Sunday, November 4, 2007

Day 108

I had a great practice today and I'm having a great day in general.

Yesterday, I realised that I needed some true downtime because I was feeling really ambivelent about everything. Right now, there isn't a single day in my schedule that I don't have some kind of personal commitment, whether it be hockey, volunteer work or teaching. So I skipped J's birthday party last night (it was out in Parkdale and I really didn't feel like making the schlep) and I didn't volunteer at the soup kitchen this morning. Today was free and clear!

I slept in and fully savoured that extra hour gifted to me by the clocks turning back. I lingered in bed and felt lazy. I took my time tidying the apartment and sweeping the floors. I went for a long, long walk. I found a bench in a quiet spot in the park and sat in the sunshine, drinking a vanilla cappuccino and reading the Bhagavad Gita (the Easwaran translation).

I've found myself being drawn back into my studies of the Gita again. I've also been meditating more and finding it very calming to my spirit.

In terms of my physical practice, I have a small confession to make. I imagine that some of you think that I just propel myself onto the mat every day and soldier through the primary series entirely on my own. That's not exactly true. Most of the time, I've been practising with a DVD - Beryl Bender Birch's 'Power Yoga'.

When I first started, I didn't know the series very well and I found that looking at a book was distracting. I found it difficult to maintain momentum. Also, I was doing a very early morning practice and I'm not terribly bright at 4:30 a.m. (it became very easy to skip poses). The DVD solved all these problems and, as an added bonus, I didn't have to overthink anything - Beryl did that for me. *rolls eyes*

I've gradually moved away from using the DVD in the past month and I've found it very freeing. It's easier to focus on my breath without someone talking at me and I also move through the series more efficiently. Beryl had me on the mat for and hour and thirty-five minutes. On my own, I can finish in an hour and twenty-five or less.

On my own, I find that I move through the postures more fluidly, focusing on the breath. But I do miss Beryl telling me to engage my Bandhas. But I wouldn't go back. I feel like it's really 'my' practice when I do it on my own.

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