Off the mat

It has been a long time since I was away from home for more than a couple of days. The mat came with me but my practice has been very limited. It is more about just keeping the discipline of unrolling the mat. At one time, I needed privacy and ideal conditions to do my bit but slowly the self consciousness is falling off. Maybe it is seeing that my actions influence others.

There was a fair bit of soreness in my quads, glutes and upper arms for a couple of days after the handstand and backbends. So I took it easy and just did very basic arm releases and some forward bends. Virasana seemed to help a bit.

This break has been about spending time with my mom, brother, mother in law and playing the fool with my kids. I see how both the mothers have aged and become like little children. They need a bit of pampering, prodding and encouragement to keep their spirits alive. Every time I see them, I realize that the roles have reversed and I am more a mother to them now.

Getting away from my routine and quiet time has demonstrated how change can create a doshic imbalance. The manifestation in my case is an achy neck that can blow into a full fledged flare-up. A little awareness about these things means I don’t have to react but can choose to respond in ways that do not harm. There are limitations living out of a bag but I do what I can to replicate a little bit of my life back home. I did have one small meltdown moment though but a good night’s rest restored me.

H.A.L.T. is a good check when I start losing my patience. Am I too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired? More often than not, tired is what gets me. If I scratch below the tired, it is my pride, my ego. How can I be tired? I am supposed to be strong and go on and on. For a long time, I didn’t understand the cues my body gave me and everything would spiral into a mess. I would be hurtful and say and do things that I would regret later. It is so much simpler to pause but that wouldn’t satisfy the need for instant gratification of anger.

Every time I restrain myself from reacting, it gets a wee bit easier to do so the next time. I still stumble and react without thinking but the difference is that I bounce back quicker now. One setback does not negate all the little steps forward. All I need to do is pick myself up and start again.
Practice until it is no longer practice.

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