Yes, I did not post for almost two weeks. Yes, that's uncommon. Here's the deal:
I am teaching three classes and grading a fourth one. In ten days, it will be four classes, along with the grading. Two of these are art history for the place where I will be an official "Visiting Lecturer" in January. Two of these are Elementary Composition for a community college about 20 blocks north of downtown. This keeps me madly busy, even though the classes are either in the afternoon or at night. I currently teach three days a week (MWF) and the class for which I will do test reviews and grading (of two sections of about 90 students) is TR morning, and my fourth-class-to-be is also on TR, so I will be working all five days a week in a mixed schedule of mornings, afternoons and nights. When I finally start grading tests and assignments for all of those classes at once, which will begin in about two weeks, it will be a crazy elephants-through-mountains march into December.
On top of all of that, I am re-jumping into the academic job market. So far, the midwest seems to have the best prospects for what I do and how I do it. Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin. The Carolinas are also in play. The two gigs posted in the Northeast seem unlikely, and there are NO gigs posted for the West yet. It still is early, but the midwest looks like the future. It is, of course, totally impossible to tell. Let us not speculate.
The yoga has become daily life, and the other way around. This is interesting. I still do asana practice, but not at any set time, and I've skipped at least seven of the last fourteen days of it. It is hard enough to balance my existence with all of this new work and especially my distaste for teaching composition (past experience left me with some serious aversion).
But today, for example, I ripped off a gigantic, powerful Primary, which left me high for about two hours. It was marvelous, even though it wasn't on perfect breath pace and didn't have seamless transitions and all that. In the past two weeks I have been playing more with Matthew Sweeney's sequences from Vinyasa Krama, not just my friend the Lion Sequence, but also the more advanced (and harder, but SUPER COOL) Baddha and Uddi Kramas, the Bound and Flying Sequences.
The Bound Sequence has this completely incredible standing sequence, which in vinyasa yoga terms, has EIGHT, count them EIGHT, standing flows, and then moves into a series of advanced postures which largely "think" Hanumanasana (splits) and Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (King Pigeon). It is also very handstandy. I modify sections of it, but I can pull a suprising amount of it.
The Flying Sequence "thinks" with Natarajasana (Dancer's pose, the full expression, where you reach over your head for the foot) and Mandalasana (which is a sort of walk-around-your-head from, for example, headstand to a headstand-hands Wheel; does that make sense?). It is very balance oriented and has some totally unfamiliar movements in it; inversions MIXED with backbends, for example, but it has this marvelous, liberating energy, really extroverted, very very fun.
Both of them are, technically, beyond me, but trying the sequences out has freed me from a certain tunnel-vision of "this is advanced, that is not, I can do this, I cannot do that" which is also one of the advantages of Power Yoga. I'm not turning Power Yoga, however. These sequences teach me that moves which I can pull are not necessarily "advanced"; advanced is totally a relative term. For example, Virasana (Hero Pose) is in the fourth series of Ashtanga. It is only advanced in SEQUENCE, not by itself. All asana (poses) work this way. There's no such thing as an isolated "advanced" or "easy" pose. Hell, Virabhadrasana 1 has been able to give me some fight, when I do it cold. Is it "advanced"? The whole discussion is silly; it's a parlor game. Even all of the dichotomies like "flexy backbenders versus stiff people" is indicated there: is one pose "advanced" for all bodies? Is a pose that's easy for you "advanced" for me? It's insanity. Abandon this vocabulary.
It is all body movement. Much of the body movement in the Baddha Krama is easier for me than that involved in the Uddi Krama. Much of the body movement in Intermediate is welcoming me, but a couple body movements in that sequence are NOT so welcoming; they will require discipline and repetition and learning. So be it. Intermediate is STILL not taking me as much head-banging-against-desk as Primary did. It does not follow from this that Primary is "more advanced" or "harder" than Intermediate; it's all in context. My Intermediate is built on my Primary. The sequence cannot be seen by itself; everyone who practices it has history, body history, conceptualizing history, so at best, what is "advanced" is always in a state of flux. Even yoga communities can't fix this down: Kapotasana may be a pose for the rare few in Indianapolis, but I sure saw a LOT of people hit it in San Francisco.
Anyway, not to beat that particular horse anymore. The intricate body movements that I WAS able to pull in the Baddha and Uddi Kramas have taught me that Kapo is really just a body movement. It's a physical arrangement, not some big metaphysical moment of realization (although one can have one of those at any time). In fact, I'm now thinking of Kapotasana as simply a prep for Padangustha Dhanurasana (Bow pose where you reach your toes over your feet; fourth series).
I'll be teaching composition in two hours, for three hours. Cheers!