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How Long Is Enough?

Dreamed 1994/4/24 by Chris Wayan

I dream I'm in ballet class, being taught a position that starts off in demi-pliť, but somehow without moving it ends up in a kneeling pose! "Hold this position" says the teacher, "but not necessarily as long as I do. Don't hold it too long for YOU."

But how long is that? I'm not sure when to quit. Other students hold it quite long. Should I? Till it hurts? Past that, like Zen? How far past?

Don't I feel pain? Or am I so used to pain from being chronically ill, that I discount it?

I can't sense how much stress is good, and how much is too much.

I wake up thinking "I better learn."

NEXT MORNING

Head for ballet class. The teacher pushes us hard today, and I overwork, come close to the point where I'm risking injury... where no safety margin is left in my joints.

After class, my friend Stephen appears, and says "Stay for yoga class and relax!" I'm reluctant but he just won't take no. I give in...

The first thing teacher shows us is a pose like a ballet demi-pliť that's up on the balls of our feet. "Hold this position" says the teacher, "but not necessarily as long as I do. Don't hold it too long for YOU."

Word for word. Not to mention pose for pose, and ache for ache.

I don't freak out--I'm too tired by now to do anything but laugh. And not hold the position very long.

Holding an asana (yoga pose) till it hurts.


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