i’ll never be a hand model, and definitely not after last night. but it’s ok, i’ve shredded my hands on numerous occasions (someday i’ll blog about my summer as a raft guide). practicing ashtanga is great for the hands since you spend so much of your practice using them. and for the record, i like hands that have seen a day or two of work, hands with calluses that tell a story. to me it’s an indication of passion and dedication. my dad has the hands of a surgeon (literally) and a wood splitter (literally: chain saw and/or axe). we actually all learned to split wood in my family from a young age, but that’s also another story.
last night, thankfully, i was able to give my quads a break (they’re starting to look quite strong now actually- hello, vastus lateralis!) and work on upper body. so: swinging on bars, pulling up and over walls, cat jumps, and some strength training that has me feeling a little abused this morning. but no worries, ashtanga is all about upper body conditioning- i can take anything! (mind is saying: slow down there cow-girl!)
muscle development aside, the greatest improvement i’ve seen after two weeks of training is that my mind has decided to accept the physical conditioning with less and less protest and just suck it up. that’s right mind, suck it up! of course, it helps to be able to get out of bed in the morning with less pain and effort. but the initial balking has gone away and has been replaced with a somewhat tentative curiosity (mind: where is this going, how long will she last). so now i get conversations like this:
body: let’s go practice parkour!
mind: [sounding bored] yaaaawnnn…do we have to? i don’t think i’ve recovered yet from last time.
body: [bouncing up and down] c’mon, let’s do more jumping!
mind: [tries to find something to distract body] what about your ashtanga practice? how’s that going these days?
body: never mind that, we can practice yoga this weekend, let’s gooooooo!
mind: ok, but don’t blame when you can’t stand up from back-bends anymore…
so considerably more agreeable (albeit slightly more passive-aggressive) than a few weeks ago.
so beginner’s mind took 2 weeks (and honestly, quite a bit of physical pain and mental determination) to go from ‘no way!’ to ‘suck it up!’ not such good news for practitioners at Ekam, who have been getting a lot of ‘suck it up!’ from me lately. and here i thought i was developing my empathy and sympathy settings. but training is far from over; i still have a few more mental and physical lessons to learn i’m sure.
and never fear fellow practitioners- if i get too cocky my practice is sure to humiliate me in some way or another. and you are welcome to be there and tell me to ‘suck it up!’