Recently, I have been thinking quite a bit about what the Ashtanga practice does to us. Not so much on a physical level, but more on an energetic level. These are things I have thinking about since I first started writing this blog, and probably even before that: At any rate, I definitely have been thinking about them since I started doing the second series backbends and feeling their subtle energetic effects more than two years ago.
These thoughts are not very well-formed, but they revolve around a few questions: Is there a particular kind of person (maybe a Type A anal control freak) that is most commonly drawn to Ashtanga? Does the practice ameliorate and "mellow out" these individuals' "negative" qualities? Or does it make these qualities more pronounced; for example, if one is already a Type A anal control freak, does practicing Ashtanga make one even more of a Type A anal control freak? Or is the story a little more complicated: Perhaps the practice brings out the Type A anal control characteristics of the Type A anal individual, making them more pronounced, so that the individual can see these "negative" traits in all their ugly glory, come to terms with their dark side, and eventually, after Dirgha Kala, finally be able to purify themselves of these "negative characteristics"?
Being a neophyte on the Ashtanga path, I do not have answers to these questions, and also do not feel all that qualified to write about these things. But I write anyway, because writing and thinking aloud is what I do ;-)
But yesterday, I came across something that might shed some light on these questions. I was reading this recent post that Linda over at Linda's Yoga Journey wrote about the most recent yoga scandal to hit our, uh, otherwise pristine yoga community; in case you don't know about the scandal, let me just say that it involves an individual whose first name rhymes with "bathtub". I'm not going to talk about it, because although I do feel for those who were harmed in this case, I don't know enough about what's going on to say anything with any authority (actually, when was the last time I actually knew enough about anything to say anything with any authority?... but I think you get the point).
Anyway, as I was saying, I read Linda's recent post about this scandal. In this post, she shared a very interesting and thought-provoking message from one of her readers. Here's part of the message:
三个臭皮匠顶个诸葛亮. Ha! Now you know how bad I am at translation :-))
Anyway, I feel myself starting to wander off into neither-here-nor-there territory. Which is a clear sign that I should sign off now. Well, as always, it was fun writing this; hopefully, you will have at least half as much fun reading :-) If you have anything to share, I'll love to hear from you.