August 13, 2012 § 3 Comments
Practice has been very difficult recently. I hinted at it in this post, and look, here I am writing about it again. Please indulge me.
At one level, we all know Ashtanga’s asanas are hard. But I’m starting to discover that, beyond a certain point, the difficulties are no longer in the physical realm. Or at least, not as much as they used to be. They’re in the mental and emotional spaces that color our experience of each practice.
The particular shade of “difficult” I’m going through is tricky to describe in a couple of words. It’s visceral, and it runs deep, embedded in my consciousness, like a stubborn piece of rock. And it’s there each time I step on the mat, with each practice shedding a little more light onto its form and its nature, delineating its parameters, breath by breath. It’s like a black hole that sucks the marrow of motivation out of any endeavor, installing in its place an endless supply of apathy. Each practice feels as if I’m voluntarily steeping myself in the bitter waters of struggle, challenge, fear and apathy, while having to maintain my focus on the quality of the breath. I am confronting the mental and emotional wall of the practice, being forced to stare into my own dark well of ugliness. It is not pretty, and I’d rather be prancing around on my mat like this was the easiest thing in the world. But this is where I am, and this is what I have to work through.