Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Ashtanga Foundations w/ Deb C.
6:30 – 8:30 a.m.
We concentrated on slowing down Surya Namaskar A+B and focussing on alignment throughout the sequence. I always find this really helpful as it allows you time to correct things that normally you'd just flow through. It's also through this practice that I'm learning that the difference between striving for improvement and being a perfectionist/control freak is judgement. When I remove judgement from the equation, I can accept where I'm at while wanting to get better, and avoid feeling disappointed or always looking ahead to where I think I should be or want to go. We also had time to apply this approach to the first half of the standing sequence. I felt like I could have kept going, but I plan on going to Asrael's class later and want to make sure I don't expend all my energy. Her approach always bring me back to the spiritual centre of my practice — the heart. It's a muscle I've neglected in the past and now I find that I really miss it if I don't make at least one of her classes a week.
I was reflecting this morning on something that we practice in Ashtanga — that when we stand at the top of our mat in Samasthiti, we should remember the thousands of other yogis and gurus that have stood here before us and honour that lineage. It's a wonderful thought, but I was thinking this morning that my practice begins hours before then — when my alarms goes off at 5 a.m. and I open my eyes to the profound darkness of the countryside an hour before sunrise. In that moment, while lying there considering leaving the warmth of our king size bed — dogs more often then not snuggled under the blankets between my wife and I, gently snoring away — is where I pause and consider the thousands of other yogis rising for practice at that same moment. Slipping out of bed and placing my feet on the rag rug that Debbie has so thoughtfully put there for me is where my practice really begins — and where I honour all the other yogis, regardless of experience or skill, who are doing the exact same thing, and perhaps thinking of me in the same way.