Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Yoga Book Report: Skimming through the Poses

Okay, so clearly I fell off the wagon a bit with the book report posts (or any posts at all, for that matter). Clearly my training has already started and I am now way the hell behind, insomuch as a blog post is intended to be somewhat current and speaking to the now and so on. Clearly.

But, good news - I finished my book! And not only did I finish the book, but I've since read one and a half other books. Fiction, of course. The first book I read in a total of four hours over the span of a day and a half, in somewhat of choking-food-down-because-you're-half-starved fashion. Don't get me wrong, I loved the yoga book. But I miss, you know. My stories.

Anyway, I want to go back a little bit and talk about what happened in the remainder of the book, starting with the poses, which is going to be weird. Regardless of timing, it's weird in general to do a book report when using an e-book as the subject. My future offspring will not even understand what I'm trying to say here, but I'm just not used to doing book research without that tactile experience of dog-earing a physical page, scribbling on it, highlighting, flipping back and forth between passages with over-stretched fingers marking my various places, and just appreciating the weight of the book in my hands, oh-so-representative of the heft of the work that went into the writing of the thing.

Yes, I am aware that there are tools for highlighting and bookmarking within my e-book, thankyouverymuch. Yes, I used them and they worked out fine. I'm just saying, it's not the same.


Pages 170 - 520 consisted of 45 poses and sequences - lots of pictures and lots of repetition. I mean, this guy is THOROUGH and based on the photos, has some friends who potentially have no bones. No hip bones, anyway. I admit that I did a bit of skimming in this section, once I got the general gist of it. It's not that it was boring, just Very Detailed and Very Repetitive, seeing as most poses are set up in somewhat of the same way. Erich's yoga is not the flowing vinyasa yoga I'm used to - very little in the way of transitions. He has a patient and plodding method of feeling his way through each pose, adjusting it in a million different ways until everything is entirely perfect (I can't tell you how many times he says "do this perfectly" in the poses section, it's hilarious). When you do the pose perfectly, he says, everything will be effortless and fantastic and feel so great, so just do it perfectly! Why waste time doing things incorrectly when you can just do them perfectly? I am not even doing the poses as I'm reading and already I'm way too impatient to adjust my way through each mental asana until it's perfect before moving on to the next.

His brand of yoga would take hours. Ain't nobody got time for that. Love him though - good for him. He's probably, like, so enlightened.

Is enlightenment even attainable in this city?
Will I someday feel like I have time for that?

Either way, I have been trying to keep all of his instruction in mind throughout my practice, which is not entirely realistic, seeing as one purpose of the practice is to clear the mind. So me and my pockets-full of Erich-learnings are a bit fumbly and behind and out of place.

Always out of place, always. But we're getting there.

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