02 August 2013

When your practice doesn't "work" for you. Ditch that Blue- print!

A the back of my mind, always reminding myself that we have to keep an open mind when entering into daily practice. Accepting the condition of the body for that particular practice.
 But I do caught myself a few times recently, feeling ridiculed by the tightness that are appearing at the spots that weren’t before! Whenever I reached to a deep- twisted pose (Mariachi D), I couldn’t close one eye about starting to struggles to get hold of the position. 

Then, it came the deep- flexion movement of the spine (Supta kumasana); gotten all amused by the stiffness along my spine.

Those two poses, which I had been spending most effort, time & patience with for the past couple of years; the moment when I felt most independent and comfortable handling them, it seems that I’m losing it soon.  

My gosh!

What is happening to me? Was it because I’ve tire myself out too much… or was it the heavy dive tank I was carrying previously… or was it my sleeping position was bad?

We often step on the yoga mat bringing a blue print along with us; an expectation drawn in our head, for our body to accomplish. Just like giving a child a piece of homework, and wanting them to bingo the correct answer--- else… it’s negative.

I wasn’t frustrated at all, just that it will keep my wondering the whole while, finding that missing piece of reason that could comprehend my questions.
Today after practice, I went up to James about my concerns.

He asked, “ So, what are the additional poses you have been doing these couple of months?  When did you start doing deep- back bends (referring to kapotanasana), and all those strength work?

Whenever there are changes being introduced into our practice, the body changes, and so does everything you’ve been doing before will get affected too. Nothing’s wrong.”

Now I understood. All along I’d been misunderstood that our practice moves only forward, it can be slow like a snail… but it has to move forward. Taking from another perception, it’s more like a wave effect. Whatever we are doing in the present, it does cause an effect on both the past & future.

Like the waves, it pushes up to the shore; withdraw back to the sea, and pushes forward again & again. Re- visiting yet moving ahead.
 In the practice of Ashtanga, we re- visit the same sequence, the same pose again & again--- however, every entry is a whole new experience. Today we may fly through the whole practice; tomorrow we may be dragging hoping to survive.

I used to compare my own practice taking as reference to my previous ones. But come to think about it, don’t even do anything comparison--- not with others not even to yourself.  Comparison creates an expectation, it makes the practice becomes a rehearsed performance.

Dropping all that, I started to see the bigger picture and inviting more flexibility in the mind. 

There aren’t any correct or incorrect answers; there are only connections between cause & effect.  
Once we learn how to see them, we understand.

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