Saturday, June 20, 2015

#100daysofjensmusings- Day 76: Practice Evolution

I look forward to Saturday mornings. Let me take that back. I look forward to every morning because it's a chance to take advantage of a blank slate. I can show up with the attitude of, "I am choosing to be better than yesterday. Kinder, more patient, and less of a negative Nancy." Saturday mornings I get up around 7am (my new version of sleeping in), and quietly sneak out for my 7:30am yoga class in the neighborhood. The streets are quiet and the air is always cool. The garden is peaceful and so is my mind. The week is behind me and I can rinse the frenetic energy of "getting one more thing done," before shutting down for the day. I arrive at the studio and unroll my mat. And then I sit down. And breathe. And breathe some more.

I frequently express that my personal practice has evolved so much since I started swimming in the pool of the yoga system. I hung out in the shallow end for quite a long time, fiddling around, playing games, using the practice as social connection. Dabbling my toes. Creating a "bob-like" experience. Struggling to sink in deeper. And then my practice shifted quite a bit to explore the depths on my own. Finding the gems on the bottom, like meditation, chanting, and sutra work. I started to drift away from the "everybody else is doing this," philosophy and created my own version of what practice meant for me. It's the magic.

This morning something clicked in my practice. It was a stronger practice and the teacher did a great job of integrating opportunities for more challenge as well as ease. I chose ease this morning. Instead of vinyasas between sequences, I took child's pose. I didn't flip my dog. I stayed in table top, circling my hips and diving deeper into my bones and muscles, savoring the opportunity to infuse more grace and ease to my morning asana practice. Everybody else was pushing, sacrificing the grace and ease, which is totally fine, but it wasn't for me. Ten years ago, I would have been the pusher, the grit-master in the room. Now, I can discern what I need and when I need it. It's a bit of an ego boost to say, "Look at me! I can discern what my body needs! I don't have to push!" It's all ego, right? But there is a part of me that left the studio today totally enveloped in my own contentment and peace from my practice.

Evolution means lots of different things to different people. For me, it means that as I travel through the journey, not around it, I see the bits of ease and grace and more space in my life. I see myself showing up differently in situations that I am constantly in. The environments don't change that much, if at all. I change though. And sometimes, the change feels so damn good.

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