“They get too close to the horn with the mikes and don’t give the sound time to travel as they should. Consequently, they don’t get enough of the real timbre and they miss the whole body of the sound. They get the inside of it but not the outside as well.”
John Coltrane

Coltrane - The Story of a Sound

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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