Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I did a brief hatha practice today, about 20 minutes.

I never really did my recap for February. I'm still on track for my goal of daily yoga practice in 2009. I made it through February (short month!) without missing a day. This month was interesting because of the distractions, mainly musical.

I've been distracted from yoga lately by my new obsession with guitar. It's amusing that this instrument languished in storage for three years because I couldn't find the discipline to practice. Overwhelmed by guilt, I restrung my guitar on February 2nd and I've been on a roll ever since.

My secret weapon is lessons! Since I started lessons in February, I've been very diligent about practising and I'm making some real progress. I think it has something to do with being accountable to a teacher. It would be just plain embarrassing to go into my lesson and stumble around. Also, lessons are expensive, so I feel compelled to make the most of them.

I enjoy music, I always have (I started university on a music scholarship), but learning an instrument is a completely different experience as an adult. I'm finding that practising music has a meditative focus for me; it gets my mind out of ruts. Playing my shruti box has the same effect and when I get into a groove, I can find this same serenity in drumming. Interestingly, since starting guitar, I've been drawn back into those instruments as well.

Years ago in YTT, my teacher asked us: “What sustains you?” (the question has hounded me ever since...) Of course, at the time, I thought: “Yoga.” And that's still true - some of the time, at least. But I've also found that as a yoga teacher and daily practitioner, yoga has lost some of its 'sustaining' quality. It's still powerful - in some ways more than ever - but it's also less of a refuge. I'm starting to reach for other activities to fill that space. Meditation is less of a refuge than a struggle. But music and art seem to be re-establishing a place in my life. In many ways, it's helping me find the balance I've been seeking all along.

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