Saturday 2nd August
Not sure whether the yoga poses are stretching my still-out of-of-yoga-shape body past its current limitations (read: it hurts to go to the edge so I go way past it) or whether the depth of my spiritual practice is intensifying my experience in the poses.
I suspect the second is closer to the truth.
The sheaths described in yoga texts are for real, and the ‘real’ me can see them, feel them and move through them. Well…most of them, the final ones are patiently waiting for me.
Penetrating through yet another inner sheath brings with it a deepening understanding and actual experience of the subtle energies within the whirling vortex that is our being. As I penetrate my way into another layer, the vibration feels higher, finer, but more concentrated and powerful. New dimensions of the internal and external world are exposed and experienced. Every little thing is increasingly magnified…nothing escapes the inner eye…my heart is on fire.
I practised with Kosta at his studio this morning. It’s become a regular Saturday morning rendezvous at 8am which I treasure, even though I have to race off to work at the Art Gallery straight after. Today it went overtime: a two hour practice plus a ten minute Savasana, followed by a quick race across town to get to work by 11am.
Two hours of deep, dark yoga…digging deeper into the layers of my mind through this yoga of the body.
Emerging after practice I feel like a creature from a mythical realm, a creature not of this world. Carefully I transition, stepping back through the portal, still shimmering with the essence of tapas. It hangs about me like I'm covered in sunbeams. On the way to work I stop to pick up an espresso. The vibrational frequency of my aura is intense so I try not to make eye contact for fear of burning someone.
This is a very different yoga practice, I'm grateful to have made it this far along the spiralling yoga journey, but perhaps it is just the beginning. Each time I do a long practice like this morning’s, it's a supersonic trip into the epicentre of my soul, a journey so devoid of time and space that one day I fear I may not find my way back.
Describing the practice with a mere list of poses reduces it from extraordinary to the ordinary: All of the Surya Namaskars and Primary poses up to Marichy C, then I went over to adjust Kosta into Supta Kurmasana and came back to my mat for Baddha Konasana, Upavista Konasana, Salabhasana, Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, 3 long sustained Urdhva Dhanurasanas and a genuine attempt at a Headstand dropback which disappointingly my back refused to go through with. I let that one go (along with the accompanying shattered illusion of a forever flexible and youthful body) and moved on to immerse myself in the ageless grace of the finishing sequence, absorbing every luminous hue of its shimmering energetic rainbow.
Then…intense glowing peace.
Kosta’s invited me to a 4pm session at his studio tomorrow along with a few of the senior teachers from the one devoutly authentic Iyengar studio in this city. Kosta teaches three classes there but they frown upon Ashtanga as all devoted Iyengarites do. He’s planning to lead the session and will probably do a backbending practice, leading up to Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana and a series of Headstand dropbacks (with a joyful Hanumanasana thrown somewhere in between). Hence my testing out of the Headstand dropbacks today which I haven’t done for a year or more. So tomorrow I’ll just do what I can and modify what I can't.
Any opportunity for being humbled is a gift - I love it - the less I am, the less I have to prove. If you’re at the bottom of the pile, there’s nowhere to fall.
So it doesn’t matter if I can’t do some of the poses I used to do with this group of yogis because that will make them all shine brighter, and I kind of like that.
Practising yoga motivated by the intention of getting better at it is practising under the hot spotlight of the ego, and that's just way too bright for me right now.