Daily Archives: 2009-12-12

The Yoga Experiment Part 4 – Koh Phangan, Thailand

The last week of the course got better for me from an emotional standpoint. I began to find more peace in my practice and more stillness in my soul. I am not sure where it came from or how it happened but I suspect its because I just let go.

One particularly arduous day when I had eaten too big of a lunch, I thought it best that I just skip the afternoon. I reasoned with myself that I would not be able to do the asanas anyway. I justified my absence by telling myself it was more important to be gentle with myself. Playing hooky for just one class wasn’t going to kill me, right?

Well, something inside me saw it was a trick. I dragged myself to the yoga hall and made myself a deal. If I could just attend the class, I could at any point lay down on my mat and rest. Lots of people do it especially the ones who are doing a detox. There would be no judgment except from within my own mind.

I released the idea that I had to be perfect and get it all right. I gave myself permission to come out of a posture early if I felt overwhelmed. Knowing I could take a break somehow eased the pressure I was putting on myself. Surprisingly enough, I only exercised that “rest stop” card once for about three minutes.

I am thinking the difficulty was more of a mental thing and that by ignoring that little voice of defiance made it louder. Instead of getting frustrated and angry with my resistance, I honored that it too was a part of me. If I just listened to it and showed a bit of compassion without indulging it completely, it was somehow satisfied. I didn’t necessarily have to agree and obey but there was a part of me that just needed to feel heard.

So when the end came and the month was finally over, I felt like I had done what I had said. My manipura was stronger than ever and I had succeeded with my tapa. I was definitely more flexible though that was merely a happy side effect. I was really pleased with my sense of balance and my increased concentration. Those to me are invaluable.

I was really excited about learning to do headstand, King of the Asanas. At first, I snuggled up to the wall just to be sure I wouldn’t fall over. But after a couple days, I was confident enough to perform it on my own, with no insurance. After class, a few of the more advanced students paid me compliments leading me to the conclusion that I had succeeded. Ofcourse, this is one posture I will keep handy in my back pocket to work on regularly. Ultimately, I would like to be able to hold it for an hour.

The closing ceremony was beautiful and serene. We got called up one by one to receive our certificates. When I heard my name, there was loud applause and hoots and hollers. I was surprised that I had made so many friends even though I wasn’t really trying. After getting a blessing, flower lei, cookie, t-shirt, protection bracelet and third eye marking, I posed for a photo. It was a good feeling to have accomplished this and I was grinning from ear to ear.

So 20 asanas, 240 sun salutations, 40 hours of lectures, 7000 baht, and 24 days of yoga later, I feel properly yogified. I had toyed with the idea of continuing on to the second month but I have decided against it. I plan on taking some time for it all to sink in and developing my own personal practice. I am pretty sure that I have reached my saturation point. Rather than plowing forward with the school, it seems more important for me to assimilate what I have just learned. Maybe I am not as hardcore as some of my fellow yogins but I think that being a mellow yogi suits me better. They call me Carmellow the Yogin…

Grateful for shifting energy.

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