I came across an old book by Amrit Desai, the founder (and fallen leader) of Kripalu Yoga. It approaches hatha yoga as meditation, combining pranayama, pratyhara (sense-withdrawal), asana and dharana (concentration) into one.
I've been teaching my classes with this emphasis for a while now, influenced by my own experiences with yoga therapy and Focussing and whatnot. But it was inspiring to see this philosophy articulated so well. I believe this book has been out of print for years, but if you ever see a large paperback book with spiral binding by Amrit Desai, snap it up!
I tried to take that approach into my Bikram class this morning, but it's difficult to do. Bikram is heavily regimented and the teachers care very much about external precision, so there isn't much room for exploration and going within, especially when you're being barked at like a cadet.
In my new-fangled effort to be more upfront with people about my dicey hearing, I went up and introduced myself to the teacher before class. I said, "I'm somewhat hard of hearing, so if you say something to me and I don't respnd, that's why." (I am still weighing the benefits of telling people versus not telling. I don't want to make a big deal out of it, and yet I don't want to confuse people either, which I often wind up doing when I am seemingly unresponsive to them).
He turned his head and showed me his hearing aid, a little in-the-canal job. To my mixed horror and delight he started signing. I said, "Whoa, I'm not that deaf--and I can't read sign language." He kept signing anyway, and said, "you really should learn, it helps to communicate, blah blah blah..." and of course at this point people were staring, which is exactly what I wanted to avoid. Oh well.
This afternoon, I will attend the first of three baby showers in three weeks. I've only been to two other baby showers in my life--my sisters-in-law--and they were both exceedingly boring. I have a feeling this one will be a little more fun, as it's a boy-girl party and Monkey's allowed to attend.
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