Square One

Square one is always there, waiting. This morning, home practice. And I noticed, as I have the past couple of practices, that I am really feeling smooth in Surya A and B. Recently, the Suryas are a delicious kind of pleasure, somehow more integrated than they’ve ever been. Not a set of motions, just a single, extended movement. I count, in Sanskrit, the vinyasas, and it is like counting the breath in zazen: your mind detaches, but you don’t lose your place; you let go of control and it ticks away like a perfect, peaceful clockwork.

The other thing I noticed was how tough Virabhadrasana A and B are, when I get really low into them and breathe. Volleyball Guy has an obsession with the Virabhadrasanas. He’s always after folks in led class to get lower, to be mindful, to breathe–I guess it drives him mad to see us dash through them and on to Dandasana. It’s easy, though, to take the Viras for granted. After all, everyone starts their yoga education with them. Any yoga class in any studio or gym in the world teaches Viras to new students. So it’s pretty easy to think of them as means to an end–easy “beginner” poses that get you where you want to go, i.e., to the sitting poses. So Volleyball Guy calls us out on it every single time. I imagine, from his perspective, we all look like trail horses running for the stables once we get close enough to smell hay.

So today I was in Vira A, and then Vira B, and I had the rather ego-bruising realization that these ostensibly “easy” poses have a good bit of bite to them. So maybe I am not really “getting” anywhere, as I amuse myself with so-called “progress” to “harder” poses. Maybe square one is always there. Maybe that’s the whole point.

And an amusing side-note: As I was finishing up, My Gift from the Universe, fresh out of bed, peeked her head into the livingroom. “Aren’t you usually done by now?” she asked. When I said yes, she said, “I thought so. That’s why I came to find out what was breathing in the livingroom.”


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