Wednesday, November 4, 2009

From Liz: Enjoying the Sights.

Funny, this sounds a lot like "do your practice and all is coming." ;-)

And I agree. Sometimes I get really caught up in the outer aspect of a pose, commodifying the end product for my own consumption. But reading your post reminded me to be truly interested in the process; the pose is not a fixed object, but a forever unfolding and fractal experience. The series offers me direction, but only as a framework, the poses are not cages, but springboards for discovery. (Do I sound a bit like a yoga bumper sticker machine?) You know that moment when the pose sort of clicks? Like, "oh yeah, there's trikonasana." It's smug. And ultimately, it's a snake eating its own tail moment: noticing my alignment means that I'm away from the breath, dristhi, "dharana-ness" of the practice. This self-satisfaction is short-lived, because I'm not practicing for the sake of trikonasana (or say, something more virtuosic, to show off like a party trick, in place of lampshade wearing... not that I haven't been guilty of both.).

In a vinyasa sequence, such as the one that I follow, it's easy to just slide from one asana to the next, like each is only a step towards savasana. But I need to stop and see the sights along the way, or I'll get bored with this song and dance. It's like they say about raising kids, that you should "enjoy it now, it goes really fast." You get so caught up in day to day survival mode that you lose sight of the sweetness of each moment. The next thing you know, you have an ornery teenager who won't let you kiss him in public. Terrible Toddler got his head stuck in the wine rack today (don't ask) and I just laughed and thought, "guess this is one of the sights I should enjoy along the way."

In his dvds, Richard Freeman reminds us that "ultimately, this is a breathing exercise." It sounds like an off-hand remark, but it's kind of like footnoting a brief sermon with, you know... the entire Bible. Which reminds me of watching this clip.

Listening to the breath in the room made me cry. Does that make me a big cornball?


  1. But I bet you "just get it" or click in other ways... in ways of totally being in and inhabiting a moment of practice...

    Lampshade wearing... hahaha! Probably more charming than our asana party tricks!

  2. hehe, new yogis love their public displays of asana, it's like PDA. No one wants to see your Urdva Dhanurasana, and no one wants to see you tonguing your boyfriend.