Monday, November 10, 2008

Focus, Vision, and Perspective

My vision these days is a bit askew.  I can see close up just fine, but my distance vision is definitely wanting.  So I find myself doing the opposite of many people my age -- I'm putting my glasses on to see far away and pulling them off to read or write.  Or maybe it's the same as other people.  Whatever, you get the point, I can't see very well consistently.  
But I don't wear my contacts or my glasses into the yoga studio.  Forget the glasses, they will not stay on my head and the contacts will clog my eyes.  So although my vision is wanting, my focus has become dead on.  Instead of looking in the mirror as I had done at my home studios, here I focus on one stationary object (usually it's an orange water jug) in front of me.  Of course, I can't see myself in the mirror most of the time anyway, but even when I can, I prefer to look not at myself, but at the reflection of a jug.  With this focus, I'm able to balance much better than I had before, and I'm improving in the balancing series fairly well.  I think -- I can't tell because I don't look at myself in the mirror.  And in that regard, I had come to believe at one point that my yoga had become better, and I was fairly good at it!  But then when I was close to the mirror one day I was shocked, SHOCKED, to see that my practice wasn't what I believed it to be.  I guess you call that perspective.

But I have to admit, after eight weeks of a fairly consistent groundhog day experience, I've lost most of my perspective.  I no longer remember what it's like to not do yoga twice a day, I can't figure out any more if I've lost weight or gained it, I don't know how I compare to what I was before, and I certainly don't know anymore how to consider this experience.  I've lost the perspective with which to compare it.   Some people here are getting so wrapped up in the politics of the group,  I'm smart enough to avoid that, and others are judging people and events in ways that I think will embarrass them when they return home, so I guess I'm not the only one left wanting in the perspective department.  

I am, however, looking forward to the day when I'm far enough away from this to give it some perspective.  I know I'll miss parts of it, but I also know that I'll gain more meaning from it when it's a little farther away.  


I got up on stage with Bikram on Friday.  Even though I was washed out entirely from Thursday night's classes and the subsequent IV treatment, I felt ok enough to go up and get direction on the separate leg head to knee posture.  He was pretty funny with me.  He said that because I was trying hard and not doing it very well, I was getting 110% benefit -- those who do the pose easily don't get as much benefit.  I take that to mean that I'm really getting a LOT of benefit from my entire practice!!!  

Also today, I stood up when we were talking about bow pose, and told him that I came with excruciating back pain and now that's all gone, but my knees are killing me in standing bow and in the floor bow.  He asked me why my backed ached so much and I told him I had been sitting at a computer for 20 years.  He complimented me and said that I must have started sitting at the computer since I was 5 years old!  Perhaps his vision needs some help too!!!  Anyway he told me to take the knee pain, it will go away eventually, so I will.  

All in all, I will have done 99 yoga classes while here.  This evening, I completed the  91st class.  That's pretty cool, I have to admit.  

1 comment:

hoodoo7 said...

Hi, Lucy,
I will really miss your blog (am not sure of your plans once you leave training). It sounds corny, but it is all about the journey. People always say that, blah, blah, blah ...

But I did my first triathlon this summer (which was a feat in itself as I am in what they call the "athena" class, meaning I am a woman who is over 150 pounds - WAY over 150 pounds - ha).

When it was all over, I didn't feel great excitement or relief. It took me several days to sort out what I felt. The event itself was over in an hour and half, but I spent so much time training and eating right and researching and I later realized THAT'S where the reward was; all the time I spent building up my endurance and strength was the prize - I felt invincible and powerful when I was reaching the date of the race and I still felt that when it was all over.

The triathlon was just a longer, more difficult training one day. It was a goal to work towards, but it passed and I still had this strong (but not much smaller - ha) body and the knowledge of my body I built up as well.

So now I am going forward. I will probably do another triathlon because it was different and fun (in a tortuous way) but I also feel I can do just about anything now - and I know you do, too.

Thanks for sharing your great experience. I will stop blathering now.