I had stopped trying! Before I went away from the practice for what seemed like an eternity and was 2 months in actual earth-terms, I had simply stopped trying. I was doing my practice every day but I think I had come to a compromising notion of what 'my edge' was. It was not. I had fallen into the trap of confusing edge with boredom, or with 'that's about enough'.
Over the weekend I watched a great DVD on backbends (Grimmly reviewed it today) and was taken by the instructor's suggestion to 'go beyond the physical limit'. I frowned.
Yet, once on the mat, during the last few counts of every pose I found myself remembering it and going beyond. That is when it hit me. This is similar to what happens when I get a good adjustment: adrenaline gets shot, my mind snaps, the breathing needs attention to go back to ease, and yet, the body can do, it can go beyond!
Facing time in the mat today I find excuses, like more tea, or writers' block. I think I know what it is...
|Richard way deep in Hell with Guruj|
Richard Freeman described it as "Entering the doors of hell". That is the wording he uses to describe going to his early Mysore practice with Guruji 20? 30+years ago. That is how it feels when we are really trying, working it, getting deep into the asana.
Granted I am still recovering. Yesterday I had to stop the jump backs and throughs after a kurmasana adjustment because my arm started acting up, getting real tired, in pre-Lyme-disease style, scary stuff.
I never push, dislike getting hurt. This new endeavour of 'going beyond' is one that I am doing with surrendered mindfulness and one that I would not recommend to anyone, it is my personal practice and it is happening cause I realize I had stopped working it.
How does that look like?
- Observing with deep absorption every move and seeing truly how far I can go, then going a bit deeper
- Taking each asana as it comes, one at the time, taking my time
- Repeating an asana if it does not come
- Going for the hands through in garba pindasana with the full water ritual if necessary, even if the lotus is not quite there yet
- dropping back again
- Savasana feels like heaven
I've received a few compliments about the angelical energy of my home shala. The floors are quite beautiful as you can see and the light is special. My version of hell.
Maybe I needed two months away from the practice to realize how much more energy it needed. Nothing like having to rebuild from scratch to become a quick study.
Negotiating in Asana
Keeping It Interesting