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Monthly Archives: May 2008

I’m well into the week of the Camel and some days I’ve indulged in a long Camel-centered practice, breathing length and openness into my shoulders, exploring the relation of my triceps to my shoulder girdle, using them to open more fully. (More on that in another post!) Some days I’ve had 5 minutes there of Sun Salutes, 10 of standing and busted out a camel in between.

I’m reminded through all of this that what camels do is store water. So, am I storing refreshing hydration for extended use, or shedding what has been stored because I didn’t digest it when I first took it in?

And I realize, the camel can’t drink until it creates room anew. It has to use its precious store of glistening droplets before it can drink deeply once more.

And the beauty of this pose is that I’m releasing and drinking simultaneously. I am storing sustenance. I am also letting go to make room. Exchange.

And the letting go can be hard. I’m through the initial terror I wrote about last year (see previous post) . And your responses have taught me that I have been in good company: many of us have stored scary and scared feelings in our guts, hearts and voices.

My new challenge is to release through all the layers of my existence. I’m finding that little – one might even say, petty – annoyances and feelings are coming to light. Feelings, judgments, ideas, words I thought I’d left behind. Ones that don’t bear repeating, but let me assure you they’re embarrassing to find tucked away. And they don’t just confine themselves to my mat. They help themselves to the rest of my day, too. Rude these little judgments are. See! There’s another of those rascals!

What is different is that while they register as feelings, they register as “mine” at first, I am finding it possible to let go of the embodied hooks, see them as “not mine, not not mine”, and not re-store them in new the clothes and layers of new judgments. Now, this isn’t a seamless process, and I’ll be perfecting it a long while. But I’m noticing noticing these packages I’ve left for my new self from all my old selves, and it’s allowing me to be more loving to all of them. And to let a lot go.

So that’s my challenge in the week of the Camel: to be a witness to my own experience, to not get lost in it, to let it do what experience does, which is to pass. And so to be able to fill up anew.

What’s yours?

Why isn’t there a groundhog pose in yoga?

I’m feeling like groundhog emerging and realizing Spring. Of course Spring is putting on Summer clothes just now, but the flowery, rainy wardrobe of emergence is not yet shed, and is suiting me just fine.

Coincidences intrigue me, especially as I don’t believe in them ;> so I was intrigued to find that it was just about a year ago that I was playing with Camel and the emotions that it offers up. I wrote a series of blogs over about six months and recently had an interesting comment from Patrick on one of them that beckoned I return to this most inciting asana.

Additionally, many of you have written to me of your own emotional releases and offerings in this asana, and I’ve found other blogs make mention – notably, NiceMarmot (I love that name! and the blog…) Yoga aids us in digesting not only our food, but our spiritual food – our experience. And sometimes digesting, in breaking down the substance of a thing and absorbing what’s nurturing or nutritious and flushing the unnecessary generates heat, discomfort and intensity. It depends on what you’ve been eating. And daily life puts much on our plate that we might not choose all on our own. That’s its offering to us. Nurturing is not always warm and fuzzy.

And here I am again, with you Gentle Reader, on the precipice of Summer. I celebrated Spring with Twists (see the May 2nd blog on yogaeveryday.org) and I’m baring my heart to Summer with Camel this week. I invite you to join me in making camel part of your practice this week, and if you haven’t started a home yoga practice, to start with this asana. Abide in your awareness of your heartful center, know that whatever comes up is not you, it is a residue of experience, and experience of its own, connecting us to the world of other experienciers. In the posts above is a class with Ustrasana as its pinnacle pose, or you might dive in with these videos below. They are different in approach, but each offer valuable instruction.

How does it feel to remain vulnerable in your life? Does it seem a worthy spiritual quest? What are you offering today? As always, I love hearing about your experience on and off the mat. Leave a comment or email me privately. Either way, find your yoga today and dive in, heart and all.

 

having been hibernating, psychicly speaking, imagine what a boon it was to find an email that led me to this amazing blog friend’s new contest….

JOIE DE VIVRE!!

Vivre la joie (Live the joy)
La joie de vivre (The joy of life)
Ivre de joie (Drunk from joy)
Ivre de vie (Drunk from life)
Joyeux de vivre de joy (How joyful to live with joy)
Viva la vie (Long life to life)

 

…. You must – mais oui! – head over to zazazu.wordpress.com for the full post and the scoop! I suggest you start now!