Here I am, writing instead of practicing… writing as a practice…
In the book “Cave in the Snow“, Tenzin Palmo (I don’t have the book with me to offer a precise quote) says that you shouldn’t be on the mat unless you are present on the mat. Preoccupations prevent us from being present. The mat is special, it’s a space dedicated to a practice of presence. So if you’re not there – you may as well be somewhere else.
My days that begin with a Yoga practice are different then days that don’t – they are better. In a similar way, the first asana of a Yoga practice affects the rest of the practice. Tonight I chose to not get on the mat. The first “asana” in my practice is choice. I did not want to get on the mat. Recognition of that choice triggered an internal dialogue – second guessing myself with a diversity of less & more convincing arguments.
The original choice remained… and I chose to act on it. I feel that had I gone on the mat I would not have been present on it – and the practice would have distracted and agitating – I have tried this many times in the past.
I am now present – writing this with a movie playing in the background. I am present with my impatience, self doubt & disturbed-energy. Getting on the mat would have been an attempt to escape from this – it probably would have failed. Instead I am:
- Doing what I felt like doing – sinking towards sleep with the help of a movie.
- Doing something I didn’t expect to do – writing this post.
- Looking forward to a fresh morning practice.
- Thinking back on the day, trying to see if there is something I would like to try doing differently tomorrow.
- … and awaiting an unplanned visit of a friend seeking help with neck pains.
On the mat, off the mat … in the end it all comes together… nicely!