Friday, September 9, 2011

Practice report: Do I have delusions of grandeur?

Practice this morning was nice. I won't bore you with the blow-by-blow details of everything that I did. I'll just say something about my currently most challenging posture: Karandavasana. I landed the duck on my first attempt this morning. But it almost did not happen: After I got my feet into lotus from Pincha, my balance suddenly felt a little wobbly, and I almost fell over. I've only fallen out of lotus in Pincha once, and it's (a) not pretty, and (b) makes a loud thud which attracts everybody's attention if you are practicing in a shala. But as the saying goes, the bark is louder than the bite (or something to that effect): It really doesn't hurt much.

In any case, I managed to right myself this morning at the crucial moment, and prevented myself from falling over. But I spent so much energy trying to stop my fall that I didn't have much left over to do a controlled duck landing. So my lotus went from the apex of the Pincha to my upper arms like a rapidly descending elevator, and I thought I was going to crash onto the mat for sure. But somehow, I managed to slow the descent by just a little bit at the very last fraction of a second, and I landed on the very, very edge of my upper arms, just barely a fraction of a millimeter above my elbows. So I technically landed the duck, even if it didn't look pretty :-)


Many Ashtangis have reported having strange dreams when starting second. I've been doing second for more than a year now (excluding the few months when I had to go back to doing primary only because of my SI joint injury). In the last few weeks, I've been having some really wacky dreams. I've always had interesting dreams (at any rate, I tend to remember many, if not most of my dreams). But in the last few weeks, the wackiness factor in my dreams has really gone up.

Last night, for instance, I dreamt that I had somehow time-traveled 200 years into the future. And it turns out that Earth 200 years from now is exactly like it is in the video game Halo. If you don't play Halo, here's the premise, roughly: Sometime in the not-too-distant future, humankind goes out into space and colonizes many planets. In the process, we come into contact with an alliance of alien races called The Covenant. The Covenant believe in this bizarre religion which teaches that humankind is a scourge to the universe which must be exterminated at any cost. Thus begins a great war between humans and the Covenant. In the process, the humans develop a special genetically-enhanced group of super-soldiers called Spartans in order to fight the Covenant. And of course, I'm sure you can totally see how this is a great excuse for a big special-effects-laden shootout/video game ;-)

Anyway, in the dream, I was training to be a Spartan. On my first day of training, I was given a bizarre-looking gun which looked suspiciously like a Playstation controller. I had no idea how to fire it, so I asked the instructor, an athletic, attractive woman, how to fire it. She told me to push this button on the top of the gun-controller. I did, and the reinforced glass window in front of me instantly shattered. There wasn't any sign of any laser beam or anything like it: The gun-controller had simply emitted this powerful force-field which instantly shattered the glass window. Very cool, I thought to myself. Then the instructor turned to me and informed me that I had technically fired a weapon when I wasn't supposed to; in military terms, it meant that I had misfired, and would be subject to a court-martial and then dishonorably discharged. "What?!! But you were the one who told me to push that button", I tried to argue, to no avail; she simply ignored me and repeated that I would be court-martialed, and then dishonorably discharged. What the..., I thought to myself. Bummer! Now I won't get to be a Spartan! And then I woke up.

I don't really know what this dream signifies, as I'm not much of a dream interpreter. Maybe I subconsciously have delusions of grandeur? Maybe I subconsciously have a funny desire to be some kind of a savior of humankind? Who knows?

Do I have delusions of grandeur?
[Image taken from here]


In other news: I have added three new features to this blog:

(1) I have added a welcome message at the top right-hand corner of the blog with my email address. Recently, a couple of readers have expressed a desire to get in touch with me personally, and have had difficulty finding my contact information. Hopefully, this will make it easier for them and for anybody who wants to get in touch with me from now on :-)

(2) Just below the welcome message, I have listed the top 5 most read posts since I started writing this blog (in October 2010; wow, it's going to be the one-year anniversary of this blog soon :-) Time flies when you are having fun, doesn't it?). Personally, I do not think they are my best work (if you would indulge me a little, that is, and allow me to immodestly call what I do on this blog "work" :-)), but for whatever reason, many people have read them. So I thought I'd share them here.

(3) Last but not least, I have also added topic labels at the bottom of this blog. This will hopefully make it easier for readers who would like to read about specific things or topics I have written on.   

Many thanks for taking the time to read my random musings. I hope you will continue to do so ;-)


  1. i always look forward to reading your blog. your "dream" sounds just like your practice. she didn't tell you to fire the weapon, just how to fire it. you advanced in your practice without permission and the "yoga police" got you.

  2. Thanks for the dream interpretation, Martha :-) It's a very astute interpretation, and it certainly seems to reflect the reality of my practice. Although I have to say, whether or not I "advanced in my practice without permission" is a matter of some debate. I was given Karandavasana by both Kino and my regular teacher back when I lived in Milwaukee. But of course, some people out there may think that only getting a second series posture in Mysore (as in Mysore, India) counts as getting it. But all this is neither here nor there. Thanks for your interpretation again. I really like it :-)