What I Learn through Asana

Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.

Mary Oliver, Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me

Day 109 – Rolf describes the American approach to asana: “Many new students have trouble with this [being firm but relaxed]. They tend to be unstable and panicky. Later on, having bagged a few postures, many students become strong and amibitous. Still later, these same folks become hurt and disillusioned. This is because we tend to approach our postures the way we approach our lives.”
I am as guilty as my students–I am results-oriented, presently chosing to push healing through my practice and wondering why it isn’t happening (so quickly). I grow disillusioned and filled with apathy. I work through this process again and again and again, despite the many years I have been practicing.
Today’s practice was all about slowing down (although it was a pretty quick vinyasa practice) and being present. Yet I think many of us yoginis try to heed Rolf’s advice and put what we learn on the mat into practice, imperfectly, until we are reminded again to “approach life and our postures with an eye to the process, and let go of the results.” We strive to “stand easy in all psotures of our lives, firm but relaxed.”

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