Asana: pose, posture, seat
Ahimsa: to do no harm
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A PAIN IN MY ASS
Since the beginning of my 6-week teaching sabbatical I have also taken an intentional break from my regular asana practice of Sun Salutations and classical poses. This is the longest uninterrupted rest from asana I have taken in 17 years of practice. Interestingly, one of the results is that I am pain-free in some of my chronic areas of aggravation… specifically in my hamstring attachment area. Basically, that nagging long-suffered ‘pain in my ass’ has evaporated. This state leaves me simultaneously euphoric and frightened. My asana practice has been my savior, foundation, therapist, refuge, friend, entertainment, release, adventure, and source of livelihood. But apparently it has been the source of a little suffering as well.
For the past month and a half my daily yoga practice has consisted solely of a couple of restorative poses a day, including my longtime fave of hanging upside down between two chairs (see photo). This break from my regular practice of vigorous asana has enlightened me to the fact that it’s time to re-pattern it so that I can maintain this blissful pain-free state that has happened.
PATTERN AND RE-PATTERN
Re-patterning does not necessarily mean taking on a whole new practice or ditching cherished poses and sequences. I miss and love practicing Sun Salutations. I believe in their healing power. They provide me with focus, concentration, courage, and empowerment like nothing else. And I LOVE TO SWEAT. I do not want to give them up. What to do???
I’m in the process of breaking down the Sun Salutations. Essentially I am re-configuring actions, alignment, and habits of practice tailored to and nurturing of MY body’s story. The intention for practice is ahimsa (causing no harm to myself or others) while still honoring the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Hatha tradition from where the sequence comes. For me this means approaching practice with courageous honesty and self/body-directed wisdom. It means making changes and proceeding with care. In every moment we must recognize if we are causing suffering, to ourselves or others and adjust accordingly.
Awareness of a pain in the ass the first step. What we do with that is the interesting next step. I will keep you posted on my progress.
Peace & Love,
Upcoming Sun Salutations Workshop Saturday June 29, 1-5pm, at USA Rec Center in Mobile, Alabama.
Early bird rate $60 ends June 15th.
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