Saturday, June 4, 2011

A little slow?

It took me some time to understand what has been going on this week.  I thought I arrived here on my own, but in fact there has been two of us:  me and my ego.  So what's the problem with that?  It's rather like your shadow - you just cannot do what Peter Pan had done and cut it off - it's there all the time.  It's not that I mind sharing the villa but I like to be the one making the decisions.  And that wasn't the case this week.

But I didn't even know what was going on until the weather warmed up, the rain stopped and the wind died down - and then I could get a yoga practice in and there we were:  the two of us sharing the same mat, and that just doesn't work.

I had to get into each posture and make myself let go - each time - just let go.  Forget the past - forget what I used to be able to do - forget what is possible in the hot room - and instead, accept what my body can do today, in this moment, in this place, by the pool, in the wind and the sun.  Underneath it all we are all beginners.  And once I shoved my ego off the mat, then the practice made sense again.  It took a long time - the practice was slow and careful. 

And then the past week made some sense:  I had not let go.  I had found myself wandering around, not settling into any one thing, up and down, trying this and that - expecting that a new routine would just materialize out of thin air.  But it didn't.  So then I began to question what I was doing here. Was I going to meet the expectations I had when I got on the plane? And what would happen if I failed to meet those expectations?

Finally the penny dropped and I remembered all the times when I encouraged students to leave their expectations outside the hot room and accept each practice for what it was:  good, bad or indifferent. The big thing was to turn up and try;  let my body do its thing and not let my ego drive my practice by going further that my body was ready to go.  Accepting the situation and being comfortable in that moment.  Nothing happens unless you turn up.  As Robbie Schaefer wrote in Monroe, "it's only a miracle if you turn up to receive it".  The yoga is a miracle but it doesn't happen if you don't turn up.  But you cannot share your mat with your ego - as I found out today.

So do yourself a favour and ask your ego to stay behind while you go do what your body can do best - heal itself.  You just have to trust it.  You may not go as far as you expect to go, but it's better than not turning up at all.  We all have to be reminded of that lesson, and that was my big breakthrough this week.  Finally remembering something that I had been talking about for years!  Sometimes I'm just a little slow on the uptake.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely thoughts and very uplifting to hear such a personal and honest story from an experienced teacher. Your philosophy and writing style remind me of one of my favorite writers/thinkers--Eckhart Tolle. I especially love his material about the ego. And yours! :)