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Nicht Einmal Falsch

A possibly apocryphal story about quantum mechanics physicist Wolfgang Pauli–he was given to exclaiming ‘Falsch–‘ ‘Wrong–‘ or ‘Ganz falsch!’ ‘Completely wrong!’ during discussions/presentations but worst of all was if he said sadly ‘Das ist nicht einmal falsch’ ‘It is not even wrong…’ because it showed how completely off track you were.

I was feeling that off track about my practice & writing for a while & therefore afraid to assess, but now I think I’m ready to look back. And another year is coming to an end…

I got given Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana today. Of course being ‘given’ a pose doesn’t mean I can do it & I can’t, but after several attempts in the studio & at home I can see where I’m going wrong. It’s the same problem I have with rolling up to Kukkutasana–I am not sufficiently aware of, or not sufficiently familiar with how my spinal extensors & sacro-iliac joint interact, not to mention the mysterious psoas–& yes, I know–I don’t have to know all these things, but my body/instincts don’t know them either so I figure until I can chalk up the 99% practice I might as well fill up on the 1% theory… we are all doing what we can & all we can.

I remember early this year Alex Medin was in Singapore filling in for Celeste. I know some people found him ‘scary’ & there were rumours before he arrived about how he’s someone who insists on pushing people beyond their limits, but that could have been because a new/different teacher always challenges our comfort zone–& that can be a good challenge. All I can say is, he was very patient with me. I was still having a bit of trouble walking then (but took great pride in leaving my crutches Outside the studio–as though anyone coming by would be confused as to who they belonged to!) I was a bit apprehensive because although Celeste had worked out a sequence for me, I wasn’t sure how another teacher would see it. Would he just see me as someone occupying valuable mat space? After all the room gets pretty crowded sometimes! But in fact Alex made it a point to come over to me during practice & tell me “Your just being here is good,” & I really think that encouragement did more good than any adjustments/theory/information could… if he ever comes back to Singapore I should tell him that. I still have crooked legs/spine/ribs, I still can’t see out of one eye, I’m still on medication morning & night, I’m still doing practice 5-6 mornings a week and yes, it is still good and being there is making everything else good too.

The studio was really, really crowded today because of the Hari Raya Haji. For most of us non Muslims it’s just another (wonderful) public holiday–for which over 5500 imported sheep/goats are slaughtered here in Singapore without the benefit of being stunned first, because that was deemed non-halal. Ironic, as the original halal killing was meant to be the swiftest, most humane form of killing but the rule establishing it now prevents the incorporation of any more merciful form of execution.

But I don’t understand enough to comment on that further–and I find the convoluted thinking within the Christian church far, far more tangled, illogical & irritating.

It was a wonderful lazy day today. Started reading After Dark by Haruki Murakami & re-reading Ashtanga Yoga, Practice & Philosophy by Gregor Maehle. And yes, ate potato chips & wine gums & broke (already!) my little wire mandible mandela but I’ve fixed it–yes, Jean, it wasn’t indestructable–but I’ve fixed it!


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