I'm creating this blog to record my life as a "new" or "young" (young as in young in practice) Ashtangi. I started practicing in Jan. 2011, so I'm very new, but could find very little on the changes i would have happen to me. it goes beyond just the physical changes, like the first month and a half of soreness from taking on a six day a week practice. There was this inner change, this calm, this lack of need to talk. I wondered what was going on, but it wasn't something that would make me stop. I'm hooked, i just wanted to understand and have an idea of what was happening.
Let me jump back a bit, to before i began in Jan. December, i don't think too much about birthdays, but i had turned 45. Up to December, I had been practicing more of a hatha yoga style in the mornings, then the evening I would lift weights three times a week. I had bought NickI Doane's Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga, some time before then. I was really attracted to the flowing nature of the practice, even before I knew the name of it. Right around the holidays i got the flu, so i stopped the yoga and weights. That was the last time i also had alcohol.
Then it began, i came home from work and watched Nicki's DVD to get an idea of what i would be doing. it was a Saturday night and my shift is a bit wacky, i dozed off to the DVD. Come Monday, I unrolled my mat and followed along...as far as i could. A challenge, that's what has been and remains...and that's a compliment to the practice.
Where i'm at now, is Sury A...I can get through the whole thing...close to the end i still have to drop to my knees in Downward Facing Dog. It won't be long before i can see myself not having to do that.
Back to the inner change...I had gotten used to "feeling" my environment from chakra work, then all of a sudden, the calmness, felt like it muffled those senses. Instead I felt calm, with this weird new awkwardness in public places. it remnded me of the feeling, the rawness that came from fasting. Then there's the strange dreams and acne, which i guess from reading, is all part of the 'detoxification" of the Primary series. Hmm...45 and now i have acne like i was a teenager again.
Then the blanker was lifted, ever so slowly I knew "things" before they would happen, more often that the occassionalwonderful "clair" moment. The first was at work, when I was asked to carry some pizzas over to the file cabinets. Something said,"she's going to ask you to grab the table".I walked in, started to break down the table and the woman responded with a "how did you know i was going to ask you to do that?" I just shrugged.
The next one, was at a Burger King, I was in a bit a time crunch to get food and get to work. There was a woman who walked in front of me heading inside to order food. i worried she would set my time behind more, but had an image of her going to the bathroom door and me ordering. Inside we went and she turned and went to the women's bathroom.
These two examples were so clear too, but it felt normal, like i should be used to such things.
Last week was something new...I felt sad, like weeping sad, like being awake was enough to make me crawl into bed and cry the day away...odd enough, but more odd for a guy. Cry for no reason at all? Weird!
The latest thing, is heightened eyesight and hearing. Lights seem too bright...expecially headlights of oncoming cars. The hearing is a weird one though, that I hadn't noticed until the other night. I was watching Avatar for the hundredth time, but besides the normal music to announce the scene, i kept hearing this ambient music. The first time i heard it, i wondered where it was coming from. here i was watching a scene i had watched so many times, but i had never heard the ambient music just barely in the background...like whitenoise. It's amazing, because almost every scene has this ambient music in it and it was always there. It make me thing of everything else that i've probably never heard or seen, but will.
Let me mention this on eating. About a week before feeling like crying, i had gotten some Ale, first time since December. Half of a bottle and I had a headache, it made me want to pour the half of bottle and the other five down the drain. Did i? No, but i have no desire to drink alcohol anymore, whether I enjoy the taste of not. The weird thing is the whole next week, i had a leafy green colored bowel movement. My body knew it had changed enough, but my mind was the last to know.
My appetite has changed, I was ravenous in the beginning. Then I went through a poit of not really being hungry. Now it is really strange, to where I'm not hungry at say 12:00pm, Then it's like a switch was thrown at 12:05pm I'm hungry. Today i even noticed that hunger, came in pulses, almost like a heart beat.
My sleep cycle has changed too, there are nights i only sleep a couple hours and i'm fully rested.
I can't wait until tomorrow to unroll my mat, one more time. Ashtanga has replaced the excercise and my weights and bench are gathering dust.
I didn't take notes, so anything I experienced, that I forgot i'll add later. Hopefully my sharing my experience, will help others.