Back to Practice

This morning after dropping the doggies at K9 (for day boarding/socialisation & grooming) I drove to Yan Kit Road for my first ‘real’ practice of the year.

It was raining, what I thought would be a trip of under 30 minutes took me almost an hour so by the time I got there it was almost 10 am and I had a 12noon appointment I needed to shower before and I couldn’t find parking closer than a hundred metres of construction work with muddy puddles & splashing cars away… it was SO tempting to bail, find a Starbucks & tell myself I need to get back into practice gradually… ie not today, not in the rain, not on a Friday after a tough week…

But bizarrely every time I thought about skipping this practice I felt a wince inducing twinge in my solar plexus, like the need-a-loo twinge almost but starting deeper–

I’ve been reading about purusharthas, triggered by an article in Yoga Journal (yes, reading about yoga is sometimes easier than practicing) & how the choices we make every moment are choices that could bring us closer to fulfilling our needs & goals or not. What we think of as ‘no choice’ situations appear that way to us because we’ve been previously conditioned to see them that way.
I’ve been trying to be more conscious of my choices & realise this solar plexus shiver-ache is how my body signals to me that its uncomfortable with something.

Though I wanted to get somewhere dry with magazines & coffee & be lazy till 12 and I was scared of plunging back into a full practice after three weeks, I also miss practice & miss the way I feel after practice. I also want to get rid of the little achey bits that surface in my shoulders & neck muscles when I don’t stretch & wring out the computer tension on the mat.

So… to the shala. Tried to explain to teacher I couldn’t do a full practice because 1) lack of time 2) lack of practice 3) lack of stamina could I just do an hour’s practice today?

Teacher, being a teacher of Sri K PJ lineage said “Just start. I’ll tell you when you’re ready to stop,”

And after all my initial fears I had a Fantastic practice!!!

Yes, I’d actually forgotten some of the sequence–couldn’t remember whether supta konasana & upavishta konasana came before or after supta padangushtasana when doing ‘air yoga’ in the car–but somehow, on the mat, muscle memory woke up and got me through it!

I was also afraid I’d transformed enough muscle tone into flabby dead weight to die at anything that required upper body strength but surprisingly it was like my body took the time out to figure out what it was supposed to do…

eg I used to struggle with my chakrasanas but today, each time I got into position & prepared to begin the struggle I found myself going over!

Yes, I did ‘cheat’ today.
I left out the vinyasas between sides, I used my arms for support in setu bandhasana, I didn’t do the final headstand (when I came in the others were finished/finishing the standing sequence. By the time I reached backbends they were queuing for the showers. I know I should have been focused on my breath but I needed to shower before 12…)

As it turned out I showered with plenty of time. I even had time to stop in Starbucks (no plexus ping this time) for hot tea & a banana before my appointment. And I learned something about practice today. It wasn’t about mastering the poses or the sequence. I was there because my body needed it. I was doing it to untwist and unkink and stretch out and flush fresh blood around this body I haven’t been paying enough attention to. Now I feel so good but as I sit here but I know it’s not going to last.

Yes, yet again I’m making the commitment to do this regularly.

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2 Responses

  1. Great Post! Hey, did you realize this blog is cataloged by Google news?I just stumbled into a second ago…How the heck did you pull that off?haha.

  2. YAY! I love how the practice is always there for you. When will we ever learn that? …I am also often surprised by how all the mental resistance just melts away once you step back on the mat. We know this, and yet we resist. People are funny aren’t they? ..I’ll be home to visit soon and can’t wait to practice there with Teacher J again! 🙂

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