superlight April posting – 4/8

1. daily novel writing: 0 word today. I’m going to be at a ski resort for the rest of the week, but I won’t be skiing much, so hopefully I will have time to write.
2. daily exercise: Yoga 6:30-7:30p.
3. daily photo by iPhone: after work (below)

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Note: I’m leaving my Canon 5D at home. I plan to use iPhone to capture, edit and post while I’m on the road. We will see how it goes.

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just say no

IMG_1197Sunday is usually a Yoga day for me, but two yoga instructors alternate for the Sunday class. I only like instructor H, not L. After only 5 1/2 hours of sleep, as I read till 3 am again, I called the yoga studio this morning in bed and asked, “Who is teaching today?” After getting assurance that it would be H, I dragged myself out of bed and showed up at the class, only to find L there.

The reason I did not like L was that she was nagging too much. If I needed someone to push me, I would get a personal trainer or sign up for a Pilates class. Yoga should be calm and serene. Therefore, I had been deliberately avoiding instructor L.

But I had already stepped into the studio, and it would be too obvious and embarrassing to leave, so I stayed for the class.

Today L had a series of poses for us, targeting shoulder muscles. One particular pose was Dhanurasana (Bow Pose). L came over behind me and lifted my shoulders, and my body was off the ground a lot and formed a “full bow”. “Look at how high you are getting! Hold there!!!” L enthused at me while releasing her hands. My body sank back towards the floor as soon as she let go.

A few minutes later, L said: “Let me tell you a funny story when you all rest a bit. As you get older, you don’t listen to instructions well. As you get further away from adolescence, where you still get instructions and follow instructions all the time, you start to forget how to listen to instructions.” So far it was not funny, and none of us laughed. L then walked to a young woman, and did the same thing to her like what she had done to me a few minutes earlier. Then she said, “Hold!” Amazingly, that young woman was able to hold the high / full bow position. The whole class laughed and probably thought it was funny, even though I doubt any of them had seen my failed attempt earlier and made the comparison.

S?x%! L was calling me “old” and “not able to listen”.

L and I tried the same thing for the second time. My body still fell down like a rock after L released her hands, despite my mental effort of trying to listen to her instruction.

Therefore, when she asked the class to do a chair shoulder stand later on, I didn’t even bother asking permission to skip it. Instead, I happily put my legs up the wall and opened and closed at the same rhythm as the others. If you were to look at the students in the class one by one, you would see tall, tall, tall, tall, short, tall, tall, but moving in synchronization. Quite funny, actually.

L asked: “Are you not doing the chair shoulder stand?”

“No.” I happily replied.

Indeed, L was not that bad of an instructor. Maybe I would not avoid her from now on.

flesh touching

IMG_2008During last weekend’s Hawaii yoga retreat, the instructor had taught us many group poses. Many of them were simply holding hands in a big circle, to feel the subtle waves of energy passing from one to another. In one of the poses, everyone started with one standing leg and one hand holding on to the big toe of the same side, and then everyone was to slowly extend the non-standing leg and use the free hand to touch the next person. Everyone soon figured out that if the free hand was used to help pushing up the next person’s foot, of course one of your own feet was being supported by your other neighbor’s hand at the same time, the pose would go into complete balance. It was a physical representation of “Help People, Help Yourself”.

In Hawaii I’d also noticed that there were a lot more togetherness, such as food and space sharing, and helping each other in group water sports like canoeing. I felt that my life had been too isolated.

Yesterday I went back to work, after very little sleep the night before, as we happened to have a new team member came aboard. I spent time with each member of the team and we talked a lot about team in various meetings. Last night I went to a birthday dinner party, and had a whole night of people interaction. So I would say that yesterday was a day spent with people, and with my new awareness of my solitude, I made extra effort to be involved. But it was far from enough.

In a perfect world, I would like to have friends who could come over to my place unannounced and I could do the same to them; that we don’t have so much Personal Space; that we have more hand-holding, energy-passing moments. In a perfect world…

seeing rainbows

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I don’t know what to call it, that annoying dark one inside me. Alter ego? Or anti- happy? The One Who Shall Not Be Named is there. I try to ignore it, but in the morning hours when I first awake and my defenses is low, it more prominently shows up in my heart and gives the heart an unwanted shade.

Yesterday morning was the first morning of this Hawaii trip, and I looked forward to the yoga practice as we were staying at a “retreat”. But I was bothered by the dark one and was in a bad mood.

When we got to the yoga place, it was packed. The instructor moved us outside to the lawn. I complained out aloud, as the grass was still wet under the morning dew.

The instructor led us into a prayer:

As we look back, we see gratitude
As we look ahead, we see vision
As we look up, we see strength
And as we look inside, we see peace.

I looked inside, there was no peace.

As we were moving our bodies through different yoga poses, the wind blew, the sun came out and went back in, the heavy mist fell on us, then it was the rain, and rain and sun came at the same time, and the sun stayed alone. Our fragile human bodies, with small tolerance for temperature change, took in these nature’s gifts one at a time.

Each time the sky was clear, there was a large rainbow presenting itself across the horizon covering half of the sky. It was majestic. It was shockingly amazing.

And I, my heart, finally calmed down and found momentary peace.