As for me, I'm not sure how I should even start talking about this, or if I should even talk about this at all. One problem I've noticed with exchanges like this in the blogosphere is that people tend to talk past each other. One person would say that pain is good and necessary; another might say that pain is bad and should be avoided. But are both people talking about the same thing when they talk about pain? It seems to me that in these exchanges, there is a lot of jumping around between different concepts while using the same word. For instance, at times, Bobbie is referring to the physical pain from her degenerating disks; at other times, when she says "pain", she seems to be referring to sometime more emotional, maybe even existential, like when she compares the pain that arises from the practice with the pain of poetic creation. I'm not sure what to make of this myself. I'm no poet (even though I sometimes try to write bad poetry), but I would be cautious about linking the experience of one process (Ashtanga practice) with another (writing poetry) so liberally; the two are, after all, distinct from each other. And even if there are similarities between the two processes, why tag on more baggage onto our practice than is already there? But well, what do I know about all this? As I said, I'm not a poet...
But in any case, what I'm trying to say is this: In this exchange, there clearly seems to be an equivocation between different senses of the word "pain". Bobbie, as we have seen, switches quite liberally between two different senses of that word. And God only knows how many other definitions of pain the various commenters are working with. Which, as we can imagine, is not too helpful for useful conversation.
But enough of complaining. Let me try to see if I can say something useful for once. Well, I'll just state the obvious. If you have pain of any sort (whether it's the physical kind, emotional/existential kind, or any other kinds that are out there), you have a few options:
(1) Ignore it;
(2) Push through it;
(3) Find ways to practice and live with/around it;
(4) Seek professional help, either from a teacher, medical practitioner, psychotherapist or.... poet (?) or.... philosopher (?)
I should also add that these options are not mutually exclusive. For instance, it is possible to find a way to live with/around the pain while seeking professional help at the same time. In any case, we are all adults (whatever definition of "adult" you choose to go by), and are free to choose and live with the consequences of whatever option we choose.
But of course, I should also add that things will probably be a lot easier if you are a Cylon. If you are a Cylon who suffers from unbearable pain (of whatever kind) arising from your practice, you can just kill yourself and then download into a new body; if you don't know what I'm talking about, watch Battlestar Galactica. But would Cylons need to practice yoga in the first place? Well, I don't know; but Cylons have been known to practice taichi on their basestars. Here's a model 8 doing taichi in the nude:
If some Cylons practice taichi, it stands to reason that there must be other Cylons out there who practice yoga. Maybe even Ashtanga? Hmm... might Kino be a Cylon?
Could this be the latest humanoid Cylon model?
Maybe that's why she is so strong and flexible... Heck, maybe all long-time Ashtanga practitioners are Cylon sleeper agents; they think they are human, but are in fact Cylons who have been placed on earth to assume the cover identities of yoga practitioners and teachers. But why would whoever's in charge of the Cylons want to place Cylons here as Ashtangis? Well, how would I know? I'm not a Cylon. Or am I? Yikes...