Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 9: The Hummingbird Effect

One of the many hummingbirds that started visiting us this winter.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Unled Mysore
6:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Had a good, long and productive practice today. The studio was pretty quiet, with just Deborah and myself there. It's nice to have days like that in the mix, as I find it encourages me to slow down, and not feel any pressure to "perform" and just do whatever I need to do for my practice that day — which reminds me of something my wife Deb and I saw on American Idol the other night. A young female contestant, when trying to get two other ladies to stop fighting, says to both of them, "You do you, and you do you". We laughed about how perfect that phrase is, and how we could all benefit from that little lesson.

Today, "me doing me" involved starting with a full course of Surya Namaskar, which felt WAY more fluid and effortless than it did only last Tuesday. I was able to maintain a constant breath throughout, whereas last week I would find myself having to take an extra breath around the number 8 and 12 Chatturangas of Surya Namaskar B (here forth called "SNB"). Last night I re-watched a video of David Swenson performing the Primary Series and I picked up on this little thing he does when it's time to turn your foot inward before doing the Warrior part (#7 and #11) of SNB:

EDIT: The original video was removed by YouTube (thanks for the heads up Matt!) but I found an alternate that breaks down SNB really well. As a bonus, the instructor has a nice accent.

That little deliberate turn/step he does with the back foot smoothed out that whole section for me. I love when little things click into place and have a ripple effect on the rest of the practice. I don't know what I was doing before, but I think I was probably aimlessly turning my foot in while already thinking ahead to the step forward. The difference is that I'm now performing all the parts of the sequence deliberately, and with focus, whereas before (like, yesterday), I had that one little piece that was a gray area (see yesterday's post for more about gray areas). It's amazing how shining a light on other parts of your practice, as we did yesterday, can cause you to subconsciously start shining lights on other parts that you didn't even realize were "gray areas".


If the "Butterfly Effect" is the idea that "a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state" (thanks Wikipedia), then I'd like to propose this: "shining a metaphorical light on one place in a system can result in the illumination of a later state" be coined "The Hummingbird Effect". The hummingbird is, after all, a symbol of stopping time, savouring the moment, then moving forward.

They also happen to symbolized love, joy and beauty. A perfect symbol for growth, no?



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