Sleeping my way to enlightenment


Physical practice this week has been a bit of a bust. I accompanied Hubby to a Hot Power class at the weekend, because he wanted company. But the teacher came and asked me if I was OK during the class and again after the class because I spent so much time lying down! It made me realise how much more tired I am than I had noticed. Everyday activities = OK; yoga practice = not so OK. Once again yoga reveals what I’ve been choosing not to see.

Now my muscles are doing that ME thing they do, where they feel like they’re being twisted and pulled — all of them, all the time. Combine this with the normal aches you get when you stop practice for a few days and my body certainly isn’t a comfortable place to be in.

sleeping buddhaBut I’m trying to tune in, not out, and really feel it rather than avoid it and fear it. In Mindfulness teachings the idea is that making friends with unpleasant sensations in the long run decreases the hold they can have over you. A variation on “keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer” perhaps? You’re supposed to practice positive acceptance. If you snuggle up to an unpleasant experience and really get intimate with it, it’s much less scary and so all that tensing and worrying and catastrophising we do when we’re sick and it doesn’t seem to get better somewhat fades away. The unknown is scary, the familiar is merely unpleasant.

And it kind of works, you know. These days I’m much less freaked out by suddenly feeling like this. It’s still disorientating one day toddling off to work as usual, the next finding that taking a shower is too much effort and that there is no energy at all.

But still I’ll be happier when it passes.

merci beaucoup.jpgAnd when I’m back practicing āsana, I’ll be happier again. sthira sukham āsanam will, for a while at least, take on a whole new meaning. It’ll be like beginning all over again. Practice will be sensational — literally, I mean. “Full of sensations” rather than “looking spectacular”!

It will remind me to be sweetly grateful on the good days when all things can too easily be taken for granted.


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