Over the past month, my practice has been changing. We have had Kirsten Berg and Mitchell Gold, two Level 2 Authorized Ashtanga Teacher, as guest teachers in the Mysore Room for a 4 week period. One of them, is a talented bodyworker whom I have been going to for structural integration (aka rolfing) for a few years now. Like any long term project, it is all too easy to have a distorted view to the project after a long period of time working on it. The fresh eyes (and ears) of Kirsten and Mitchell was good in bringing my attention to patterns that needed addressing. They pushed us in new ways that inspired change or simply opened the doors to exploring the practice and/or seeing our body and mind in a new way.
You have little control over the world around you, but full control over the world within you.” ―
Mitchell suggested changes to poses in both standing and primary that might provide a deeper opening and more accessibility of some particular poses in intermediate. One of the areas of opening was in the muscles and ligaments that hold the SI joint together. For many years now, I have been consciously working actively to keep the SI joint intact for fear of another SI joint separation. Therefore the notion of creating freedom within the joint was a little scary. However, since Mitchell has worked on my body for many years, I felt that his assessment of risk was from a point of being well-informed. I explored the modifications with a mindful approach which resulted in a deeper inner focus within the context of the practice. I guess that is what happens when you are deeply feeling with the hopes of catching potential injuries before they occurs.
Those in the room with me, will certainly note that I was not this focused in each and every pose. After all, I *am* human – flaws and all. It should also be noted that, with the additional work, I have not gotten through my full practice everyday. In fact, I was quite surprised how different a few poses towards the latter part of my practice felt this morning as I inhabited them. It may not have looked any different from the outside but it sure felt different on the inside.
There have been other changes. Hot flashes after a kapotasana that is just a wee bit deeper. I breathe as I watch it pass. And, I must admit, it is nice to let my guard down a little and deepen the internal work. I can’t say that I am done resisting but I am happy for the journey deep within, however long or short it may be.