The truth that is sweet

is boring.

The truth that you don’t want to acknowledge is soooo much more interesting.

Lisa, aka Bindi, or Bindifry has suggested, quite wisely, I might add, that I practice Second Series but execute a soft Kapotasana and not feel bad about it. I am intrigued by this idea. But it scares me. Is it an acknowledgement of defeat? Or worse, if I wave the white flag for one pose, is it just a matter of time before I begin applying that rule to another pose? And then another? Until I have lost all semblance of discipline? Until I have spun totally out of control? Until I am just a lazy blob sitting on the sofa eating bonbons? Until I’ve gone catatonic and the kids no longer know me. And the kids become derelicts. And they end up in jail. And so on.

Silliness, I know. But the notion of really committing to letting go of fruitless effort (notice, how I qualify “effort”; it would be too much to ask of me to let go of fruitFULL effort, and why would I want to anyway?) scares me. There’s comfort in repeatedly slamming my head into a brick wall. Really. There is. It’s a form of denial. Running full steam into that wall, time after time, allows me to forget that I am failing to conquer this particular challenge. Allowing myself to “go soft” would require fully accepting that it’s never going to happen. Imagining endless horribles arising from simply letting go of effort in Kapotasana and moving onto the next pose as if Kapotasana either weren’t there at all, or simply didn’t matter, distracts me. It keeps me busy and keeps me engaged in the effort.

Well, enough already.

This summer, after a stalled effort, I finally tapered fully off of my SSRI. I spent the entire summer slowly, slowly calibrating smaller and smaller doses until the level of drug in my system was below 1/100th of a milligram. On the whole, I feel fantastic. But I am still getting used to being able to cry again, something I have barely been able to do in the past seven years of SSRI-gobbling. And I am still getting used to feeling my feelings, in general. But it’s good. It’s worth it, I think. Even if it’s not forever, even if someday I decide to go back on something because I now know how peaceful life can be when you’re just a little numb, I’m liking feeling my feelings again. Maybe letting go of Kapotasana can be like that.

Maybe without the veil of effort, I will actually be comfortable saying, “No, I can’t.” Maybe I’ll find that it’s okay, and the parade of horribles never arrives. Maybe I’ll be able to take the lessons learned there and apply them to my life in general:

– No, I can’t stop myself from getting older.
– No, I can’t stop my kids from growing independent of me.
– No, I can’t love what I’m doing 100 percent of the time.
– No, I can’t burn the candle at both ends.
– No, I can’t make one choice and still have the other choices available to me.


And speaking of maybe, I MAY BE, scratch that, am SUPPOSED TO BE, going to the CT Shala tomorrow morning, bright and early, 8:30 a.m. Will I be able to do it? I want this one to be “Yes, I can.” Hold me accountable to this. Please. Make fun of me mercilessly, if it turns out that I sleep through.



5 Responses to The truth that is sweet

  1. Kai says:

    I didn’t learn the Primary Series the traditional way, pose by pose. I did the whole thing the first time I ever tried it, using modifications (a la Swenson) for most poses. Gradually, my practice deepened. I can do the entire series now.

    But I still have days that I use modifications (aka: ‘soft’ versions). There’s no shame in it. The body is constantly in flux.

    In my classes, I’ll sometimes bring my beginner students into Uttanasana, asking them to focus entirely on the hamstring stretch and stop when they’ve found it. Then I invite them to look around and observe the variations of the pose. Everyone is feeling the *same stretch*, they’re just in different places.

    There’s no shame in a ‘soft’ Kapotanasana. Here’s the million dollar question: What would you like to *feel* in that pose? How can it benefit you?

  2. yogachickie says:

    I’d like to feel the sensation of putting my hands on my heels. But that’s never going to happen. So, what will have to suffice is feeling no pain.

  3. bindifry says:

    “feeling no pain.” indeed. stop torturing your body & mind right now. it’s time to heal. i doubt you will ever turn into a bon-bon eating couch potato so i wouldn’t worry about that. i actually think you could use some bon-bon time 🙂

    wordpress does indeed rock!

  4. philntheo says:

    Kind of letting my kapo take care of itself. Hadn’t done it for over a week but chucked one in this morning after the bow sequence from this Vinyasa Krama thing I’m into now. It’s like the astanga prep poses for kapo but a lot more poses, half hour of back poses. By the time I threw in my kapo I went in pretty deep brushed my heels, one of my deepest yet, felt quite comfortable. Would be nice to be able to grab my heels but I’m happy with my toes, not hung up about it, wrapped up with other asana for now. Have a feeling it might surprise me one day and there’ll be my heels. I like these extended preperations, same with LBH, which just becomes a logical progression. SKPJ and K had to make some sacrifices when they came up with ashtanga, I think you feel the cost of those sacrifices most with Kapo and LBH.

  5. yogachickie says:

    I agree re the sacrifices. Any system that relies on a set sequence is going to require sacrifices.

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