Where the heart is

Woke up with a start in the hotel room. Had a (false) memory of picking up the phone for my wake-up call and then putting it down and falling back to sleep. “What time is it?!” I panicked. Look at the clock. Oh, uh, 3:30 AM. An hour before my wake-up call is due. And now I’m too awake. Start thinking about something that’s been irritating me at work, and go around in circles with it for a bit.

Finally get up. Okay, so 4 AM in the Florida hotel room is 1 AM at home. This is a really early start to my day. The weird sleeping has my emotions all whacked out. Nothing dramatic, just the sense of loneliness and mild despair. Seriously, the thought of practice makes me want to curl up on the floor and cry.

Do a little blog reading, including Laksmi’s site, where I think of my Anusara teacher of yore, and suggest she look into Anusara if she wants some good help with pincha mayurasana.

I reminisced a little about learning yoga with Martin, who always (yes, I know) had a theme for each class, and always sat and told little stories before we began and at the end. My Gift worked as a receptionist at the studio he and his wife owned, and still rates it as her favorite job. She was highly amused to report that he and his wife — her employers — always gave her a hug at the end of her shifts.

Okay, all the fluffy Anusara stuff aside, I am grateful for the education I received in form and alignment.

And suddenly I found myself in the hotel room, at 4 AM (meaning 1 AM), downloading a random Anusara podcast on my Shuffle, and using that to practice. It felt totally criminal and I was amazed at how guilty I felt. I don’t think that’s healthy, but I’ll reserve judgment and see how it plays out in my mind.

The podcast practice was lovely. Very sweet. I had the sudden, rather disturbing insight that I am such a methodical person that I can easily approach my practice as a routine chore. And that — insidiously — there has evolved a suck-it-up-and-get-it-done component in my current state of practice. Uh oh.

I will think about this some more. I will even go over to Martin’s place and take a class. I want to know how that makes me feel. Will my guilt subside? Will I learn something — again — about my tendency to dogmatism?

Ah well. We’ll see. In the meantime, I am FINALLY home. Air travel sucks. It’s all screwy and always late. But I’m here. Nice.

Need to wash my clothes and repack and be ready to head out to Singapore on Saturday.


5 Responses

  1. I once had to be reminded by a dear old friend to actually ENJOY my practice. This was right before the split and I got stuck in “stoic” mode when I didn’t really have to. It was a good lesson for me, but I still tend to forget.

  2. i always approach my practice as a religious experience, akin to going to temple or to church. i am a Quaker in faith, but i LOVE, going to other services. i went to the Bat Mitzvah of one of my students the other weekend and even though i have long left the Jewish faith, i really felt at home and was very moved by hearing and reciting the prayers. i really believe that God is happy seeing us doing our “practice” whatever it is, wherever it is. i was about to write ‘as long as we do it with love’, but i think even if we do it with the idea of ‘just suck it up and do it’ sometimes, that we work through that and get back to the place of doing it with love and reverence.
    i think there is a great benefit to doing a practice “religiously”, that is exactly how it is prescribed and without straying. but i think we need to keep ourselves open to the practice not being what we need all the time, and looking elsewhere. i mean, the thing we are looking for in the end is the same even if the path is different.

  3. oh, and have safe and pleasant travels! sorry if the airplane talk freaked you out! 🙂

  4. Welcome home! Hopefully you’ll be sleeping again. 🙂 (Something I’m having a lot of trouble with at the moment.) Oh, but then you’ll be off to Singapore . . . !

    I think it would be a good thing to explore another style now and then. Especially if the teacher is really good. Why not? It doesn’t preclude continuing your Ashtanga practice and you might learn something new. I think Cranky made an excellent point about practicing “religiously,” but not being dogmatic if we’re feeling pulled toward something else.

  5. Hi Karen
    Perhaps you’re being hard on yourself? Practicing while traveling for work is difficult, so that the routine would not have the same feeling as practicing in the shala at home would have. It’s probably good to take classes in another tradition. There may be times when you are too tired to do the ashtanga routine and it is good to try a different method. Ultimately, any method is part of spiritual development. Personally, I’d like to learn more about yin yoga. Hope you enjoy Singapore.

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