One of my yoga instructors is enamored with “dragon sequence” which I have, just this evening renamed “my ex sequence”. Allow me to explain . Since describing the dragon wil take more words than I’m wiling to write and certainly you to read, here is an instructional video.
Just a few points not to mislead, before I proceed. I cannot do everything in is video. Like, that twisting upside down thing ain’t happening. I could go on about all the other things I can’t do, but let me offer this analogy as to what I think I look like when we do this. Ever seen an enormous male dog, like a lab or a golden retriever try to copulate with a small female like a daschund or a toy poodle in heat? If you’ve ever watched those enthusiastic but misguided attempts to contort their bodies so the act will still not work, that’s me doing dragon. If you’re wondering if I’m the large dog or the small do, take your pick. Also, there’s timing. While this video is 7 min long, keep in mind we’re doing this for 35 minutes.
Yoga goddess says this is to “open our heart and lung meridians of energy”. This is yoga speak for we’re going. To do a series of difficult and strenuous movements so fast you’re going to seriously contemplate your heart exploding while you’re asphyxiating from gasping for air, while you trying to control your breathing and not sound like a freshmen in high school in PE class having to run 5 miles in an hour st 9:30 am. You’ll also notice that the video instructor explains ways to “modify” the pose in a variety of ways. Encouragement to modify your pose is yoga speak for, “please God do not push yourself to the point of actually passing out, because our liability carrier requires us to call and ambulance for any loss of consciousness and that will screw up the rest of class.”
So, the first time I was exposed to this “dragon” was a couple of months ago. I really don’t remember much about that first time, other than spending the entire 35 minutes contemplating my mortality. My thoughts went from an “OMG, I’m gonna die” to a welcoming acceptance and looking forward to it in a Jesus on the cross, “into your hands I commend my spirit”, kind of way.
Then we did it in a couple of more classes where I was just miserable, but not calling for death like it was a long lost friend who needed to visit soon.
She announced last week we were going to do dragon this week, particularly because I had grumbled about it. Now I love this yoga instructor because she gets so filled with joy she giggles. During class. A lot. Although I’ve become a little suspicious that she’s really watching me move through asanas and vinyasas and wondering whether I’m the big or small dog. I had a choice tonight between the county bar’s annual holiday party in a spectacular setting, with yummy catered food and an open bar…. Or yoga class. I marveled at my choice of masochism instead of a party all the way there. Hold this thought a moment
She also recommended that during class we might want to employ Thicht Nach Hahn, the extraordinary Vietnamese Buddhist Monks famous mantra, “as I breathe in I relax, as I breathe out I smile”. Hold this thought too.
(BTW, my favorite quote of his is: ” “When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”.
So I’m rotating and gasping and doing my miserable thing, and I’m marveling at my masochistic choice. Then I realize I’m kinda getting used to it, and I have the epiphany, “hey, this is like my ex marriage”. Then I notice the “I breath in I relax, I breathe out I smile is not having the desired meditative effect and I think, “when I breathe in, I get divorced, when I breathe out, I’m giddy with joy” and all of a sudden, I’m in my happy place. Hence, my renaming the dragon, “my ex”. Hopefully I’ll learn from the dragon, oops my ex some of the same things like non judgment, non attachment, personal responsibility, self awareness, boundaries and compassion. Or maybe my heart will just explode.