Residence: Effort and Ease

awake

Day 239 – Dawn or twilight? Day or evening? When is the right time to practice?  Creating and sustaining a practice requires practice.  It is about “rehabituating” our body, mind, and spirit, and learning patience and persistence of letting circumstances be.  Today’s reading is mostly Rolf’s advice on finding the right time to create a practice.  As it is my day off, I chose a nice long yogaglo practice with Marc Holzman with my daughter who is still suffering under a cold.  I waited till mid-morning and chose an hour-long, Level 1-2 class, knowing that I am stiffer, less mobile, and sometimes hurting earlier in the day (although not today, thankfully).  Most mornings I chose a short Level 1 class or Kundhalini practice or a 10- to 20- minute meditation.  Today’s reading is about just this:  the setting up and continuing of a yoga practice intuitively.

Similarly, in Meditations on Intention and Being, Rolf writes in “Effort and Ease,” what brings balance to our practice.  I choose meditation more often now than an asana practice.  I can already feel today’s practice (in a worrisome way).  He describes how many come to the asana practice to “fix something that is broken with unwavering effort,” but how continued practice “slowly explores what happens if we let up a little.”  He asks us:  “What happens if we trust life just this once?  What happens if we have faith?”  What happens when we “do less”?

When we practice wholeheartedly and intuitively we begin to develop new neurological pathways that ease our suffering and pain.  This can only happen if we are honest with ourselves.  Deep in the posture is not the same as deep in the practice.  Deeper in a posture does not touch my divinity.  I experience my frailty.  This is a lesson that I seem to present to myself over and over and over.  How do I then come to see that “yoga poses have become not so much something to do as a way to be?”

Rolf explains how my asana practice evolved into a now three-week meditation practice, writing that the “decisive factor in…[any yogi’s] ability to grow through a moment was not what she did but why she did it.  It was the intention with which she met the moment and how she embodied that intention that taught her about herself and how there was so much more to her than she knew.”  Just so, there is a moment, Rolf writes, “when the fan of sweaty poses beings to consider meditation.”

rewrite

Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast and the speaker as us to consider not what the world is, but what it could be.  What if our mindset and habits supported possibilities and did not try to cure the misunderstandings and misinterpretations and misdeeds of today’s worlds? What if we, as Marc Holzman pointed out in today’s practice, come from that place of divinity we experience on the mat? Our brains, our hearts, and our collective humanity can “rewrite” our destiny.  It matters not what time we practice or even if we practice at all.  Yet, practice makes us a better version of the one that reacted to lack of time, space, etc., creating reasons why we did or did not practice.  What matters to me is that my actions–my thoughts, words, and deeds–influence or light another’s spiritual path.  Learning to be kind to myself teaches me to be kind to others and this is the world that I wish to reside in.

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