Sunday, June 24, 2012

On My Mind

There are heavy thoughts on my mind these days.

Princess Fur's surgery looms. It's scheduled for this coming Wednesday. I'm juggling my schedule so I can spend as much time as possible with her as she recovers. I've completely cleared Thursday of all classes (though I'm going to sneak off to practice in the morning if I can). I'll be at her beck-and-paw all day. I've stocked up on canned food and last night, I bought her a new, fluffy, deluxe, dog bed that she appears completely ambivalent about (a story for another blog post).

I'm also nearing my one month renewal date at Shala South and wondering where, if anyplace, I should go next. There's another 'self-practice space' in my neighbourhood that's tantalizingly close - a couple of minutes away by bicycle. I know the teacher there and the price is right.

Cost is becoming more important because with the summer decrease in my teaching schedule and with Princess Fur's mounting vet bills, money is getting very tight. Plus, the summer is only going to get hotter. That uphill ride home from Shala South feels like torture on days that my legs are already jelly-like from practice.

And yet...I'm feeling content and tempted to stay. I'm enjoying Shala South, gradually getting to know the teachers and feeling more at ease in those rooms. The main teacher is becoming more familiar with my practice and I feel the beginnings of a positive relationship. There's been some movement and direction in my practice, a few breakthroughs, an epiphany or two.

Plus, I'm practising every day and feeling really good about it, which is something to consider. I'd like to think that I could continue to practise with this level of dedication and intensity at home, but I'm not sure. I remember how much I struggled to get on the mat the last time I maintained a home practice. My heart sinks when I think about how difficult that was.

And there's this: I'm reminded of the old story about the farmer who digs many shallow wells and never finds water. What if I leave Shala South before I really benefit from my time there? Is this 'well' deep enough yet? I don't know. I'll admit that a part of me - the insecure part - is frightened and wants to exit this place on a happy note, before the teachers tire of me, or decide that I'm not worth teaching. My more optimistic side reminds me that I'm well-liked in the yoga community here and perhaps the Universe has led me to this particular place for a reason.

Irrational fears aside, I want to make the decision that's right for my practice. The more I explore Astanga, the more I realise that there really are no shortcuts, just hard work. Fact: I'm clumsy. I lack the natural strength and flexibility of other practitioners I know. I've been doing this yoga thing for longer than many, yet I struggle with some very basic stuff because my body is coming from such a different place.

But I have something else that keeps me going: I work hard - my courage and consistency has proven to be my greatest asset. If I keep trying and doing the work, I *will* make progress. It's as simple as that. Any environment - and teacher - that supports this is a plus.

So, I'm thinking about it.

(This post is part of the June photo project)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Haley-O (Cheaty) said...

Thinking of you and Princess Fur. I love my animals so much, and we've been through a lot recently -- My cat Maarge is 16 -- so I totally understand what you're going through. Finger's crossed all is well. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hi Reluctant Ashtangi,
I've been enjoying reading your blog. I'm an Ashtanga practitioner myself and this year I've been transitioning away from a shala to a primarily home practice. It's been beneficial for me in some ways (dealing with injury, moving at my own pace) but I do really miss the community aspect and group dynamic of practicing in a shala.
I would be honored if you would take a peek at my blog - and maybe consider adding it to your yoga blog roll.