June 14, 2011 § 4 Comments
In the past few weeks I’ve been reminded by Ms A and the Cyber Shala about the importance of finding balance in the practice. More specifically, in walking the fine line between effort and laziness at every practice.
I’m a firm believer in balance, and in the underrated value of moderation. Eat, drink, laugh, cry, love, jump, indulge, work, practice yoga…all essential elements of a truly healthy life but each fully capable of tipping us over the edge if we’re not mindful of our engagement with it. I don’t believe in diets or bootcamp as a sustainable way to live, and definitely think that trying to ‘stay positive’ all the time does more harm than good.
I know all this theoretically – I’m very good at theory – but it is so damn hard to apply the principles of balance, especially in my yoga practice. Yesterday’s practice for instance, was one where stopping at Navasana would have been a wise choice, but no, I went and plundered ahead to Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana, fading into a sweaty Savasana heap by the end of it. The practice drained an already tired me, leading me to choose to skip a practice today to recover my energy. This is what ‘balance’ currently looks like as it relates to yoga in my life – practice practice practice, and then, skip a day or two when I’m exhausted. For a practice that’s supposed to be done everyday, this is not ideal, and I need to make it alot more sustainable if I want to continue with this whole yoga thing for the rest of my life. I feel like I’m missing something here about the practice, and I think it’s in working with it so that it complements and doesn’t erode my life (paraphrasing Peter Sanson as reported in Mel’s post). See, yet another idea that I understand and am in total agreement with, but remain absolutely clueless about execution…
Part of the problem too, is probably my ‘good student’ ego who wants to be the one that gets everything ‘right’, score full marks on attendance, effort and attitude and make it look effortless. This is probably a throwback from my days in school where I was hardly the model student even though I desperately wanted to be, and so I now try to compensate for that in any classroom setting I find myself in. I tend to view any abbreviation of the practice as ‘laziness’ on my end (again, a label I’ve come to internalize) which makes it hard to really listen to what my body is saying and to work with my energy instead of depleting it.
For those of you with a daily practice, how do you sustain it (apart from sleeping early)? Did you go through a phase where you had to ‘scale’ your practice from a few times a week to a daily one?