I'm reminded of the effervescently existential Talking Heads song, "Once In A Lifetime" :
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
At least I'm pretty certain I know how I got here. For some time, I had felt very much like taking a step back from my tendency to push to far physically. Coming from a dance background, where there was always a strong push to perform and in many ways to ignore bodily feedback, it was a shift that was really powerful for me. Demanding less, listening more. Allowing softness and openness rather than forcing form. Heart over ego, spirit over critical mind.
But now, I stand at a juncture. I'm so much kinder to myself now than I ever was, but I am craving the exploration and expansion of asana. My desire to re-connect with the challenges of the physical practice are strong.
Now that my cleanse is over, it feels like the right time to start building. My goal is to start simple, but be consistent. Sometimes that means sneaking in a 25 or 35 minute practice with my favorite yoga DVD (Eoin Finns epic 6 disc Blissology Project, just in case you're curious). Other days that means getting my behind in to the studio and sweating it out, like I got to last Wednesday in Christy Marsdens Heated Flow (damn that was fun!). It means giving myself the time and space to move organically and intuitively as well; throwing some music on my iPod and letting it blast as I let my body lead the way through a pose flow. This commitment to my practice has to honor how I feel today, meaning that sometimes a restorative practice is the best thing I can do. The most vital thing however, is that there is some sacred time and space made in the day that is mine to enjoy in synergy with my bodymind.
In a way it is taboo for me, as a yoga teacher, to admit that my practice had fallen by the wayside. But I am a human after all, and I know from talking to other teachers, that this is a common enough occurrence. I think it's important for me to be honest about where and how I struggle as well as how I navigate obstacles on this yogic pathway. I have to be willing to bring all aspects of myself to the mat; from the part that can rock a handstand to the part that face plants during an arm balance.
Yesterday, while practicing, I experienced moments both bitter and sweet. And it was a great reminder of how what we do on the mat works as a metaphor for what we do in our lives. Keep showing up, keep exploring, stay curious, allow yourself to fumble and fall without tearing yourself apart. Remind yourself daily of the miracle you are-cells, and microbes, and electricity all cosmically conspiring together to be the unique and distinctive expression of divinity that is YOU. For a limited time only...so you best enjoy the ride while it lasts :)
Just in case you're in the mood for a little Monday morning dance party (and really who isn't?), here's a link to that Talking Heads song.
Shooting big heartbeams your way,