Pratyahara by the pool, with my ego (and others) for company

I retreated poolside this afternoon. I didn’t want a swim, I just wanted some quiet mat-time.

But we don’t always get what we want.

thumb_IMG_4513_1024My mum wanted to come with me. She wanted to watch. She also joined in for a bit!

Then Hubby came along. Partly I think to distract Mama. He took a few photos.

Then another resident came by for his after-work swim.

I felt rather self-conscious at first, but once Hubby was looking after Mama I let that go. I did a bright and breezy practice, feeling joyful and relaxed. I am on holiday after all! But pratyahara? No way. I couldn’t forget there were people about all intently watching me. I kept my attention on what was going on physically (ever thoughtful of my hamstring) but that’s not the same thing at all. That’s simply a form of concentration. I remained all too aware of what was going on around.

And I admit I had to work hard to keep doing my practice the way that I needed to, without reacting to any of the running commentary and questions that I could hear from my mum, bravely fielded by my husband. I like her interest and her curiosity, but she doesn’t see my mat time as the private practice that I want it to be. Need it to be. But I ended up feeling a bit selfish that I wasn’t engaging with others!

thumb_IMG_4523_1024As I was moving into my final poses the mosquitoes joined the party too, so I confess I decided to skip savasana.

As I rolled up my mat the man swimming called out to me complimenting my practice, insisting that I was ‘très souple’ and looked ‘professionelle’. He had apparently been watching me as closely as my family were. Very nice for my ego. My ego never takes a holiday!

4 thoughts on “Pratyahara by the pool, with my ego (and others) for company

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  1. Holidays are interestning for practice aren’t they? I always find being away from my usual routines means my intentions to practice yoga and meditation just fizzle away, partly to do with less private space but also just the sense of losing my bearings somehow. So I think it’s great you did manage to practice and probably it was an illuminating experience being so observed by others.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Jackie. Yes holiday yoga does seem bit of a luxury and certainly can be a challenge, but the change in circumstances (even the difficulty of fitting it in maybe) is very rewarding. For me the secret is aiming low, not trying to replicate my usual way of practicing, but just trying to find 10 mins for asana or sitting meditation — and then it often just evolves. Sometimes in unexpected ways!

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  2. It certainly is different when we change our practice context. It can be quite “enlightening”! But I’m always so happy to return to my practice room : ) Bravo de continuer de pratiquer en dépit des distractions! À la prochaine…

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