Today Denise's yoga class was designed, as she put it, to "humble" us. This time of year, she always wants to give us a good talking to. True to her yoga ideals, she is a vegetarian (though not a vegan), and she lectures us every Thanksgiving against the desire to conduct an animal sacrifice to celebrate the holiday. I understand what she is saying, and feeling similarly about the desire to cut down trees to celebrate Christmas, but I know at the same time that rituals are not about logic. They sometimes go against all of our best instincts and morality because they just ARE. And all of our memories and histories are tied up with them. It is difficult to just throw them over.
Of course, neither I nor any of the other regulars would ever speak to her about these feelings. We respect her views, and what's more, sympathize with them. Perhaps one day I will stop eating meat. I don't eat cheese or enjoy milk products though, so it would make for a pretty boring diet, I think. At most, I could probably manage a pescavorian diet, vegetables, grains, and fish.
In any case, the yoga class WAS humbling and difficult. I lost my balance and fell backwards or forward more times than I can say when we were balanced on the side with the other leg in the air. One of these was anantasana, Buddha's couch, I think it's called. It looks easy, but it isn't, for me at least.
Despite my squatting prowess, my legs screamed for mercy when we squatted at the wall with a block between the thighs and stayed there for a while. But humbling is good. It makes one remember that however much she practices, there are always things to learn. Lots of them.