I want to be in class right now, to be listening to what my teacher is sharing today, to be sweating along with my yoga crew, synchronising my breath and my movements with them in an expression of belonging and togetherness. But wants and needs aren’t the same thing. And for more than one reason a vigorous āsana practice isn’t what I need right now.
Instead I’m at home practicing yoga the way I think I need it. It’s been a mix of japa, silent sitting, and some restorative poses.
I’m not sure what might be the most appropriate order for these activities. I’m making it up as I go along. Or rather I’m attending to some inner calling of my needs rather than the more obviously flamboyant practice I’d like to be doing.
Japa practice was wonderful. An empty house meant that I could chant out loud (without scaring Hubby) rather than the whispering I usually practice for the sake of domestic peace. It allowed for some fun playing with the Sanskrit sounds in my mouth.
And it made the silence following feel very deep.
I sat and rested in the silence as long as my body would allow. I’m really slack with any extended sitting practice since I started an āsana practice, so more than 20 minutes really starts to feel uncomfortable now. I thought that’s what āsana practice should prepare me for?! How then did I used to be able to sit perfectly comfortably for 40 minutes?
Then I took some restorative poses. I was deliberately exploring heart-opening poses here. Allowing my body to settle comfortably in a very gentle expression of a backbend, and then letting my mind go where it would, watching it to try to twist away from this openness, to fidget, weave its ego-based narratives. Then finally some relaxation in my mind and my muscles.
Back to japa briefly to complete the cycle. The same mantra, but now feeling subtly different.