During the last 2 months I’ve been once again visiting the yoga mat for some much-needed practice and regeneration. I don’t (yet) practice regularly but I have practiced a few times.
I have written before about wanting to practice from a teacher’s perspective and I want to revisit it from a practitioner’s perspective.
I’ve been wanting, among other things, to practice for many months. It’s been the most dominant thing on my mind during the last two months. That is progress. I couldn’t find space for practice during the last 2 years of transition to Bhudeva. My intentions, actions and external circumstances have finally come together to create conditions that invite practice. There are still disturbances and distractions but much less and I am constantly working to get those out of the way.
So the wish for practice has grown … and translated into actual practices. I then found myself tying to revert to an old pattern that has served me well in the past … discipline. I tried to get myself regularly on to the mat. I should say that, in almost all other aspects of my life, I am trying to loosen my grip, to let go of discipline and to flow more naturally in, to and through life. Discipline failed to get me on the mat. Not only did I not get on the mat regularly but I also injured my wish to practice. I would have to wait a longer time for the wish to resurface and carry me on to the mat.
So I am now patiently practicing wanting to practice. I only get on the mat when I have a strong impulse to do so. I do not yet know exactly what are the circumstances that lead into practice. It is probably a combination of a rested body, emotional well-being, a quiet mind (lack of disturbances – both internal and external), a quiet place, relaxed and undisturbed breathing and a probably few other subtle things I may not be conscious of. It takes time for these conditions to build up and accumulate to the point where I am compelled to get on the mat. Currently it seems like at least 2 or 3 days of reasonable flow.
My practice consists of basic S(K)LBS a href=”http://iamronen.com/category/yoga/asana/”>asana. I avoid calling on discipline to extend my practice. I practice while there is a clear momentum forward. Sometimes I complete my intended practice. Other times I do not. A peaceful and present savasana is a peak experience for me these days. When it arrives, my practice is usually over. On rare (for now) occasions I experience enough vitality to carry me through a complete asana sequence and into some pranayama and a short sitting.
These recent practices gift me a subtle and profound experience. On some levels I am in a lesser state then I have been in the past: less flexible, less strong, less breathing capacity. However I am also finding that there is something that hasn’t been diminished. I could probably think of a few ways to describe or intellectualize what it is … but those expressions (as they appear inside my mind) fall short of the experience. My flexibility, strength and breathing are temporary and fleeting features … I feel as if I am witnessing something of the light which is real and eternal. It is a comforting experience … and I am both surprised and grateful that is so readily available to me.