“Who needs 'please' when we've got guns?”
Jack Johnson

Not Doing

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Two days ago I spent a long day in the city – knowing it would affect my energy. It took me two gentle and patient days to feel that my energy was pulling together again.

During the week before that I found a specific “formula” to begin my days:

  • Wake up somewhere between 06:55 and 07:07 (yes, that specific and that consistent), I would get out of bed about 15 or 20 minutes later, after gently letting my eyes adjust to the light and my consciousness to being awake.
  • Turn on the electricity in the solar water heater, make a small cup of simple black tea and read for 40 minutes to an hour.
  • Play Shakuhachi for 20-30 minutes.
  • Shower
  • Asana practice 40-50 minutes
  • Pranayama practice 30 minutes
  • Meditation 5-20 minutes
  • Check emails
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee

Then I would meet the remaining hours of the day with wonderful vitality and clarity.

I did not practice Yoga at all during the two days following the city excursion. Yesterday I tried to play Shakuhachi – but my breathing felt weak and inconsistent. I went to sleep last night feeling that my energy had pulled together.

I expected to be able to resume my morning ritual today. I woke up at 07:19 – slightly off my usual time. I began my rituals. I forgot to turn on the water heater. When I finished reading I wanted to begin a Yoga practice, but felt something holding me back. So I just sat for a few minutes, staring at Berry our parakeet, staring back at me. I thought of playing Shakuhachi, but my body resisted that as well. After a few minutes of waiting (not debating the idea of practicing!) I realized that I still have not arrived. I am close, but not quite there.When I realized and accepted this, my body relaxed and peace came over me.

My Yoga practice is currently in transition from a preserving to an intensifying (Raksana to Siksana) practice. It requires delicate preparation – I need to regulate my life, eating, sleeping and what-ever my mind consumes. If I don’t prepare properly, the practice becomes agitating and disturbing (much like the city).

I have tried numerous time over the past months to call upon my discipline and push myself into practice. It never worked. My discipline currently serves me best when I push myself into softness. Sometimes, not-doing is the best thing to do.

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