In a matter of a few weeks, the institute will close for its annual summer break. This academic year has been a coming together of practices that have been a constant over the years. I think of making an entry here just in the interest of documenting a moment in time but when I consider what to note, I am at a loss. There is simply so much!
The learning at RIMYI is a living, pulsating and organic process here. Not so much a structured textbook approach but one that is very subjective and steeped in practice and exploration. It is a good place to be, sort of like having a vast open playground and all the time in the world to play.
One of the aspects of being an apprentice is the absorption by observing, listening and actual adjustment. Another facet is the different approach to study of the asana itself in its classical form and structure. There is much which is expected to be caught rather than taught. Now that it has been a few months, the early gaucheness is no longer there. The process is one of enquiry into the principles rather than looking at everything in a prescriptive fashion and I find myself soaking in the richness of this way of seeing.
My own practice has been greatly changed to accommodate the vagaries of a changing body. Unlike earlier, when I would push through, these days it is more of a surrender and an occupying of the asana to explore within the long and supported poses. It is a gift, this phenomenon of the transition of a woman’s body in the late 40s and early 50s. I find myself curious and also more sensitive to what works and doesn’t. I suppose it is a way to learn how to slow down and savour life rather than skid through on roller skates.
In terms of textual study, I find myself in a situation quite like the one I was in when I first started exploring the texts but the difference is there is a little more familiarity with the them now. While chatting with M the other day, she pointed out that there was structure in how I explained stuff although I never saw it that way. My approach has been more of a soaking in and staying with not knowing. Without realizing it, I was getting ready to really read them. Now things strike better. And I suppose that has allowed the structure to emerge. Between 3 sets of people, I am exploring the yoga sutras, asanas, and philosophy while my independent study has the benefit of all three. At day’s end, I am glad. Many things that are not essential have automatically been crowded out by the good stuff that has taken its place, very seamlessly.