On the Occasions for Hubris

So, after three weeks of almost complete abstinence from my nearly daily Ashtanga practice (a rhythm I maintained religiously for the last five years), I finally managed to squeeze in the full Primary series for the last two days in a row.

(It’s amazing how fast ability can deteriorate. My legs were angled at least 30 degrees lower in Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and my thighs were cramping by Virabhadrasana II. It was a good reminder of how difficult the practice can be and how much beginners can suffer in their first few encounters with the discipline.)

At any rate, after I peeled myself off the mat to get a cup of tea, I found our Chen T’ai Chi instructor Karl looking at me with a faint expression of disbelief.

“What?” I asked him.

“You were doing stuff I don’t think I can do,” he said. Then he added: “That was amazing!”

I looked at Karl with incredulity. “I haven’t practiced in almost a month. Whatever I was doing, it wasn’t that amazing.”

He shook his head. “It was awesome.”

Now, for me to hear that from Karl, who’s one of the most kinetically-gifted people I’ve met, and who’s from the lineage of a master from Chenjiagou (the birthplace of T’ai Chi), well, it was cheering, to say the least.

Which is not to say, given the soreness in my hip flexors tonight, that more practice is not necessary.