Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Yoga Made My Body Dance
...Read on, this is not as cheesy as it sounds!

The one week intensive part of my 200 hour Yoga Teacher certification programme wraps up (no pun intended) tomorrow. I've thoroughly enjoyed this week, despite all my apprehensions prior to starting. There are noticable changes that I am finding in myself, which a week in such an environment with others will cause. In the evenings, I do not know if I'm mentally exhausted, or merely experiencing myself minus the normal anxious energy that keeps me running. Could this be relaxation that I'm experiencing? It's strange, and I'm not certain how much I like it. With my wife and daughter being over in England for a family wedding, I feel as though I've undertaken some form of monastic retreat, being with my Yoga classmates during the day, and then being at home alone in the evenings with only my two dogs and cat for company. I have not really spoken to anyone outside of this for the past week, save for the odd email, Facebook stuff and a couple of phone calls. I feel a strong sense of detachment and a slight heaviness.

With tomorrow's conclusion (though we will still meet as a class once per month for the weekends through January to complete our 200 hours), I feel quite sad. Going each day, and the routine established has been most pleasant. I feel as though I've really connected with many people in my class, and have a genuine fondness for every one of them; very strange for me as more often than not, I usually do not feel like I connect well in larger groups. The sense one feels at the end of a holiday or a summer camp is what I am feeling; in a way, it is very much a feeling of loss. But, in the end, such emotions only stress the necessity to enjoy every moment of your life and to appreciate those that you are with as nothing does stay the same. I certainly felt that when I bid adieu to my colleagues at my old school this June, as I move on to my new position. I feel fortunate to have known and to know many of the wonderful people that I do.

As reflected in previous entries that I have made on this site, it took me a long time to register for this course. I never do very well with joining things,  for a variety of reasons. Do I wish that I had done this sooner? Definitely not, as it would have been a completely different experience and with a completely different group. I think that I will always look back at this group of people much like I do on folks with whom I have experienced a lot with: university, basic training in the Navy, Correctional Officer training, etc. Intensity forges bonds much like high temperatures forges formidable steel. To continue with this imagery, this experience has made me "strike while the iron is hot"....

... To preface this, let me say that I am not a very graceful man. I was a lineman when I played Football, a forward when I played Rugby and a shield man on the tactical team in the prison. It would be an overstatement of my grace to say that I was as eloquent as a bison humping a camel on a frozen pond after an oil spill. The only dancing I have ever truly embraced was slam-dancing back in my Punk Rock days of the mid 1980's. Get the picture?

I have resolved to try to take life a little less seriously and see if I can not lessen the intensity that stress and anxiety take on me. This is the first part. Secondly, I have quite an open fetish for Bollywood films. I know, Bollywood films are longer than a Cricket test match matineed with a German Opera festivals over the tea breaks. They are very, very silly. They possess everything: romance, action, humour, political statements and spirituality in each one. Some are so bad that they are great - like "The Sound of Music" (a film I love) on steroids! The best part of Bollywood is, most definitely, the singing and dancing.

So, in a moment of the Yoga version of Dutch courage, I registered for a six week, one hour Bollywood dance class at the studio where I am taking my Yoga. I've joked about this for a while with others, but never had the opportunity to be there in the spot where dance classes were being offered, and having the teacher encouraging me to do this (it is a bit like getting drunk and a tattoo without really thinking about it I suppose in several ways... or when a colleague of mine convinced me to have my back waxed - she must have really hated me!). So, I thought about it. Then I put it on Facebook that I was thinking about it. After the response of many of my friends, there was pretty much no turning back. I figure after playing my guitar and singing in front of others both on my own and as part of my old Celt-punk band, PLAID FLAG - areas where I am not rich or abundant in talents - that I would have to find the next "high" of insane things for me to do in public. I am already feeling the mortification of it all (in fact, we've danced a few times in my Yoga class and I am so awkward and brutal that I cringe thinking of it). Needless to say, the "Masochist" in the title of this blog is most applicable, yes? Oh yes! Certainly living up to the mantra on my leg tattoo (which was very well thought out before committing to it): "Life is a daring adventure or nothing".

I also hope to learn to play the tabla over the winter when my broken finger is healed... though this will be a far less humiliating and much safer undertaking (appropriate word as I die of stage fright!). New things are good, and, sometimes, you need to truly exceed your comfort zone... in my opinion, anyway.

That is essentially where life finds me on this warm summer's evening. Life goes on and I feel fortunate for what I have experienced. Life is good. That's all I've got.


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