Monday, November 23, 2015

So, have you ever been so focused on an asana that while your so focused on it, other asanas get better and you don't even notice or seem to care?

That has been me, for the past 6-8 weeks, which, by the way, is a nano second in Ashtanga time. But for the past 6-8 weeks I have been obsessed with dropping back and for the past 3-4 weeks, standing back up.

There are so many things wrong with that:  I'm judging myself, my practice, and I'm planning, thinking, anticipating, trying, trying so hard.  I used be able to do it.  Shouldn't I be able to do it again?  Or is that being too attached to once was and not being in the moment?

Then I remember:  "Practice and all is coming."

BUT, I don't think that 'practice all is coming' necessarily means that if I practice enough I will be able to drop back and then stand up...well, maybe, eventually, but that's not the point.  I think it means ALL is coming: finding peace, quiet, stillness, breath, while on the mat and especially while off the mat.  Being in the moment.  I get that and have started to experience it in a really tangible way.  This is what is keeping me practicing despite hitting some walls and being constantly sore.

But this is the weird thing, like I said before, while I've been focusing on urdhva dhanurasana with the drop back and stand up thing, I've become stronger.  My old hamstring tear is slowly starting to ease, my shoulders don't hurt AT ALL, ANY MORE! I can almost put my chin down in bhujipidasana...I have NEVER been able to do that...EVER!  My jump backs and throughs are returning...

So, while I fetishize my drop backs etc., I am finding ease, comfort, and openness in the other parts of my practice.

Interesting....maybe I need to let go of dropping back and standing up for a bit?  Or maybe just drop back, which I don't mind, but not get too caught up in the standing up thing?  Or should we give attention to the asanas that we are struggling with?  Work on it?  Wrestle with it?  Maybe, but with a focus on non-attachment and an acceptance that it may not be today, it may not be next week, month, year...and that is ok?  It's just practice and with practice all is coming, eh?

All right, I'm going to try that while I continue to try to stand up...just stand up.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Have you ever gone to bed and said to yourself, "I'm not going to practice tomorrow."

Then, the alarm, or should I say, your partner's alarm goes off, and your awake...

And then you start thinking, "I should go to practice, but I don't want to.  I ate a lot last night, and late. I drank wine last night.  I got into a 'thing' with my partner and didn't fall asleep till like 11..."

Practice will suck today.  It will be awful.  I'll smell like wine, food...

Ok, ok, I'll go, but I'll only do half of the practice.  No dropbacks.  No vinyasas between sides.  The minimum...

And you go...

You get on your mat and inhale...

And it's one of the nicest practices you've had!  It's soft, gentle, comfortable.  You do the whole thing, even drop backs (assisted, but still) and you feel amazing, energized, tranquil.

So, what is it?  Do I go to my mat with preconceived notions of how it will go instead of just allowing it to happen?

I don't know, maybe, probably.  But what I am learning is that every day on my mat is different.  And for me, what happens the night before, what I eat or drink, what time I go to bed, whether I have a salt bath or not, really doesn't inform my practice the next least not so far.

The thing is I just need to get on my mat and except what ever it is...that day because the next day it will be different.

That's what I love about it!