At the end of the day

Such a personally terrible day yesterday. If I say the suspect heart attack I was called to attend at work was not the worst bit, you’ll get a sense of it… So how to ease the pain I am feeling? Of course by a bit of yoga escapism! Now usually I think of yoga as all about turning towards not running from, but going to class and just doing what I was told felt like a nice abdication of responsibility for a while. I felt I could give myself that on this day at least.

In fact since the day was so epically awful, with bad things coming in threes, one class was never going to cut it — I doubled up. Drastic measures. Not something I do lightly. It seems kind of greedy — both in wanting so much for myself and in hogging a place someone else might need. But I did it. And the experience was a pretty interesting one and I learnt something from it.

When I double a class I know I need to practise really wisely, spreading my efforts and my energies and to take me through two practice cycles (which is different to one long practice). So the first class (just an hour) was all about keeping it light, using the practice as a kind of lengthy warmup. Nothing deep or sticky, just gently exploring. No attachment to any particular pose, no seeking depth or any kind of attainment. It felt a bit reserved, a bit held back, a bit like I wasn’t making enough commitment.

Second practice, a longer and stronger flow, and a deeper engagement. It revealed to me how much determination I usually bring to my practice, feeling that it has to be ‘good’ in some undefined way, it has to have a certain degree of commitment manifested by physical effort. But this was the practice when I let some of that go. A small attempt at aparigraha, with less desire for creating something, a strong recognition that stuff just happens around me, I’m not the focus, and I’m certainly not in control. I might as well flow along as best as I can, rather than always struggling in some other direction. All in all, I don’t really remember much of the practice, just calmness and a feeling that the practice was simultaneously everything and nothing. I lost myself.

At the end: humbled by the enormity of suffering in the world and the resilience people find in facing it, a heartfelt gladness that I have this practice in my life now that enables me to see and to feel with some honesty, even when it’s hard. Piercing clarity is better than dull sleepiness and apathy.

And eventually home to Hubby, who fed me and generally looked after me the way only he knows how to. Gratitude for this too, this marriage, individually together, where I can rest contentedly at the end of each day.

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