Tuesday, December 28, 2010

tao Yoga - we're only human

The world wide web is jam-packed with yoga blogs and I’m about to add my own occasional teandoranges column to the sticky mess.

Why? Because I get the urge to write about my yoga practice, and the lack there-of.  However I view writing about my yoga pracitce like the Pharisees who prayed in the street and looked down their noses with a hypocritical, holier-than-thou attitude – or like the priests and prophets that pray in the street, weep and wail and tear their clothes proclaiming 'I am not worthy.'

Yep – that's the way I think when I think about blogging about yoga – like the former fundagelical that I am – it falls somewhere between being a spiritual Diva and physical martyr.

I love yoga, and I love it enough to know that as my rolled up mats collected dust bunnies this past year – I knew that eventually I’d come back around to searching for a practice that works for me – as a person who gets bored with routine but gets highs from the blood rushing to my head and addicted to the sensation of ligaments and muscles yawning open.

I love yoga enough to wait for it – and know that when I don’t physically practice – just thinking about my relationship with my practice, my relationship with my body, my relationship with my thoughts IS practice.

A few years ago I took a 235 hour yoga teacher training course. I spread it out over a two year period – and four years later I still have 5-6 hours left before I can fill out the final paper work to be certified. I’m not a hard-core yogi, less strong and less flexible than some, more than others – totally aware that strength and flexibility is not what is important in the end. Yoga is something that will be a part of the rest of my life. I want other people to consider it.

My yoga teaching classes transitioned me to the decision to go back to get a second degree so I can work in and create libraries. Going back to school this last year and a half reminded me how important it is to try to balance all that stuff going on in my head with all that stuff going on in my body.

And attempting the balance has brought me to this point… I’ve practiced yoga three times this last week after about nine months of not touching a mat.

The first day of practice – I just stood at the front of my mat, realizing how much work it is to stand and pay attention to my breath. I stood there spacing out, fidgeting, looking at my winter-fied toes, thinking about blogging, thinking about how long its been, wondering how ujjayi breath sounds to Study Buddy (my cat – yep every yoga blogger talks about their pets:). I stood there for over 5 minutes – not wanting to start something I couldn’t finish.

I finally got around to one Sun Salutation A and a few half-assed poses – and I knew I was in for a good time when a modified Warrior reminded me of the sensation of yawning in my legs… it felt so Good. I knew I’d practice again soon.

2nd practice this week, I fell into a kinda-sorta Ashtanga primary series routine… the kind of thing I do whenever I know I need to practice but don’t want to think too much about what comes next. I forgot to put this pose here and that pose there, skipped a quite a few altogether and rediscovered how stubborn and focused I feel during utthita parsvasahita (standing extended leg) A, B and C and how happy I feel as my knee drops in ardha baddha padmottanasana (half-bound standing lotus)– happy and vulnerable – a strange mix.

Today I decided to do modified half vinyasas between my seated poses – many of which I skipped altogether and made the executive decision to do no inversions beyond a moderated upward bow pose. In all I did maybe 50% of the primary series poses and only the A version of Sun Salutations.

I admitted that blogging about yoga is predictable and probably unnecessary. Looking at the post – I realize that it isn’t much different than writing about what one eats throughout the day. Not too worried about who reads or cares – but am worried, like so many yoga bloggers out there, that my attempt to find balance will require that I kick myself for over or under doing it in my practice.

I’m only human. Only human is more than enough.

hmmm p.s. Humans like to say “I” a lot.

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