Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another Confession

I am an asana junkie. I am. I always say yoga is more than asana, it is more than just physical, it is not just a workout. And it's true. It's more than all of these things to me. But apparently I am STILL not grown up in my practice. Without the asana I just have a hard time.

For one thing, my energy is different. I never quite get my energy going. I can't fall asleep. I'm not sure when to eat sometimes. I mean, if I don't have to do pashasana Sunday morning, does it matter if dinner doesn't happen till 9 PM? Well, it does, I feel better living a certain way. But without the asana "check in" there is just a little more leeway.

And, I keep saying I will start pranayama, all on my own. But I never do it. I mean, I know WHAT to do, but this is the proof that I am such an ashtangi at heart, I feel I need a teacher to "prescribe" it, to check in with me from time to time, to expect me to do it.

Meditation too. I have mantras of various sorts, but have I used them lately? No, I have not.

But here's what, I need the yoga, I need the pranayama, I need to take care of myself. I just can't go back to sleep the way I was before. And if I know what I should do, and what I need, and then don't do it, then I just feel bad! That's gotta be the definition of insanity. Doing something you know doesn't work, and yet continuing to do it anyway.

So, I've set up a little routine for myself. A milder one than if my foot were not broken (and not just as to poses), but a routine nonetheless. And when I really pay attention, I can almost feel as good as I do when I'm really rocking the asana in the prescribed ashtangi way.

For now, I am practicing every other day. Or, sometimes more, but at least every other day. If I get up, have coffee, and get on the mat, it happens. If I wait and pretend I'll do it later, the day just never materializes, even in other ways. And, each day I add a little something in. A little breath and bandha work before or after. A little philosophical reading. A little extra chanting. A few more modified vinyasas, a posture or two, also modified. And I listen. I don't do anything that hurts the foot. I don't neglect the rest of life for the time on the mat (hence the every other day, as everything takes so much more effort right now). And I take days of early to-bed, early-to-rise sometimes, alternating with late-dinner evenings and movies on the sofa with the night-owl husband.

Whoa, don't tell me this is the balance I always search for! No, I don't think it's likely to last COMPLETELY beyond the broken foot time. But maybe it will help me feel a little more detachment even when I'm back to the normal routine. I mean, I haven't fallen completely apart while being separated from my daily practice, so maybe one day when I'm back to the grind and suddenly have to miss practice to meet some house repair person or go to a job interview I will just get on the mat by myself at home, or let it go without letting it ruin my day.

Well, I don't know, I'm likely to have a hard time when I begin the process of regaining my physical practice, but I am hopeful that by noticing the now, and writing it down here, I will be able to retain some spark of self-knowledge and a teeny bit of detachment along the way.

Of course, all this only comes to me on a day when I actually did get on the mat! Ha.

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