| You could think of the|
learning curve as going within
rather than down, after the peak.
Pinterest photo from here.
This of course does not mean he does not practice for he does, and his time on the mat is important. What it means is that the thrill of those first sessions has changed and what is extracted from the practice is now-a-days more refined, subtle, different.
We got to talk about that first year of yoga in particular and how, starting with asana (poses), when it sticks, meaning when you actually do it week after week and for a while, makes your life change so significantly.
In my own case the changes were dramatic. I lost 30 pounds without really trying, although I prefer to use the word "released" rather than lost as I would rather not "find them again". I got focused on the work I love, I became real to the fact that I had character defects, and I was overall set in a completely different direction from where I had been going.
Tony could relate. He also had a weight release journey and became much healthier in a dramatic way during that first year.
Then came the following years.
What I find interesting is that even though yoga has become part of our lives for both him and me, these days both him and me relish other sides of the practice. Yes we both enjoy the physical aspect but we have in our own ways and in two different styles of yoga found the journey to spirit as well.
For example, he was never been one to practice asana (poses) every day because he has learned that is not only difficult with his loaded schedule, but also he discovered that:
"The positive physical impacts might be lessened without adequate rest, and, skipping asanas on some days helps me learn and experience other elements of his yoga practice"
He practices three times a week and by "other elements" he means for example his relationship to the world, his taking responsibility for his own actions, how the practice translates to life and how it does not end in the rest pose at the end of a class.
|Beautiful 8 Limbs infograph from Alison Hinks|
For me the journey continues to deepen by the mere fact of keeping a blog on yoga. I think we share, teach or write about those things that we are interested in and want to learn about.
It also helps me to write about every book I read on yoga and every experience I have and how they help the transformation process. For instance, the work on "how to deal with crappy people" (extracted from the yoga sutras) has guided me into a better place in life where I surround myself mostly with people who encourage growth rather than sabotage it.
And I don't say that lightly, the post and the thinking that went behind it, the answering of all the questions and the realization that we are not along took quite a bit of reflection and turned out very practical, very applicable to this time, today, this moment and the issues that come up in our century.
These days I am finding that the practice unfolds in new ways every day. Books that I need to read come to me, new ideas, feelings and sensations that point towards the direction of the journey within, like for example those found in Carl Jung's The Red Book which I am reading with enormous enthusiasm or people like Eckart Tolle whose podcasts have been a treasure to listen to.
I am in awe at the learning curve that the first year of yoga brings about, the sudden realization which comes pretty soon that the practice is much deeper than just the poses, the health benefits of those precious first few months.
I am also in awe at what happens afterwards, how we make it our own, how it informs and affects every level of our daily life, the rabbit hole of curiosity we fall into, the situations in life that are presented for exactly the purposes we need to understand, work on, learn from, and the way in which the Forces that Be send us the materials we need to cope as well.
Tony was introduced to yoga within the very hot rooms of a Bikram yoga practice, I came in through the hatha yoga tradition and then established daily practice in the lineage of Krishnamacharya, Jois, Iyengar and Ramaswami.
I see now clearly that it does not much matter which style one gets introduced to yoga in, there is no room for dogmatism or harsh ideals because every person is different, and we never know what the entry door may be for another person, only that person can tell.
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