Friday, June 3, 2011

Yoga and the Art of Car Non-maintenance

Today has been a very interesting day. Due to a particular commitment I had this morning, I had to do a shorter practice: I did full primary and second up to Ardha Matsyendrasana. Which meant that I only had time to scale one of the twin peaks of second series (Kapotasana). So I basically gave myself a break from working on Karandavasana today.

I've noticed that many of the postures in second series are named after birds: Krounchasana (Heron Posture), Kapotasana (Pigeon Posture), Bakasana (Crane Posture), Pincha Mayurasana (Tail of the Peacock Posture), Karandavasana (Duck Posture), Mayurasana (Peacock Posture). I wonder if this means that practicing second series would make one more birdlike over time. Maybe this means that one's metabolism would speed up a lot (birds have high metabolism), or that one would become more... flighty. Hmm... this might not be such a good thing :-) Or maybe I will one day be able to fly. And then I won't need my car anymore :-)

Which brings me to the commitment which made me do a shorter practice this morning. I had to bring my car to the mechanic to get some work done on the brakes. The brakes had been needing work for quite a while now, and I had been putting it off for the longest time. Since I have made plans to go down to Minneapolis this weekend (more on this later), and have gotten a rental car to drive down to Minneapolis with (which means I won't be needing my car for the weekend), I decided to finally take the plunge, and bring my car in for repair.

Why "plunge"? Well, I've always had this fear of getting ripped off by mechanics. There is this urban legend that mechanics tend to take advantage of women and foreigners, because the stereotype is that they typically lack knowledge about cars. In my case, this stereotype happens to be true: I knew next to nothing about cars before I came to this country, and even now, whatever I do know about cars comes from all my experiences of different parts breaking down in the cars that I have owned over the years. Anyway, to cut a long story short, because of this, I always feel very nervous about bringing the car in to a mechanic: Whenever I have issues with my car, I tend to procrastinate, and wait till the last possible moment (in this latest case, the brakes had become so warped that driving my car had practically become a game of Russian Roulette...) to bring it in for repairs.

Anyway, I finally brought the car in this morning, and it turned out much better than I expected. They did the repairs within the day, and they cost much less than I had expected.

I realize that none of this whole car business has much, if anything, to do with yoga. A lesson in detachment, perhaps? Maybe the idea is that, just as one should approach Karandavasana without fear, but just do what needs to be done to work on the posture, one should also just do what needs to be done with one's car, and not be too attached to the feelings of apprehension or nervousness that arise?

Here's something more directly yoga-related. As I said, I'll be in Minneapolis this weekend. I plan on going to mysore at the Yoga House on Sunday morning. My friend and fellow blogger Ellie is going to be there, and I am going to be meeting her for the first time. I am very excited about this. Ellie has also very graciously agreed to come up here to Fargo-Moorhead later this year to teach an Ashtanga workshop. Isn't that so cool? Many thanks to you Ellie, for advancing the movement of Ashtanga yoga here in the upper Midwest :-)

More generally, I thought I'll issue a Traveling Ashtangi Alert here: If you happen to be in Minneapolis this weekend and have some time on Sunday morning, you might also want to think about coming to mysore at the Yoga House. How do I look like? I suppose you can describe me as a Chinese guy who wears dark-framed tortoise-shell glasses. I can't believe there can be too many Ashtangis fitting this description running around in this part of the country, so you should have no problem identifying me :-) If you are at the Yoga House, that is. 


  1. Nobel, I'm excited to meet you too! Getting ready for practice now, drinking my coffee...

  2. Hello Ellie,
    I am very happy to have finally met you today! Look forward to seeing you again in the near future :-)

  3. as they say in Singapore here, Awesome, la!

  4. why can't i add you to my blog? i've tried coutless times & methods. i like your words & experiences

  5. Hello bindithug, I'm very honored that you like my words and experiences :-) I really am very puzzled why you can't add me to your blog... I don't know if this is helpful, but have you tried simply copying and pasting my blog address into your blog roll? This is what I had to do with several of the blogs that I follow...

    As you may have noticed, I just added you to my blog yesterday :-)