The world is changing around me. Although I love change (bring it on!), I don’t deal so well with anything that could have been done better, but wasn’t. I have to work on that. A lot. My beautiful guru says “Have emotions, but don’t be emotional.” Well, I didn’t do so well today. So sorry.
This week I gave myself a yoga intensive – 2 hours of yoga every morning at 5:45am. It has been a huge undertaking as anyone who has committed to do something daily for a week, a month or a lifetime will tell you. Oh the pain of the body! Oh the pain of the mind!
To say it has been challenging at the physical level is about right. I have ached in every bone in my body, especially my hips (all those surya namaskaras) and my shoulders. One day it was so acute I took my work home and worked from my bed for the afternoon. Yet, miraculously, each morning, the pain has gone and I am ready for another undertaking.
My insights and learnings from the week actually have nothing to do with the yoga asanas.
- Firstly, it IS possible to get up at 4:30 or 4:45 every morning, without any trouble. And how pleasurable it is to be awake at that time. And how peaceful it is to be awake at that time. And as the preparation for the day is performed, how easily it flows at that time of the morning.
- Secondly, the ability to focus for 2 hours per day with a great teacher on yoga is a treasure, a luxury.
- And then how much easier it is to set an intention for the practice when you are practicing each day. If only once per week that intention is abstract, if every day it can have a concreteness that is wonderful to work with.
- I found a new way to sit. Sitting so often on the floor this week as part of the practice brings an awareness of that part of the practice (often ignored). I found accidentally a way to shift my weight which made a wonderful difference.
- I found that I was stronger than I thought I was.
- I found a new sense of balance. Not perfect yet, but one that has pushed through one layer of the fear that I feel in balance poses.
- I found that intense poses that stretch the shoulders (anything that puts weight on the hands, for example) releases the tensions in the neck and brings a different sense of being.
- I found that the swift style of the flowing practice that this teacher was using has great merit.
- I remembered that I like to build in the meditative component of yoga, and for me that means being able to “be” the pose, to totally be at one with the pose, to feel the pose.
- Surprisingly, I found that I grew to love the flow process but that I also love a slower, hatha yoga style pace that allows me to work with the pose while I am in it. I will create a practice that includes both.
- I had lots of thoughts about discipline, focus and mastery.
- I found that I would go back next week if it was on again next week.