for Tirianga Mukhaekapada Paschimattanasana. It seems to involve some determination of whether the student in question is hard (like me) or soft (not like me). Apparently, if a student is hard (muscular, although not necessarily stiff), pressing down on the hip isn’t going to be very effective because the hand pressing down is going to slip down with the hip, whereas when a student is soft (not necessarily gushy and atonal, but more kaphic in build…a softer muscled constitution, I guess) the hand pressing down seems to stay put better. All of that seemed very complicated to me, when in practical application, when we all adjusted each other in TMP, the most effective adjustment seemed to be pressing moderately on the back, one hand near the spine (slightly off to the side which seems to be peeling off the mat) and one hand near the hip that is peeling off the floor (which is to say, the bent-knee hip). Also effective was placing making a “mitten”-hand and pressing the four fingers into the hip crease of the bent-knee leg, with the thumb on the outside of the hip, coupled with the other hand pressing lightly down on the back to encourage the forward bend.
I know, blah blah blah. I’m only writing this out because I don’t take notes in class, and this is an opportunity for me to write what I remember.
Just thought I would mention: it helps to be short when adjusting people in UHP – lower center of gravity, the ability to hoist a leg onto your shoulder or into the crook of your elbow, a general feeling of stability that comes from being shorter than the person who is executing the pose. On the other hand, there’s nothing you can do about it if you’re not. Yay, short people.
I sense it is going to be a stressful three weeks, practicing in the morning, doing UHP and TMP five or six times every day and every other new pose that we learn to adjust – each one five or six times so that everyone gets to adjust everyone. PLUS making long lists of things I have to do before I move. PLUS teaching the classes I teach for money. PLUS teaching the classes I have to teach at AYS as part of the teaching practicum that I signed up for, for reasons that are no longer clear to me…I believe I was in some sort of yoga-induced fog.
Not that I don’t love it. But did I need to put this pressure on myself? Absolutely not. Plus the Husbandis whining about how much money I spend on yoga. And how it’s all for naught because I don’t teach enough to justify it, and when we move, he believes that I won’t be teaching at all. And that freaks me out because, well, I kind of have this idea that I definitely WILL be teaching, that I will be putting down a wood floor in our walk-out basement and having classes down there. Not so good that the Husband doesn’t believe that I will be able to pull that off. If he doesn’t believe in me, well, then I have to doubly believe in myself.
I say that tongue in cheek, really, because my life experience has taught me that it is absolutely true that “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?” *
* Just to clarify, this aphorism is taken somewhat out of context. The whole quote, from Rabbi Hillel, famous rabbi and oft quoted wise man of the Jewish faith, is: “If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?” The first sentence does not necessarily mean that “I have to look out for myself, or no one will,” or it does not necessarily ONLY mean that. The “I” could be seen as a larger community of like-minded people, for example. And you cannot take the first sentence WITHOUT the second sentence, which stresses that even as you take care of you and yours, you can’t simply ignore the needs of others without calling your own character into question. And finally, you cannot take either of the first two sentence without the third, which says that there is no better time than this very moment to DO. Not that my desire to make something more of my life, something more than homemaker, is something so globally important as taking a stand against genocide. But it all starts at home. Happy, fulfilled people make better people. And better people make a better world.