“When I feel that something I’m writing is going well, everything in my life is good and the things in my life that aren’t good are completely manageable. If it’s not going well, Miss America could be standing there in a swimsuit handing me a nobel price and I wouldn’t be happy about it”
Aaron Sorkin

The Element

What is there now?

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Here I am, writing instead of practicing… writing as a practice…

In the book “Cave in the SnowTenzin 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:

  1. Doing what I felt like doing – sinking towards sleep with the help of a movie.
  2. Doing something I didn’t expect to do – writing this post.
  3. Looking forward to a fresh morning practice.
  4. Thinking back on the day, trying to see if there is something I would like to try doing differently tomorrow.
  5. … 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!

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