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You got served.

April 20, 2011

I have thrice now clicked on ‘x Comments’ at the bottom of this post, and thrice closed the window without actually typing anything. Wait, strike that.  Once I typed then deleted, partly because I wasn’t quite satisfied with my response, but mostly because I was near the bottom of my second glass of wine and thought that my dissatisfaction was probably warranted in a way I might not fully understand until morning.

I keep clicking because I like the post so much.  Yes, I’m happy for Loo that she’s made a beneficial adjustment to her practice, but lots of people I actually know in real life do that and I don’t usually care all that much.  So I think it must actually be, like everything in my head, About Me (don’t judge – it’s my head after all).  What I can’t figure out is why.  Am I happy that another Ashtangi more disciplined than myself has “fallen” (though when you’re still practicing five days a week, that’s really not a fall of any sort), thus validating my daily (1+) morning (2+) not always Ashtanga (11,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000-) practice.

Or maybe I’m happy that another person has figured out what I can’t quite yet internalize for myself: that there are no one-ups in a yoga practice, and there are certainly no eleventy bajillion point losses.  There’s just practice.  As often as you need.  In the form you need.  I need daily because I’m an all-in-or-fold person.  I need morning because I’m a right bitch at work otherwise, and because I don’t want anything to interrupt the endless train of snacks that marches into my mouth from mid morning until my early dinner.  But that’s me.  And just because those aspects of Ashtanga suit my lifestyle doesn’t mean I need to adhere to its every esoteric rule, especially the ones we Ashtangis somewhat arbitrarily impose on ourselves and on each other.

I cheat on Ashtanga.  There, I’ve admitted it.  And while I would never advocate this in a romantic situation with another real live person, I think my indiscretions against Ashtanga only strengthen our relationship.  Sometimes, be it due to injury or boredom or anxiety about a particular teacher, I feel angry at the practice itself.  And in those times, I don’t want to give up on yoga, but I just don’t always have the strength to stay with Ashtanga day after day.  I know that discipline is one of the biggest pieces of the practice, but I’m not there yet.  So I do some vinyasa for a few weeks, play around with yin, get up and throw myself over a bolster for 20 minutes and call it “practice,” and it keeps me going.  In the end, I always come back, usually with a renewed level of dedication to the big-“P” Practice.   It’s just something Ashtanga and I have to do to keep our marriage working.

In the end, sometimes we need to double-check that our practice serves us, and it’s not us who serves our practice.  And we have to let everyone else do the same for themselves.  It’s just yoga, after all… right?

Post script: I tried to find an appropriately over-the-top clip from late-night trash show “Cheaters” to represent the scene Ashtanga and vinyasa might make fighting over my loyalty.  Within a few minutes, I’d lost 30 IQ points and gave up my search.  There’s actually nothing funny about that show, and I love my yoga – all my yogas – too much to cheapen them with the comparison.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2011 12:45 pm

    “I need daily because I’m an all-in-or-fold person. I need morning because I’m a right bitch at work otherwise, and because I don’t want anything to interrupt the endless train of snacks that marches into my mouth from mid morning until my early dinner.”

    You know, all of these things were true for me too, for over two years. But we change, and sometimes there is a lag between realizing what was true for us then and what is true for us now. I was reluctant to change but finally had to do something, anything or I was going to throw in the towel. I never cheat on the actual practice. I never skip or add, I just do. I just no longer flog myself if I don’t practice everyday, and my body is thrilled with the extra rest. The eating thing is very interesting too … good point you make there! Now I am on a food fast from 12:30 to 7 pm and it’s made me aware of just how much food I was shoveling in all day to try to make up for the exhaustion. I could go into reasons why, now, at this point I need more rest but that’s a post, not a comment!

    Happy my little confessional inspired you! Just practice how it’s best for you, at this moment in time. Even if it means lying over a bolster (wow, that sounds nice!)

    • April 21, 2011 1:15 pm

      “But we change, and sometimes there is a lag between realizing what was true for us then and what is true for us now. ”

      Very, very true.

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