Day 04

Style: Power Vinyasa
Teacher: Ichih Wang
Studio: Rama Lotus

"You have evolved since your first sun salutation."
Waking up early for work, I soon became aware of the lingering effects of last nights Yin class. My body had completely re-calibrated. My intention was to take another Yin class today, but after scheduling malfunctions and commitments to the "real world" I missed the class. Luckily, later in the evening there was an amazing alternative. Power Vinyasa, taught by Ichih. Her specific style of yoga was designed by Baron Baptiste. To be honest, I haven't researched the style beyond Ichih, who is an incredible teacher. What makes her so amazing to me is the way she communicates with the class. She is incredibly inspirational, acting as a gentle but powerful guide through one of the most physically challenging sequences of yoga I've ever tried.

"Your whole life is your yoga mat." As I moved through the flow-styled movements, all linked to individual breaths, Ichihs words drifted through my consciousness. "The way you face one situation on your mat is the way you face every situation in your life." She calmly repeated again and again, that when things get intense and seemingly unbearable, you have a choice. As I transitioned into the deadly pigeon pose, her words began to take on new meaning. The inner demons that the deep Yin poses had begun to unearth appeared at the gates of my mind once more. Snarling, rabid swirls of panicked thoughts engulfed me, sending me spiraling frantically through abstract visions of frustration and fear. "Hips are a warehouse of anger. When you experience things that make you mad, you file away and suppress the energy." Trembling, my breath caught mid-way in my throat, I faced the invading ghosts of forgotten memories erupting from somewhere deep in my subconscious. "Breathe. Breathe. Always remember to breathe. Breath is prana. No prana, no life. No prana, no yoga."

So is it true? Is this me versus my life? When the shit goes down, when the real challenges make their mark, I fall apart and crumble? Underneath layers of exterior persona's I've cultivated to interact with the outside world, is there really all this anger and frustration and violence and pain? Is this how everyone feels? Is this the human condition? Do people constantly keep moving to avoid their own culminating madness? Where is this leading?

As the tidal wave crashed over me I held on with clenched teeth, refusing to lose control of my entire existence here tonight twisted on the floor of this yoga studio. Whenever a pose gets to the threshold of unbearability, I tend to catch my breath in my throat. I inhale deeply, but as I exhale I lock up and choke, maybe afraid to let go completely, to surrender to the sensation. Noticing this I fully empty my lungs, and moments later I am filled with prana life force breath energy or whatever it is, and my pounding heartbeat eases its assult and the battlefield drifts into sparse echoes. Moments later we transition into new territory, and the class continues through the sequence. The mysterious energetic beasts that seem to reside deep within have subsided for the moment. As the evening comes to an end and we enter final savasana, my exhausted consciousness flickers out and evaporates softly into infinity with Ichihs last words trailing close behind...

"Did you discover yourself today?"


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