Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sedona Method Day #35

I'm just back from a mixed level yoga class, in which the teacher demonstrated a variety of ways to do each asana. I'm used to doing mostly mid-level and some of the advanced variations. Now, I'm doing the beginner level variations because I'm not supposed to put weight on my collar bone until it has healed.

I caught myself thinking crabby thoughts: If that car hadn't hit me, I could be doing the yoga I enjoy. And the teacher tries to motivate all the students to try the more difficult versions. I have to remind myself that I'm not trying them because I'm protecting my health -- not because I'm a wimp.

The fact is that that the yoga I can do is good for me. And it feels good. That is the point of doing yoga. It doesn't help me heal when I waste time on thoughts about how I wish the world wasn't the way it is.

And when the teacher tries to encourage students to try something harder, that's his or her job. The teacher also wants students to take care of themselves. I don't need the teacher to make a special comment like: don't do this if your body isn't up for it. I already know that.

Yoga is supposed to be mind training as well as body training. I used to take this to mean -- put up with discomfort while you learn to stretch and strengthen your muscles. But now it means, do what is safe and don't waste your energy wishing things were different.

It's the same kind of mind focus. The same skill. Now, it has an emotional component that it didn't have before, but the goal is still the same: Work with your body as best you can. Focus your mind on your body.

Iyengar yoga was designed to be modified. And so are our bodies.

Going back to the beginner variation of a backbend that lifts up only with the legs, I was able to focus more on my thighs and pelvis. I exercised these muscles with more attention than I usually give them. I expect they'll be able to do what I need better when I'm able to attempt a full backbend again.

Yoga is another place to apply Sedona Method. Let go of being angry at what I can't do. Let go of being angry at the world for not being the way I wish it was. The teacher was willing to help me with yoga at the level I was able to do it. That's what we were both there for.

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