Today, due to scheduling issues and a desire to keep up my practicing mojo, which I have been re-cultivating of late, I found myself with a need to practice and not many choices. In fact, I really had no choice except to go back to that very same teacher whom I dissed on this blog several weeks back. Who shall go nameless, people. (You sneaky little commenting people, you. And you wonder why I moderate comments? Naming names and shit like that. Not gonna happen on my watch. Not gonna.)
I ruminated for a while, polled my facebook friends, and finally determined that the only way to practice with said teacher without exuding a potent mixture of anxiety and rage in every drop of perspiration, was to ask said teacher, very nicely, not to teach me. Notice, I said “not to teach me”. Some suggested that I ask said teacher not to “adjust” me. But that wouldn’t really help, since it is not so much the adjustments but the constant interruptions – to reteach me the vinyasas and ujaii breathing and to tell me that I need to use my bhandas and that my “fancy armbalance jumpbacks” might be fun but are not acceptable – that made my practice so unbearable the last time I was in this teacher’s presence.
Full of determination, I walked into the room, ran into a CT Shala friend, chitchatted for a moment and then went and hid in the back. Arthur, who was assisting, came to me after my first Surya Namaskar and told me that this was not acceptable to the teacher. I needed to come up front where I could be….taught. I scoffed and said, “I’ve been through that before, and I want to not.”
“You’ll have to explain that yourself…” he said, and justifiably so.
And so I did, but nicely: “I was hoping to just do some self-practice today, since I am limited on time and kind of out of sorts today.” The response was gracious. And I felt glorious. I practiced my heart out.
Until Marichyasana B, when I got assisted.
Then Supta Kurmasana. Since Val usually crosses my right ankle over my left over the back of my neck, I was a bit dismayed to have my left foot crossed over my right over my head. But I strived to not take it as an insult to my leg-behind-head prowess, and I moved on.
To the next pose, Garba Pindasana, which got heckled. “Too much neck and head, not enough bhandas”. And then assisted! I was praying it wouldn’t come to that, but it did. I got rolled. And then I got propped in Kukkutasana. Humbling. But why? Why???? These are the salad poses for me. Heckle my Kapotasana. My Parsva Dhanurasana. But Garba P???
And the heckling continued. Heckling. Hectoring. Whatever. Until it was time for backbends. And then I just collapsed in a heap on the floor and said, “My arthritis is acting up, and I can’t straighten my wrists today.”
Strangely, or not so strangely when I think about it, that was the moment when it all turned aroun 180 degrees. Suddenly, I was being given incredibly solid advice to which I could totally relate. Suddenly, the heckler was gone, and a teacher was there.
Together, we pieced together the fact that my diet has been high in tomatoes and mangoes lately, which are high in acid, which may be contributing to inflammation.
So, long story short, I still do not enjoy practicing with this teacher. No how. But I do believe that this teacher has something to teach, nevertheless.