Well, I’m a week and a half outside my OBX experience. And I’m glad to be home with more control over my day to day experience, climate, food, routines. But wow I miss the yoga!
While at the Outer Banks, my normal morning practice, before any of the “extras,” was taking about 3 hours. I don’t even quite know what I was doing for so long, but wow, it felt pretty great! Every day was one of those blissed out experiences I remember from the beginning of my ashtanga practice when everything was new and exciting, and change happened in big leaps. I think it’s common, as the practice goes on, for the change to happen in smaller steps, the day to day to feel a little less revelatory, but still, it’s nice to have those exciting moments.
Back in the world of work, family and friends, dealing with insurance companies and family dramas, and trying to make important decisions, the yoga can’t possibly take such a front seat. I still get on my mat every day of course, but the longest window I’ve had has been an hour and forty five minutes, and really, the usual is more like an hour twenty to an hour and a half. And my first thought was, oh my gosh this isn’t enough! I’m ruining it!
Ha. You have to laugh at me. I do. It’s enough. It will have to be enough. One day the practice is long, another it’s short. One day it’s free and bendy another it’s a little stiff and heavy. One day my mind is quiet and another it’s whirring like one of those pinwheel things in a hurricane. This is just life. This is the way it will be as long as I am not living in a cave.
And, it seems to be working anyway. I continue to practice. I continue to find new amazing groups of practitioners, new friends and welcoming teachers. I continue to find the strength to go forward and discover who I am meant to be in the world and then actually follow through with it. (Though ps, that’s much harder than putting my feet on my head.)
And, I’m reminded of what I’ve been told about the practice from several wise sources. One of the beautiful things about this yoga is that it accomplishes a lot, all at once. It was created for “householders,” people in the world who have obligations and families, rather than sannyasins who practice and study and contemplate the divine all day long. It would be nice if we all had that leeway. But since we don’t, we have the gift of this practice to work on our minds by going outside in, starting with the body and the breath. We get to practice posture, breath work and meditation all in one helpful little package.
And yes, I wish my daily yoga windows were longer. But I also feel better, even for the short ones. So I’m trying to remember the feeling of “amazing” and bring the bliss to more ordinary moments. And yesterday, when both the BHH and I were upset and couldn’t seem to find our way out of that mind space, we took a loooong walk. Ok, there was no ocean. But I think I like the fall leaves even a little better. After 3 miles, mountain and river views, and a lot of blustery fall air, we were both calmed. Now that’s what I call bringing the practice home.
Of course, our dinner with friends and the delicious Riesling they brought didn’t hurt either. But hey, there’s the joy of my “normal, real life.”