Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wondrous Weekend

I was at a party this weekend where a child was offering this dragonfly for everyone to behold. I just couldn't get enough of this sight, nor of the poetry the moment seemed to suggest.

It was a wondrous miracle to see the beautiful child holding this incredible representative of life. A perfect moment that reminded me of who I am. I saw myself as a child of eight years sitting at the edge of Horn Pond in Maine watching the dragonflies. I was fascinated with the movement of their flight. I remember seeing that some were flying attached to one another, and figured they must be mating.

I also thought of the time last summer when I was in my apartment, melancholy and alone and a dragonfly showed up at my window! At the time, it seemed like a symbolic messenger of a sort of culmination, as if my spiritual and physical journey of the last few years was going to arrive at a sort of maturity. This amazing creature shot me with hope.

And I just think dragonflies are cool.

I also did a yoga workshop with Laurie Blakeney at the Yoga Circle. We did some deep and downright painful work on the feet and legs. Some of it was inspired by the Virasana sequence in Light on Yoga. I think it's really good for me. So I do think that it's a GOOD IDEA to work out those painful bits in the feet, calves, hips and shoulders. BUT, I also found myself wondering how much pain I want to or even reasonably can include in my own yoga practice without becoming an angry maniac. I usually think that yoga soothes my inner beast, but holding these and other poses was bringing out an inner monster. That said, there were parts that I also enjoyed in a less-than-masochistic way. And I KNOW (know?) that it's good to release those painful nuggets, too. Also the group aspect as well as the extra expense of a yoga workshop makes it an atmosphere where I can put up with more. But--Eeeeyeeyeeaye. Those poses had me squirming!

And at the aforementioned party I felt like I was embraced in an atmosphere of acceptance and love. Many of my yoga students and friends were there and I felt their blessing. Good vibes suffused this busy weekend of training at the yoga workshop, partying in Michigan, and teaching yoga, too.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love dragonflies, too. Though I've never seen one that large before!

When on retreat in Thailand last year, one of the many magical aspects of that time was that the air seemed to be over-run with dragonflies. They were everywhere.

Look up in the sky, and it was dotted. I've always heard that they're associated with change, too. And my time there was very transformational, as it was for many others.

I agree that its always good to work on those asana and parts of the body that ache. They only ache because of our dis-use of them. And yeah, it hurts getting them into working condition again.

But continued dis-use is the path to one of those old people's bodies with the hunched over shoulders. Or at least that's what I tell myself!

Laurie said...

Hi Brooks,

I'm so glad you came to my workshop last weekend. I love working with the Chicago group! I know the feet work is hm.... how should I say it? ..... painfully necessary? My own students here back home also find it challenging, but in the long run it should put a cheerful spring in our steps, and then we may move through the bigger troubles in life a little more light footed.

Hope you have a great summer!
Laurie Blakeney
Advanced Iyengar Yoga Instructor
based in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Brooks Hall said...

More thoughts about painful yoga