Reading the sacred texts, especially in the wee hours of the morning, is very uplifting. The exquisite beauty of language and thought is best absorbed and contemplated when the world sleeps. As always, reading the eternal truths in such poetic language fills me up. The Upanishads are exquisite in their brevity and expansiveness as they open the heart to think.
Prashantji’s book has been a treasure trove and reading it has been a validation. Most of my unknowing steps in study and practice find a place in his suggestions. Last night’s reading made sense in the context of today’s reading as well.
“Brahmacharya is not just observing celibacy. Thus, the practice of Brahmacharya is a way of life through which the sexual energy is drawn upwards — goes upwards, on account of sublimation and quietude and with no turmoil in the passion zone. It goes upwards and becomes what is called as intuitive creativity and that is why the Vedic seers had tremendous intuitive creativity through which they had foresight and insight.”
– Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali by Prashant S Iyengar
For a long time, I thought I needed to wait to be ready to study the texts. But perhaps, it is a natural inclination and that may be why I gravitated towards a method of study independently. It got me thinking about the practice of asana as well. My practice has changed, I don’t fret about following a fixed sequence. It is not about attaining mastery but about maintaining the body to sit quietly. Somedays I work with one action, somedays I do nothing and on others I follow a sequence. More often than not, I end up working with those asanas that are hard for me. These are very much the basic poses and at the Intermediate level the asana is opened up even more.
Today’s class was hard, very hard. We did urdhva hastasana, uttanasana and some seated forward bends. The focus was on the arms, I suspect it was prepping for some kind of arm balances in the near future. After class, I was thoroughly tired and sore. I wondered if I had more on my plate than I can handle right now. But the runner brain quickly piped up to say, you are an endurance runner. In all fairness, I did expect to find difficulty for a few months as I learn more and work on my asanas.
I got in early and was observing some of the students and teachers practising in the hall and it was very interesting. On the outside, I see a pose, I see props. I see the beauty and symmetry of the human structure. I wonder about the asana of the mind. I saw my teacher from last year in a very interesting set up and it reminded me of some of Guruji’s pictures. A state of sublimity, so nearby. Am I imagining it or is it real? The head doubts while the heart believes.