Drop. Stand. Repeat.
December 17, 2013 § 7 Comments
And so it happened that today is the day where all my backbend dreams materialized on the mat. After 20 months (more or less) of struggle – both physical and mental – I did the whole drop back and stand up routine three times, in the middle of the room, with no props and no fuss. It was exhilarating, unreal and also very efficient, in the absence of looking for wall space, rearranging styrofoam blocks and the usual faffing that comes with pre-dropback prep.
It’s been an incredible journey to get here and while tomorrow (and the future) will bring another set of challenges, I sit here basking in the quiet joy and sense of achievement that comes from harvesting a really big fruit of intense effort and perserverance in this practice. The backbend journey has quite possibly been my biggest mental challenge in the four years of doing this practice, despite all the encouragements that have come my way. The voice of self-doubt is very strong, particularly when you’re working at the edge. What began as an introduction to a solid and unified part of the body (the shoulders and thoracic spine) evolved into an innate understanding of its different components: learning how to ‘speak’ with the shoulder blades as I draw them down, feeling the subtle articulations of each vetebrae as I arch back, practicing the synchronicity of legs, core, shoulder, spine and breath until I didn’t need to think about it any more. Until citta-vrtti nirodhah, as it relates to the physical practice, arose and allowed the body to do what it knows how to do best: move with the breath.
I know that this practice is not entirely about asana proficiency, but I couldn’t let this moment pass without recording it for posterity could I?