Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Deepening the Practice

I've always processed things through words.

My teacher (hereafter referred to as Miyagi, for reasons that will later be explained) is always telling me to write things down when I discover them, to keep a record. Ashtanga is a life practice.

A few months ago my yoga studio determined that we had a large enough Ashtanga community to begin offering a self-practice room five days a week from six to eight each morning, in addition to the weekend led classes. I had said I would be interested, but life happened and I only made it to morning classes a few times. A combination of reading material, body grumblings, teacher scolding, and daylight savings time made me decide to commit to the jump - a six-day practice. So, with the help of an ungodly amount of hot chocolate, I started getting up at six last week, and although I missed Monday this week I got up (swith the help of hot chocolate, of course) and practiced yesterday and today. And I've noticed so many small things even just comparing two days in a row.
So, in the interest of deepening my practice, I'm going to write practice notes - hopefully daily - and blog them.

Maybe I'll learn something.

Today I did full primary in about an hour and a half - pretty standard for me. Miyagi popped up a couple times to give me adjustments: "Hey, do you need help? Psst!....DANIEL-SAN!"

My shoulders are sore from Supta Kurmasana, which I've only really started delving in to over the past week or so, so the soreness has kinda been ongoing recently. Beginning stiffness was so much less today than it has been in the past; by my second Surya A I was moving easily. I couldn't do standing-hand-to-big-toe to save my life today, but that's all right. Not sure whether it was because fellow practitioners had weird spots in practice or because I had subsurface stuff going on but I had to ground a lot more than usual. I also didn't get my head down as far as usual in the four wide-legged forward folds in standing series but when I got to the seated equivalent in the late half of practice my hips felt incredibly stretchy -bouncy, almost. So I got down really, really far. It felt fantastic. My back wasn't super flexible today, so I pushed up but didn't drop back. I got really weird feelings in Savasana today, of the hovering-six-inches-above-your-body variety. Could work my eyes but not my hands when I was ready to come out of it so I had to blink and then get my mouth working and then finally could get my hands to move before I could get up. That sort of ' do I get back up?!' feeling hasn't happened in a while. So yeah - it was good. I can't wait to go back tomorrow. I want my hips to stop grouching at me.

As Guruji was known to say, yoga is 99% practice - 1% theory. You cannot wait for your practice to arrive. You must go to it. With delight, or for comfort; for answers to the questions, or  for the questions themselves. Practice is not (entirely) something you do. Practice is a place at which you arrive. And to get there, you have to show up.

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