Sunday, January 15, 2012

Warm Mitts

We had our first snowstorm of the season on Friday. It started in the early morning while I was at the shala. I glanced out the window and realised that a small blizzard had started. It made me ridiculously happy. There's something warm and cozy and comforting about practising Mysore-style while a snowstorm swirls around outside.

My teaching assistant just returned from a vist with her family in Norway and she brought me a gift: a pair of mittens handknit by her own grandmother! As a handknitter, I'm particularly appreciative of a gift like this. I've been wearing them this week in the cold weather.

My assistant told me that when her grandmother knits, her hands are a blur and she rarely pauses or even looks down. The mitts fly off the needles, lovely and intricate and perfect.

This is kind of how I'm feeling about my practice lately - it's finally starting to come together.

For months, while learning the poses and transitions, I felt very clumsy - like a new knitter figuring out how to hold the needles, paying close attention to every stitch. I was deeply focused on the poses, finding the alignment, remembering what came next. My practice often felt ponderous and unwieldy.

Gradually, all of those details have started to come together, and the postures are starting to flow. I find myself thinking less about the poses themselves and more about the rhythm of the series.

Lately, my needles are flying! I'm moving intuitively through my practice and it's such a joy. Even those poses that challenge me seem to 'fit' into this flow and every day it gets a little bit better.

My practice has started to feel like a meditation again. After I'm finished and taking rest, I bask in this feeling of having created something intricate and lovely, just like those mittens. And I'm filled with a deep and satisfying joy that carries me through the day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


sereneflavor said...

You wrote a poem today Kai.

Loo said...

those are pretty darn nice mitts!! as a fellow woolie, I know skillful knitting when I see it. Lucky girl!