Practice has been whatever I could manage in snatches. I’ve been in the hospital most of the day and all night for the past couple of days, caring for my ma-in-law. She’s back home with me now so things have eased up a little.
Routine was out since the priority was different yet I had to squeeze in a little asana practice to keep my energy up. One day a restorative 10-15 minutes , another day a few half handstands against the wall and a short standing routine on the last day. The point in all this was not about ticking off a day of practice but making time to make more time.
Last evening, we got my ma-in-law back home and it was a fairly hectic day. As I lay down to sleep, I slowed down enough to acknowledge that I had barely slept the nights before yet packed in long days with my energy levels at a decent level. I believe asana helped in keeping me able to go through my tasks cheerfully and gratefully. It helped me see the situation as an opportunity to be of service.
It was a stark contrast to a few years back when my husband had a heart attack and the whole hospital circus frazzled me. Back then, I was snappy and speeded up and in my ignorance did everything that aggravated my physical and mental state. The difference this time was making a little time and space to look after myself within the chaos so that I could be more present for Amma (that’s what we call her, it means mother)
Maitri, Karuna, Mudita, Upeksha – Sutra 1.33 is a pointer for me as far as connecting with the world outside goes and it has helped me greatly. In the recent hospital context, I saw it in the care my ma-in-law received. It helped me be present in my heart and that is a place of no fear. People can sense it and it felt as though we were all connected without any barriers.
My asanas may not be much to look at and I am a long way off before I get to any level of proficiency. However, even the flawed practice has given so much that I am forever grateful for the blessings of yoga.