I intended to practice. I intended to work on sequencing. I rolled out my mat.
When I came to, I was looking out at a kettle pond. Lupe (my dog) was in tow, facing in the opposite direction, in a gesture of protection. I was looking, noticing, writing, reflecting, connecting. In that moment Downward Dog seemed miles away (hanging out back in the confines of my living room).
This is my yoga practice today.
I’ve been in a process of mourning my asana practice. Or better said, mourning a certain version of my asana practice. I have been peeling back the layers of structure and form and inviting or embarking on a journey towards freedom, an exploration of the ‘not yet known’. The freedom/space/place that lies beneath and can only be accessed once one feels safe, capable, and prepared. It is the journey to the underworld, descending the stairs into the cave, taking the elevator to the basement. After the hero has committed to training and made all the adequate preparations, they set out to go on their journey. Along the way, they are presented with trial and tribulations and repeatedly find themselves at thresholds. Every threshold presents an internal dialogue, “Will I continue?”, “Am I prepared for what is next?”.
Asana was a structure that I needed for a long time. Asana is ego. Ego defined as ‘sense of self’ or the ‘container’. Asana makes the container of our physical body stronger and more flexible so that it can hold all of that, which is underneath. When I began my practice, my ego needed strengthening. My container was in desperate need of repair with many cracks where there was substantial leakage.
“He recommended the practice of asana to expand the body’s capacity as a container to hold the content within oneself for examination, and as leverage to unwind the patterning imprinted in the nervous system and mind” – Bhavani Silvia Maki in “The Yogi’s Roadmap” referencing Patanjali’s perspective on Asana
I committed. I practiced. I trained. My body (the vessel) is strong and flexible now.
It can hold.
And I want to delve.
beneath the surface.
The icy reflection of a kettle pond in winter.
What is up, what is down
though the parameter is clear and pronounced.