I haven’t been to regular class in a few weeks but a phrase from one of those has been simmering for a while. The spiral of practice. It’s a bit strange to think about practice when one is not ‘practising’ but this pause has been about letting go or rather letting the ‘letting go’ happen.
Some of the things that troubled me along the way and prevented me from accepting the situation were
– How could I let this happen to me? I should have known better, after all I was practising.
– How do I face the ‘I told you so’s’ from all those who said running is bad for the knees? And that too, when I vehemently protested and sang about the bliss of a run.
– How could I put my poor knees through so much violence? So much for the yamas. So much ego.
– I should have listened to all that thick and heavy feeling in the right side which was a constant during my running period.
– Ageing with or without disease is scary. Imagine having to depend on others!
– I faulted on a regular discipline of many things that were built over a period of time. However will I get back?
All of it was about me and mine, not about how things actually are. So much self obsession. 😊
Some of the learnings from this experience has been to
– Reach out for help. Ask. And then ask again. (This was perhaps the hardest)
– A favourite quote still holds true, ‘Fall down 7 times, get up 8’
– There is always a silver lining.
– The most important is Guruji’s wisdom about enduring what cannot be cured and curing what need not be endured.
I’m happy despite an erosion of a lot of activities that I took for granted. They may come back or maybe not (the husband insists that I will run again 😊) but as long as a spirit of curiosity remains, life is beautiful. I missed the exploration of asana in a home practice and found a spark of that in yesterday’s remedial class. Now, there’s a general direction of action that I can try out. One of the interesting things about yesterday was the body’s initial resistance to trouble an irritated area and the response of the mind to surrender to the teacher’s touch or more like a strong prod. 😊In my head and heart, it’s a complete surrender and part of it also springs from the sureness of her touch.
Coming back to the ‘spiral of practice’ as our teacher elaborated, it is about the change in perspective of a particular asana through the spiral of time and space. A coming back to the same central axis at a higher perspective. The pose at the beginning of a practice or as a novice and one at the end of a practice or with a few years of experience. Now, there’s a new dimension of a pose before, through and after injury/ chronic condition. Although, that might take a while. And the irony is it is not about asana at all!
I found this visual image of a spiral to be true in many disciplines. The secrets reveal themselves as you go through a process of repetition and refinement. It makes me think of Sage Patanjali’s coiled tail rising upwards into the pinnacle of enlightenment and the galaxies. Much is to be said for the rich symbolism of our deities and the fathomless universe.
I remain grateful for a tumultuous year that has churned many set notions and thrown up unexpected gifts. I did have my moments of doubt, sadness and fear but it’s hard to stay down for too long when life is beautiful. Perhaps, it’s just the airy, fairy vata that keeps me from getting too tethered.😊Today’s home practice was a throwback to early tentative attempts at mimicking what I would learn in class and it felt good to play once again.
In gratitude to Guruji and his sadhana that made hope possible.