There’s something about practice that requires a lot of discipline and effort. Perhaps this comes natural until it stops coming natural, or perhaps is self imposed and learned over the years, until it becomes natural. It wanes and waxes like everything else and we as practitioners exist in that space between the cycle of waining and waxing. It’s always the same cycle but everyday within that cycle is different. It’s important to keep that in mind as one moves through the phases of practice. To not remain fixed on one idea of practice. What is practice? Practice is the way you live, the way you relate, the way you make life less complex, more filled with ease, more filled with simple joys, more simple.
I visited my family this past week and decided to take a week of rest from asana practice, something I had not done in the past 5 years. In this time of rest I allowed myself to revisit ways of living that used to be part of my daily life – physical rest, something new and scary to me, late unplanned meals (without making special dietary requests). In short I allowed myself to be part of the environment around me, instead of being preoccupied about how to fit all my ‘yoga rules’ into other’s lives, in order to feel ok. It was unsettling to choose this route, but what I found was happiness, connection and rest. I felt a shield drop, a shield made of self imposed rules to be followed in order to feel like I could hold my title of ‘yogi’- whatever that is. What I discovered is that what I was doing was just creating separation between me and the people/environment I grew up in. My choices where shielding me and separating me from things and people that have always been part of my life.
It made my mom so happy to see me eat her food without requests or worries, my dad so happy to be able to enjoy a glass of wine with him. My sister and brother so happy to stay up late with me, and share moments to them special with me, it made me so happy to allow my body to rest for more then 5 – 6 hours a night and not feel like in order to be there for everyone I had to take away from myself. It felt so relieving to just allow it all to flow as it came. I never felt as if I was betraying any of my beliefs. If anything it felt as if I was embracing them even more.
I stand now at the end my vacation yearning to hop back on my mat and have some sacred quiet time with myself. To sit silently and connect to the higher force always supporting and protecting us. I can’t wait to have a green juice and wake up with a yerba mate. I look forward to see my students and be there for their practice. Patiently watching and guiding. I look forward to figuring out when I’ll reconnect with my own teacher. I wonder too how these two worlds will find a way to coexist. I’m exited to live without labels, and I encourage you to see what labels you tag yourself with and figure out a way to drop those and see who you are beyond the labels. I found I’m just a person that respects certain ideals and lives by them at her best. As a person that loves to find connection and ease with what is around her, a person that seeks limiting separation and discord.