Day Three: Cleanse

The Life of a Yogi
          “Your practice is like an antidote for the poison.” ~Sri Dharma Mittra
          Unfortunately, the aforementioned poison doesn’t just disappear when you practice – it has this way of coming back up, so you have to deal with it before it leaves you… which is actually kind of cool in its own way, but it’s not necessarily pleasant to deal with in the moment.
          I didn’t expect to hit the wall of utter exhaustion this early on. But by the end of the day today, several of us were pretty delirious; everything was incredibly funny for some reason. Then again, I also realized that when I’m here at Dharma Yoga, I generally smile a lot more – it’s like I’ve given myself permission to be joyful, and I take full advantage of it while I’m here.
          We began the day with pranayama, dhyana, and spiritual discourse with Sri Dharma. It was wonderful, as usual, but I had a feeling it was going to be a hard day when I kept drifting in and out of sleep in my meditation… After the discourse, we picked up with the breakdown of Dharma III, and then had Master Sadhana, followed by lunch. Master Sadhana felt pretty great today – even though I’m really sore, my body was sort of aching to get moving by noon.
          After lunch we finished the breakdown of Dharma III, and then we had our first small group teaching session for this series. I had been wondering how on earth we would fit Dharma III into a sixty-minute block (I’ve never taken a Dharma III class shorter than ninety minutes), but by the end I was unbelievably thankful that it was a short practice. Any longer and my legs would probably have started giving out underneath me.
          We finished the evening with Maha Shakti, and by that point I was just so exhausted that I was having a hard time separating my Self from my body and my mind’s chatterings. A few of the poses made me want to cry (by the third dhanurasana I thought I might actually die), but we made it through together, and closed the night with Yoga Nidra. I was in and out of sleep during Yoga Nidra, but I can see it getting better – I realize it much sooner now if I’m no longer following Sri Dharma’s instructions and have drifted off someplace else. It actually helped that some people around me were snoring, and I was a little chilly – it helped me to remain awake.
          It feels like we’re going a lot deeper, a lot faster this time. I feel sort of how I felt on day five of the last module, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad… I guess in reality it’s neither, and I’m free to choose my reaction (much easier to step back and see that, now that the day is over). And as one of my dance teachers told me once, “Exhaustion is where the most interesting discoveries happen.”

More shots of Yoshio & Melissa’s gorgeous demonstrations.