Revisiting

So useful to read and re evaluate again what you think you already know. This started by wanting to refresh a little knowledge before traveling to India in October, but it has turned into listening to other smaller booklets, pamphlets, links and articles I have saved. I know I am not the only one who has found daily practice incredibly hard this winter. Repeating to myself you only have to do 3 As and 3 Bs has saved me from not practicing. Goodness knows what stories I would be telling you and myself for not practicing if I had to still get my ass to work outside the house in this weather. It is not just the cold and the bad driving conditions and the lack of sunlight that is throwing curve balls at me ( I don’t even know what that means. Trick balls? I never chased or caught balls well anyway). It is realizing that I am at the intersection where progress in asana is defined by the poses I get to keep instead of the poses I might be given in the future. You know how we all see ourselves as the same kid/teen/20 year old in our heads? I always thought if I loose weight, and never drink again, and take glucosamine, and amp up my pranayama and suck up my bandhas while I fold the laundry the impossible poses will be accessible to me. But no. I know there is a lady in Kentucky who started in her late 50s and received authorization in her 60’s. I am going to guess she was not talking about how Winstons and Kents tasted awful compared to Marlboro reds and Camel filters at age 12. I am not saying I cannot be like her because I did that. I cannot be like her because the samaskaras I have to work keep being those kinds to this day. I listed to Claudia interview Matthew Sweeney yesterday and he had an interesting take on access to Mula Bandha. He said resolving certain aspects related to appetite and other root chakra “issues” is a precondition to finding it. Makes sense to me. I also saw an FB post today on my feed where David Garrigues shuts down the fantasy that you surely one day drop back or lower yourself to chaturanga like what you see on youtube if you started at 45. I thanked him for making that realization available to me. I was glad when I asked myself if I wanted to continue practicing ashtanga if I was not going to make asana progress and I (mentally) shrugged and said sure. I now know for sure that standing on the mat makes what my cyber friend David Cain describes as “the sky has fallen a million times  already” an occurrence instead of a disaster. He follows with the following advice: Being overwhelmed comes from a breakdown of your thoughts NOT the breakdown of your PRACTICE( okay he said your life). He finishes by saying “Things change pretty quickly when you start DOING things instead of thinking so much”. I’m also pretty sure that in my case it still means asana because he also mentions that “it is most tempting to not do things when you most need to do things.” So between re reading a post he wrote on Raptitude back in 2013 and the house recommendations from AY Ann Arbor’s Angela Jamison, I get to hang in there until spring!

8 thoughts on “Revisiting

  1. So with you sister, 100%… I got to practice today without using my arms since both have issues, it was …. interesting. haha. I confess to being slightly annoyed at people our age and older who can do the advanced asanas through a genetic gift and feel that those of us who were given different gifts (like you being a world-class hugger for instance) just aren’t ‘trying’ hard enough. All I can say is if you can drop back after age 50, huzzah for you! But don’t expect anyone else to do it. Just keep moving. That’s why I persist despite snow and cold and doubts and pain in my scapula and elbow (different arms, thank you universe for that)… sending you a thought hug right now. xoxo

    • I am collecting a personal hug soon. Frozen or not. I have given myself similar injuries putting on my bra. I will tell you that I am going to appreciate humidity this year. Feel better soon. xoxo

  2. This is so right Maria… I had what you mention here, that “breaking of the thinking process”, that “breaking of the image that eventually I would look like Kino”, that “parting with the expectations”

    Sometimes, on practices when I get “lucky” I don’t even get images of any teachers AT ALL.

    Sometimes I get to be on the mat alone just with the practice, and it turns into such an intimate, delicious thing….

    Thanks for writing!

    • I in turn was so happy to see teacher and mates. Although I am convinced that one of the so called Siddhis is the ability to practice alone. One that all of us should aspire to acquire, and probably the only one that is available to everyone for the asking. How else do teachers sustain themselves to sustain us? >

  3. I love this! Personal best in my own private Idaho…my favorite practice this year was in getting back to the mat after my near death experience in Mysore…I had been convalescing at home for about ten days when my energy and doctor had given me the go ahead to do more than rest and eat, it was far from pretty but I was in tears that I was alive, breathing and able to move, my ego just didn’t exist…messy, labored, but happy🙏 how pathetic that I almost had to friggin die to grasp that concept, and some days at this stage the memory dims…sigh:)

    • Gratitude is the most life affirming feeling. Even when you are not feeling relief, but the combo of gratitude and relief is the most beautiful prayer. Not pathetic at all. >

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