That Asana

This morning on the mat I came to the point in my practice where I am currently ‘stopped’ and I had a moment that I think might just be worth sharing.
This point in my practice is the same point I was stopped at about 4 years ago.
This was right before my difficult divorce from Ashtanga yoga
That was back when I decided it was not for me and I should follow another path.
Back then, I believed, no matter what I did, this asana (yoga pose) was not going to change and I should just stop trying.
And not only should I stop trying this asana – I should dump Ashtanga yoga all together!!!

In the years that followed I played on the mat like a child in a play park!
Until Ashtanga returned to my life once again.
To cut a long story short, I came back to Ashtanga as it pulled me like a magnet out of nowhere.
That force was so strong to return to this practice, regardless of all the turmoil of THAT POSE…
And, here I am again.
Pincha myaurasana, aka ‘Peacock Feather’ & the beastly hurdle in my path!

Sri T. Krishnamacharya in Pincha Mayurasana

I came back to practicing Ashtanga about 1.5 years ago on my return to the UK from Costa Rica & The USA.
Looking back I remember how strongly I knew inside – I just had to get back on the mat and take a good look at whatever this was all about.
I’d been practicing ‘Vinyasa Yoga’ alone as a traveling yogi, essentially ‘making up’ my practice every day, enjoying the creativity and lightness of it all.
But I was avoiding something – for sure – and just as the travels had not worked out the way I had hoped, nor had my divorce from Ashtanga yoga…
Are these two things related? I think so. I could go a lot deeper on that, but not today.
So, back to this morning, as I hit that point on the mat.
I sat back and breathed. I looked at myself. Then I looked around the room (naughty wee yogi ~ should not look around the room!).
And, all I saw, everywhere, was pincha mayurasana moments – EVERYWHERE!
Everyone seemed to be, at some point, hitting ‘that pose’.
Not literally that same pose, but their version of it, and what I saw in them was just a mirror of myself.

This practice is always the same in that, no matter what pose you are ‘stopped’ at, something is going to come up and it is not going to be easy.
It might be in your first class, it might be 10 years down the path…
The Ashtanga sequence is quite literally, perfectly designed for this.
No matter who you are, where you have been there is something in this line up of complex asanas waiting for you.
What to do with it when it comes up is up to you
My advice: DO NOT to get a divorce from Ashtanga!
Don’t waste your time… don’t run away.
What I noticed this morning in my mind was that, all too common, ‘yoga frustration’.
Here’s what I wanted to share… This is what I thought before trying that pose one last time:
“So Wee Yogi (that’s me) you’re frustrated and you don’t want to be? But you are frustrated, right now, you are frustrated, so just accept it and feel it, sit with it and be with it.”
So, I did.
Slowly but surely, day by day and with the help of my wonderful teacher Sarah Hatcher and all the lovely breathing yogis around me – pincha myurasana – is coming… as are all the other poses in the room around me.

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