My intention for my practice today was “I am here.” I want my full awareness out and on alert, to be present in my body, to greet life and be alive as alive can be. So many times, I am moving through my day without a lot of awareness of what I am actually doing. I am trying to be “fully awake” more moments in each day whether it is practicing massage, walking to Savvy Tea or eating my cereal in the morning. Sometimes, I imagine what I look like doing whatever I am doing as if I were elevated above like a fly on the wall. I like shaking up my trained perspective. The more I am waking up in my life, the more awake I want to be! Long way to go but the ride is good and getting better.
Sweating Through the Kinks to Get to the Good Stuff
Yoga was hot tonight, sweated more than usual which felt really good! My lower back is loosening and hip flexors are more pliable when doing Warrior 1 and 2 poses. Small, subtle physical changes are happening. The twists are wringing water from my body leaving me feeling leaner. My left knee is a tad annoyed with the motions. The arthritis I have under the kneecap feels like a hot knife-edge but it’s not as bad as it sounds. When laying in the final pose of shivasana, I saw an image of Mother Earth holding me. Fact is, I come from the Earth and someday will return to her. Connection to self and all living things, including the earth is a great feeling and a byproduct of taking this time to practice yoga.
Follow Your Breath Like the Yellow Brick Road
Consciously being with my breath for an hour a day slows time down by shedding all the other thoughts from my mind. Ideas ad thoughts flow in and out of mind minde. It's not like I say "Namaste" and voila! my mind is clear and focused. No way! Just the act of attempting this though, changes me. Even a little respite from acquired daily existence habits makes them somehow different when I return. In the beginning, I must take for granted what yoga is all about. All I know is by doing it, I am changed and it ripples through every other thing in my life. I am here, awake and feel part of life now and I want to stay here. I know my life is a path and I will get off and on many, many times. That's the deal. Getting beyond the resistance to this fact feels free.
I was in a pose called “Full Moon” today. It consists of balancing on one foot while the other leg is 90 degrees out; one hand touches the floor while the other is straight in the air. This confusing description isn’t the point. You can look it up online. What is key is it is really hard to balance, even if you are against a wall. Sometimes, I get the tension just right but many times, I lose balance when I get the hang of it. Rather than being embarrassed, falling out of a pose is an opportunity to experience that in a dispassionate way and see what getting back in feels like. Yoga says you should practice greater awareness of getting into poses, being in them, sometimes falling out, getting out of them and into another one. If I can do this, then maybe I can respond more effectively to adversity in my life. Patience, calm, persistence, perseverance, frustration, anger, peace, surrender and gratitude are all found in yoga and in my life too. The more I do this, the better I can live to my absolute fullest. Pretty cool.