Day 11

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

What happened to us? Have we always been this way? How long has the struggle gone on? Man vs. Mind... where along the line did we lose complete control? And why? Is this how we've been programmed? This was more or less the theme song of my brain during tonight's Power Vinyasa class. It all started innocently enough...

Arriving at Rama Lotus, mentally and physically exhausted, I inwardly cursed myself for deciding to focus on more strength-oriented, physically demanding classes for the next few days. Although in high spirits, I had a looming sense of trouble as I unrolled my mat in the Crystal room, ready to enjoy this smaller, more intimate class. Things started uneventfully - sun salutations, breathing, side planks and other positions. Physically, my body was performing at its optimum level, deepening into postures comfortably. Inwardly, however, a very different story was being told. All I did was ask my mind to please lower its voice for the next 90 minutes, and to please keep any and all opinions to itself. Well maybe Mind woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but it was not amused. As the class proceeded, the chatter continued to build. Images flashed across the inside of my eyelids, accompanied by a chorus of arguing maniacs. Broken sentences attached to emotional reactions became more and more chaotic. My mind was a mess. Synapses flashed at the speed of light as thought-form collided with thought-form, creating a fifty thousand car pile-up. Horns blaring, insults flying, attention fluctuating... and class was only just beginning. As we moved into balancing postures, things reached their peak. Having just completely lost my ability to focus, any and all balance had flown out the window. Standing on one shaking leg, the room seemed to spin as I slipped and stumbled out of each pose again and again. And all the while the chaos in my mind escalated. The more I uncontrollably interacted with my distraught thoughts the more my actual physical strength seemed to evacuate my body, adding to my inner frustration. Trembling, weak, off-balance... with my mind showing me total disregard.

I did what everyone says you should do in order to focus. I concentrated on my breathing. I fought with myself, forcing my breath to become deeper and slower. I would be close to getting the upper hand, starting to feel a calm rising, when suddenly a single solitary thought would fire off like a gunshot in the night. Split-seconds later an all out brawl would ensue. Back to my breath, back to my breath. I've heard it said the breath is what connects the physical to the non-physical. Whatever the case may be, tonight my mind was not going to allow me to make that connection. As any comfort would begin to timidly approach, my thoughts would dash my efforts and before I knew it I was lost in a psychedelic trip through days of old, unable to distinguish between reality or fiction. As the next ninety minutes unfolded I felt like a boxer in a championship fight with his arms tied behind his back, taking hit after hit. After the mental massacre, rolling up my mat and taking a hot, much needed shower I gathered my things and left the studio tired and wrecked. Walking home, the glowing lights of the LCBO caught my eye and I bought myself a bottle of white wine and continued home. Sitting here now by the fire, halfway into this bottle, I am reluctant to follow through with my plans for an early-morning yoga class. It's my day off after all. Can't I just sleep in?...


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