Well, it’s been quite a week.
I’ve literally hit a wall in my practice (well, more literally, I hit the floor!).
I reached a point yesterday when I truly started to understand why people quit Ashtanga. It seems as though everyone gets to a certain point with their personal practice and then BAM! the realities and intensity of the path of Ashtanga hit you and you have to ask a few questions and make a big choice: Is it worth it? Do I really want this that badly?
Well, I do. I’m stubborn and a hard-ass sometimes. I’m kind of lazy and whiny too….but I’m not going to let that part of me win.
A few people have asked me “what I’ve learned” from my fall/accident. To be totally honest, I have no clue, and I don’t really care, I just want get back on top of my game.
I’m not convinced that it happened because I “wasn’t listening to my body” or that I was “leading my life with my head rather than my heart” etc.,
Really, I think I just fucked up. I lost my legs and surprised myself.
But, on a very practical level, what I’ve learned is that right now I have to start all over again – retrain my body, retrain my mind and I have to be persistent.
Abhyasa, right? Consistent dedicated practice.
Along with Vairagya – non-attachment to the outcome of my practice (oh boy, that’s the kicker).
Those are the wings of the bird and you’ve gotta have both to make the sucker fly.
Yesterday I made it through my 10 Sun Salutations before I flopped onto my mat and started my fuming internal dialogue. My practice was screwed from the start. I woke up pissed off. I hated those freaking iPhone crickets chirping at 5:20am… I hated them so much.
Before I had even opened my eyes, I was already examining my schedule for the day to see if there was an alternate time I could do my practice, but there was not, so I pulled myself, my bad attitude and my pounding headache out of bed and begrudgingly walked in the dark to the studio, where my mind won the battle in less than 30 minutes.
I left the shala in a huff and got back in bed for a recharge nap, hoping to wake up and start the day over again with a new attitude.
Fiancé Yogi said something to me yesterday afternoon that really inspired me. He said something along the lines of…
“I was thinking about what people say about how raising kids is really the 7th series, the hard practice…but you do it, with commitment and attention because you love your child. Well, I think you need to do that for your practice.”
Me: “Do what? Love it? I don’t love it though.”
FY: “Well, Frances, you’re going to have to fall back in love with your practice. You can cultivate that love, you have to, otherwise, what’s the point?”
Wow – I sure do love that man.
So, that’s what I thought about during practice this morning. I actually slept in and went to 8am Mysore (good start!). I told myself very firmly that I just needed to push through today and not allow myself to crumple down in defeat. I kept a rhythm with my breath and I tried to ENJOY it!
I tried to open my mind as well as my body in each of the postures – to make space for the wonder, love, beauty and Grace that is inherent in the daily practice, the continual exploration of the Self that is Yoga.
I even did 3 drop-backs with the sturdy and loving support of Fiancé Yogi. It’s been exactly a week since my concussion and it was time to face that fear and start dropping-back again (always starting now with my arms way stretched up in the air!).
I think I’ll be working with support for a little while with my dropbacks until I feel fully grounded and strong enough to brave it alone, and that’s OK. Remember? Vairagya….it’s what I’m working with.
As I take this time to strive persistently at falling back in love with my practice, I think I’m going to step away from the computer for a bit. Between elephant journal, blogging and wedding planning, I’m looking at my screen too much. I haven’t picked up my ukulele in 2 months and that’s a crying shame.
If I’m really going to get head-over-heels, crazy in love, enfatuated and enamored by good old Primary Series again, I think we’re going to need a little alone time, if you know what I mean.
So, please excuse my silence for the next little bit.
But, maybe, if you’re lucky and you stick around for a bit while Ashtanga and I get a little more intimate, I’ll share with you some of our most poetically steamy love letters.