The family that practices together…

This morning I thought about Olaf and his girlfriend (wife? I’m not sure). Anyhow, I thought about this movie clip:

Why did I think about it? Well, because I was practicing with The Cop. Yup, he came back for more. It is an interesting thing, to try to teach him the practice. There’s just so much to learn when someone first starts: the sequence of poses, the poses themselves, the breath, bandhas. And that doesn’t even factor in any sort of finesse. The Cop has good body mechanics, so I can leave all of that alone. The practice will sort him out. My best bet is to stay out of his way, avoid talking too much, and just let him motivate himself in the direction he should go. It is really eye-opening, though, to realize how much I’ve learned from Volleyball Guy without him ever saying a word.

There is something just delightful in having a practice partner. I thought of Mysore at Volleyball Guy’s and started to tell The Cop about how nice it feels to have someone doing the same practice at the same time, but at their own pace and their own level, right next to you, and in silence. And it occurred to me that his interest in the practice means that this is a time when I need to share my attention with him. If he decides he likes it, the day will come when he can hold his own and we can just practice together. And who knows, perhaps he will have his own blog. I’ll have to start reporting things about his practice that are not quite accurate. That should motivate him to set the record straight 😉

Thinking about the attention I keep for myself and the attention I share made me really grateful for my teachers–I know I went to classes where they probably had students who were all self-sufficient, and then there I was, the new kid, clueless. Never did I feel unwelcome, or like I was holding things up. Same thing with zen practice. It’s a rare thing in this world that you can find a practice so compelling that its practitioners always want to share, even if it means taking their attention away from their own practice.

I definitely rate myself as a highly selfish person. I focus on what I am doing, and it is not really my nature to include others. I’m not saying that’s good or bad–it’s just my nature. Somehow, though, zen and Ashtanga have managed to put me in a space where I can really want to share, where I can appreciate how sweet that is.

This whole family yoga thing is a big surprise to me. It kind of came out of nowhere. But it was totally cool to practice with My Gift and The Cop this morning, and then all of us chat a bit and then sit down to breakfast. It’s so simple, and yet it seems strangely miraculous.

I couldn’t have planned it if I’d tried.


3 Responses

  1. His and Hers blogs…Awwwww!! : )

  2. That’s nice!
    Your own sangha at home!
    Couldn’t get better really!

  3. Thanks for sharing this entry. I’ve been missing something in my practice the last couple of weeks and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it dawned on me that I’ve been practicing solo since before November last year and I was actually beginning to get jealous of the people in class who got to practice together (I assist). I guess I’m missing everything that you’ve talked about here and just didn’t notice. So ta, it was just what I needed to hear this morning.


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