Non-Attachment

February 10, 2011 § 4 Comments

It’s been home practice the past couple of days as I trade the vigor of Ashtanga for more restorative poses for the coming week. I’ve been using the sequences from Bobby Clennell’s excellent book to calm the mind and nervous system. Very slow, dreamy and breathy – such a world of difference from Ashtanga! Today I decided to ‘spice’ things up with the Suryas and Uttanasana before starting the restorative series, which proved helpful in warming up the body for the successive poses, even if half of them involved just lying on a bolster and blanket and breathing 🙂

I had some sort of a breakdown a few days ago after a particularly stressful and (to me) unproductive day. You see, in my other, non-Ashtanga world, I write this blog and try to do a half-decent job of producing quality writing and photographs that are portfolio-worthy. Each post takes a lot of time and energy to produce because I don’t believe in publishing half-assed posts. There are enough of them floating around the space I’m in.

As with any creative endeavor, some days just burst with inspiration and ideas while others are a creative desert, as it was that day. Paired with a pressing timeline, my already limited creativity at that point had to draw on very little reserves to try to make what was essentially a block of pale orange fish mousse look as delectable as possible.

For what it was worth, I did what I could. The post was published, tweeted and shared, but throughout the process I felt horribly hollow. Like I had shortchanged myself and my readers by not producing the best images I was capable of. Waves of disappointment and discontent ensued, and till today, I can’t bring myself to look at the images without cringing. A little.

So that was my day. Accumulated emotions all pent-up and ready to ventilate by the time the husband came home. It didn’t take long for me to turn into a weepy mess, until he said something that immediately lifted the fog of self-flagellation:

“Every post you write is like your yoga practice. There are some days when it turns out just right, the way you want it, and there are days when it doesn’t, no matter how hard you tried. But the outcome is not important. What matters is that you did it. And you go back to the drawing board tomorrow and do it again.”

Considering that I stumbled upon this post on non-attachment the following day, I’ve got a pretty strong suspicion that the Universe is trying to teach me something here. To lighten up and not take myself too seriously, being one of them. Learning how to cultivate a kinder attitude towards my efforts could be another. Ultimately, as is the goal with all our endeavors in this life, to focus on giving one’s all in the present moment, without forcing an outcome that fits in our ‘matrix’ of wants.

Yoga. It’s the gift that keeps on giving isn’t it?

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§ 4 Responses to Non-Attachment

  • YYogini says:

    Gorgeous photos! Non-attachment is hard. Period.

  • Nobel says:

    You are so fortunate to have such a wise and compassionate husband! Yes, writing and blogging is just like yoga practice. Some days you’ll feel really great about what you write, other days not so. But the important thing is to continue, no matter what.

    I learnt this same lesson when I was working on my PhD dissertation back in grad school. One of my professors (and he doesn’t even do yoga) advised us to write 300 words a day, no matter what. It doesn’t have to be your best work. The important thing is to just keep writing, and then something nice will unfold (“Do your writing, and all is coming”).

    • D says:

      Yea, I really lucked out in the spouse department. It’s a daily reminder to be grateful! 🙂

      Recently came across Anne Lamott’s book, ‘Bird by Bird’, which is supposed to be about writing, but its principles can also be applied to other activities in life, like yoga. She advocates the daily 300-word minimum too and I must say, since pushing myself to do that, I have found writing to be a less painful process. Just like yoga!

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