Sunday, July 31, 2011

Judgment Takes Time

How's this for a lesson learned from a posture clinic? Judgment takes time. 

Actually, I didn't learn that particular lesson at the posture clinic. I got that one as I was driving home. More on that later. First, I want to share a little bit about the posture clinic with Jim Kallett this weekend!

Jim's a good speaker, and the fact that he lectured for over three hours straight without me boring me out of my mind says a lot. A couple of standouts. One is that Bikram has an incredible life story. I'm sure you teachers have learned it by heart, but for those that haven't, go look it up somewhere. Gurus, smallpox, shattered knees, Paramahansa Yogananda's brother, feats of strength, Richard Nixon, Shirley McClain, jeez, the list goes on. I have heard all these details in dribs and drabs, but it was impressive to hear them told all at once, in narrative form. (Once again I see the truth in what poet Muriel Rukheyser says: "The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.")

I got some good advice, too. "When you get to a fork in the road, there's an easy way and a hard way. Always take the hard way," Jim said. Damn good advice. That one really resonated, particularly because I am one who revels in the easy way. Seriously, I just heard the ding of my microwavable macaroni 'n cheese announcing its done-ness. 

Standing Bow
In the spirit of taking the hard way, when I could tell we weren't going to get to the floor series so I could get individual corrections on Cobra, I volunteered for Standing Bow. Now, I really struggle in this pose (like all of us, I suppose. It's a challenging posture). Jim had pointed out earlier that most people tend to fall into "made of steel" or "noodle from Milan" categories. I am kinda in the middle. I'm not naturally a noodle anywhere but in my hips--I had to melt down the steel over a period of years to get where I am today. I'm also reasonably strong, but I feel like I've been stuck on a plateau of my own making for a long time now.

Jim hit the nail on the head. He didn't say much after forcing my leg up to the ceiling, but he after letting me go, he said, "You're resisting. You have a lot of resistance." I couldn't help noticing he didn't say that to anyone else who came up.

There was some other good stuff at the posture clinic, but the biggest lesson came on my way home. I skipped the class at the end because I felt nauseous and had a budding migraine (resistance, anyone? Easy road, anyone?).

On my way home, I got into a minor car accident. I'll spare you the details. In retrospect, I was stuck by the calmness of the accident itself. There I was, driving 65 miles an hour, slowing down to pull off the freeway, when I saw the crate in the middle of the road. Within a span of a second, my mind had assessed the situation: "Shoulder on the right. Cars on your left. You are going to hit that crate." So, I hit the crate.

It wasn't until I was on the side of the road, exiting my car to see what the hell that god-awful scraping sound was (the crate instantly punctured my front tire), that the fear started washing in. "Oh my God. I could've died. Someone else might hit the crate. What do I do? My head hurts. Who do I call? Why did I cancel AAA?" Compared to the aftermath, the actual moment of "the accident" was quite calm.

I saw that three others had hit the crate before me. One of them bravely grabbed the crate out of the way before changing his tire so others wouldn't hit it. As I waited for my friend's son to come out and help me put on a spare, I started talking to the young woman who was also waiting for her tow-truck savior. Turns out, she's a Bikramite, too. We kinda gawked at each other in learning this--she'd even practiced at the studio I was coming home from.

What lesson is this? What do I take from this?? The only one I can process, after stress-eating on a fast-food fish sandwich and french fries and sleeping for twelve hours, is this: Judgment takes time. Worried about an accident or disaster? Don't be. The thing itself isn't nearly as frightening as anything your mind will make it up to be later.


Little Piggy said...

ah what a great post of wisdom. glad you're ok.

and re: resistance
i'd be too chicken to volunteer for anything eeeeeks! kudos to you for your courage.

one day, when i grow up...

cirita said...

I am glad you are ok. I wish you would have stayed at the seminar and avoid that accident :( Jim went through the standing series rather quickly and focused more on the floor postures. I volunteered for locust pose, my most challenging posture at the moment. OMG !! I've never lifted both legs so high. Talking about personal corrections, your standing head to knee looked very good, E !! I wish I would have brought my camera to the seminar :( Next year.

cirita said...


Yolk E said...

Hahaha@ the grammar correction, C :-) I love it! I'm glad you felt you got a good tip for locust. That's a brutal one for me, too. Yes, in hindsight I wish I would have stayed, although these migraines have been coming more frequently, and when I practice they tend to get worse. Hard to find that balance!

We all resist in some way or another. I am a pleasant person, but you get me in the wrong situation and I am stubborn as a bull.