18 January, 2012
Today practice was good, right up til Backbending, which for me is a great challenge. Moving into Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Facing Bow, or Wheel pose) itself isn’t so much the tricky bit, I’ve learned how to be patient and allow my shoulders and back to let me know when they’re ready for me to test them a little more each day, I’ve overcome the fear of falling and of the potential embarrassment (clearly resident only in my own mind, for every teacher I’ve encountered in learning this pose has shown me far more compassion and understanding than I’ve shown myself), what remains is the ability to stand up from this pose consistently.
A word before I go further, Ashtanga isn’t about any ONE asana, it’s not about doing the ones you like and avoiding the hard stuff, it’s about finding your deepest, truest self on and off the mat, patiently, quietly, breath by breath, posture by posture, dristi by dristi.
With that said, I’m now clearly aware of what Wheel Pose and standing up are trying to show me about myself, on and off the mat. For me, it’s about finding my foundation and seeing things through. Today when I did my first drop back and came up, Sharath was there, he said “very good”, I explained that I wasn’t getting the posture consistently, and he said “too much thinking, just focus on the asana”, then he watched me do the same thing and said “If you don’t have your legs, you can’t come up”. How true, other teachers have told me this “press into your legs, use the strength of your thighs and pelvis, feel as if you’re grounding through the earth. Perfect advice for airy-fairy me. It’s more than a physical thing. I find commitment a hard concept to process, even the idea of purchasing furniture is frightening for me, I try never to hold onto things or people, for that matter. But I need grounding and balance, or I will surely drift away on the first breeze to Never-Never land. I’m a good starter of things, always make a good impression, but I become easily bored, and don’t finish as strongly. This has hurt me, personally and professionally, and comes not from a fear of failing, but being completely completely frightened of my potential. Yes, strange, I’m working on it, letting myself truly shine. I’ll get there.
This is why I think Backbending comes where it does in the practice, it’s the last really strong outpouring of effort you make before you can ease up and relax a bit into the soothing flow of Finishing postures. It says “store your energy, finish strong, know where your feet are, commit and seal your practice”. I love that, I love that it took me 3 weeks to get it, to really get that message. I now find myself thinking “I want to be diligent in my practice, aware of my body, relax when my tendency is to panic, and above all, push into my foundations (physical, mental and spiritual) and as Sharath said “make your legs straight as you can and strong and PUSH with your hands”. I want to stand up on my own two feet and find the peace in the lesson this posture, and this mighty practice and lineage are here to teach me. And I believe if I just keep doing it, keep trying, keep committing, keep with faith and the 4Ds (dedication, devotion, discipline and determination, especially the last one) that I will.
Wow, that felt good to say out loud 🙂
1 December, 2011
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes insearch of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” Paulo Coelho, “The Alchemist”
So goes my favourite line of one of my favourite books, and now I go even further in discovering myself and my Personal Legend – Ashtanga, India, teaching, writing, taking more responsibility for the adult I’d like to think I’m becoming.
I haven’t written in a while, hiding from my most honest way of expressing myself – no excuses, just write more
28 August, 2011
…not that I really went anywhere, but for a while I just couldn’t, or maybe didn’t want to write….hopefully I’m back for good
here’s a mix track to soothe you like Savasana, and here’s hoping you had a wonderful weekend and will have a great week – for the Ashtangis out there, new moon passes, back on the mat tomorrow
she who weaves words
28 August, 2010
I created this blogspace almost two years ago, telling myself “You’re interesting, you MUST have something of worth to say, something significant that the universe wants to hear”. And then…….NOTHING, rien, nada, niente….and so I left it, and almost forgot it was here.
But now it feels different, it feels RIGHT, “I” feel ready and I don’t even think I have to come up with anything earth-shattering, life is in the little things, after all.
So I’m going to write, sometimes epic rambling conversations with myself that I hope won’t suggest to my friends and family that I’m slightly nutty (they probably know this already) and sometimes pithy pieces of whatever happened to me in the now.
This blog is intended to support my site (still without name, except the word ‘sadhana’ will be in there somewhere…go google it ^-^ ) which is all about my passion for sustainable living in all its forms, so there are days when it’ll be serious, you may even think I’m pontificating…yoga and healing, awareness, activism, volunteerism, vegetarianism, sustainable agriculture, diet and tourism, philosophy and faith…(geez, that’s a LOT)
And then again, I’ll get silly (i PROMISE you the week of March 4-9, 2011 will be COMPLETELY devoted to me playing Mas in Trinidad – lookit my profile picture to see the cute costume I’m going to wear! woohoo!)…and that’s OK too
I write for me, because NOW I know there is no time like NOW…and I LOVE that…
so, OK, enough from me for NOW :)….que l’aventure commence -let the journey BEGIN!