Day 29

Style: Ashtanga
Teacher: Daniel Mendoza
Studio: Santosha Elgin

My eyelids weigh a thousand pounds each. I squeeze them shut tightly, then open them again. With blurred vision I'm looking at four out-of-focus laptops slowly circling in front of me. Digital black and white writing is warping and bending on the electronic screen. My head is heavy, hanging at an awkward, twisted angle, trying to stare at a hazy keyboard. After 8 hours of school, a midterm and an Ashtanga class, I'm struggling to maintain consciousness. A 6 am start time looms over my head like a guillotine, only a few short hours from now. While it's true that ninety consecutive yoga classes are exhausting at times, the writing, documenting and digesting of each day, trying to understand my condition and studying it as it comes... that is taking its toll on me.

Tonight was my first time meeting Daniel Mendoza. Having trained in martial arts from an early age, he discovered Ashtanga while studying Muay Thai and kickboxing. The set up for the class felt like a martial arts studio, with two rows of mats facing each other and space in the middle where he walked up and down. He led the class through an intermediate series, keeping the instruction flowing at a fast pace with a heavy use of Sanskrit.

The act of practicing yoga when I truly don't feel like it, then writing about the experience and examining its effect, is intense. It feels like it's accelerating the process in comparison with last years ninety days. I can see now that the true challenge for the next 61 days will be the daily focusing of thought and converting it into language. The writing and understanding, the honest reflection on self. One third of the way in and the seas can really get rough. I feel like I'm on a rickety boat with a tattered sail out in the middle of dark vast infinity. To engage my mind and synthesize my experience when it desperately wants to shut off, power down and recharge is the real struggle. I know it's an absolute necessity that I continue to input every single day without fail. One false step will destroy the whole project. There can be no turning back. I can't afford to jeopardize the entire mission for a few extra hours of sleep.


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