30 October 2007

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Tuesday 30th October 2007

Yesterday I had a sore throat. My reaction to this was disbelief because I haven’t been sick or had a cold for so many years. I’d actually forgotten what it was like. It’s so easy to take your health for granted, especially when many years of yoga has brought your system into balance and the practice maintains this. Impeccable health and an abundance of energy are the pay offs of practice.
Today the sore throat is gone. My immune system must have kicked into action yesterday and overpowered the invading pathogens. The childlike visual image I have of all this happening is rather entertaining…armies of little fighters equipped with swords and shields marching in unison towards the bad guys, the fight ensues, the bad guys get neutralised and destroyed, blood splattered over the battlefield, and good wins out over evil once again. Sickness averted, good health restored.

I nearly didn’t practice this morning firstly because it was so hard to get out of bed and then secondly because I thought Renate wasn't coming.

Because of daylight saving time change last Sunday we had to put the clocks forward one hour which means in REAL time, I’m getting up at 4.30am even though the clock says 5.30am. I hauled myself out of bed against my will (or becasue of it), drove in to the Gallery, set up the mats and blankets, lit the incense and stretched my body out while waiting for Renate to arrive. By 10 past 6, she hadn’t so I figured she too was time lagged and the one hour of sleep deprivation had taken its toll.
I debated whether or not to practice and decided to drive home again and walk the dog who I’d left at home alone looking solemnly sad, lonely and miserable. The guilt of leaving her for 12 hours straight had hurt this morning.

Of course as soon as I started to pack up Renate arrived, very apologetic. Quick mental turnaround. Practice is on.
All the seated poses were a delicious treat this morning so I explored them for a few extra breaths and since we'd had a late start and I knew I wasn't going to get through the entire practice, I legitimately justified jumping from Marichy C straight to Baddha Konasana.

Even so, that very rich and satisfying post-practice feeling told me my body had worked my mind over, enough to feel very altered.

“Every practice is a reversal of consciousness”
I can’t remember who said that but it’s true. Yoga practice changes us physically at a micro-cellular, chemical and energetic level. It changes us mentally at a subconscious level by developing our faculty of observation and the mental habit of stepping back from stimulus to observe our reaction before it sweeps us away. And it changes us spiritually, ever so gently raising our spiritual awareness and opening up our spiritual consciousness to prepare for Divine self-awakening.

I’m so grateful for yoga and for all the teachers and practitioners of the past and the present who've keep this tradition alive despite all the trials of our human life.

I’m also eternally grateful to have Renate to practice with – how many times have I said that? Probably not enough. She’s an extraordinary woman. Warm, wise, wonderful and creative and at the age of 59 she has boundless energy and enthusiasma for life which puts me to shame. We’ve been practising Ashtanga together on Tuesdays and Thursdays for about 5 years now (we started off in my shed) and plan to keep up the regular morning rendezvous well into our twilight years.

Renate has an exhibition of sculptures in a major gallery coming up next week in combination with a painter and close friend of ours, Louise Feneley, but since I don’t have any images of Renate’s work, I’ve posted one of Louise’s paintings from the exhibition above.
More of her work is here.

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