Practice time

When people ask me how long I practise yoga each week, I’m usually pretty evasive, second-guessing the response I think I’ll get. I usually down-play it, since most people look perturbed at the idea of daily practice. And even in the company of serious students/teachers I also hesitate to make my practice sound too heavy fearing the assumptions that all the time is spent in āsana practice — and that I should therefore be ‘better’ than I am! My practice has always been broader than that, but it’s not something that’s so easy to talk about. I guess in modern western yoga it might be more like what passes for sādhana, rather than an exercise regime.

roses and candles.jpg
practice today started with the inspiration of beautiful roses from the garden and ended some time later by candlelight!

Just recently I’ve made really generous space for practice at home, deliberately loosening the time restrictions and allowing myself more time to explore. It’s been wonderful. Longer time for moving towards and away from āsana practice in chanting, meditation or simple reflection is really important for me, I realise. Moving suddenly into or out of practice throws me seriously off balance. It’s my pet hate about going to class — there’s no time for a slow transition. I need to sit quietly digesting afterwards and there’s no space in a busy studio. I just don’t understand how other students can jump up straight off their mat and get on with life, instantly full of chatter, their minds already on the next event. I often feel as though I can’t imagine wanting to speak ever again!

I’d like to think this state is something like pratyāhāra, but that’s a bit grand and it’s probably simple fatigue for the most part! But I’ve had other pratyāhāra experiences recently. We’ve just started looking at Pāṇini’s rules of sandhi (how words join together) and pratyāhāra turns out to be a technical term for the way Pāṇini describes groups of phonemes. I don’t know if it’s the same word quite, but it always amuses me when I make links between my Sanskrit lessons and my yoga practice.

I liked it the other week when I’d been beginning to practise Ardha Candra Cāpāsana and I then read the word cāpam (a bow) in the Bhagavad Gītā. Small coincidences help knit my practices together. They definitely amuse my Sanskrit teacher when I tell him something about yoga-world; on the other hand, I fear my yoga teacher wishes I’d stop criticising the Sanskrit pronunciation I hear around the studio! Contemplating cāpam made me think of the other word for ‘bow’ as found in Dhanurāsana — but now I realise the pronunciation I hear (dan yoor assana) is way off. I think I’ll keep that small wisdom to myself 🙂

One thought on “Practice time

Add yours

  1. Since I’ve been retired, I’m able to devote at least a couple of hours each morning to practice. And it isn’t (usually) rushed… most recently, some Vedic chanting, some asana, some self massage as needed with therapy balls, some exploration… it’s so blissful.
    btw – I’ll have to look up capasana!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Beginner's Mind

Introduction to mindfulness, based in Huddersfield

mettatsunami

Tales from the inner and outer world

Views from the Podium

A Blog. A Book. A Yoga Community.

Peregrine's Progress

Books, Cinema, Food, Photography, Theatre and Travel

Brooklyn Mellows

Coffee, Kirtan, Comics, Counterculture

Radical Yoga

with Colin Hall

The everyday vegetarian UK

Recipes, reviews and musings of a vegetarian in meat fuelled world

Paperback Yoga

Modern Yoga in the Looking Glass.

musingnude

prose and poetry

flossyfeet

Turning left up the road less travelled..

Yoga with Marita

Education & Inspiration for Yoga Teachers

My Daily Yoga Practice

Inquire the truth of everything

From Outside The Mall

Celebrations. Lamentations. Stories. Strategies. Humor. Heartbreak. Love. Loss. Dementia. Mental Health. Social Work. Personal. Political. Views. News. Poems. Prose. Anecdotes. Made up notes.

Aarna Yoga

Journey to Strength

Iyengar Yoga Center of Denver

Spreading the teachings of BKS Iyengar

Strong Lotus Yogi

Yoga Teacher. Practicing Yogi

CocoLokeLiving

Insights, Thoughts & Community News

Andy Yoga

Yoga, Photography, and Fitness, oh my!

Scrappy Yoga

Stories from an unwavering spirit trying to find balance

Jess’s practice blog

Reflections on the moving body as practice

%d bloggers like this: