27 August 2009

The Evening Begins

Friday 28th August 2009

The walk home from work takes half an hour, a welcome incline as I head towards the foothills.
I breathe out the day.
The dull early-evening air has been polluted by exhaust fumes and the accumulated etheric waste from a million human beings: CO2 and stress, exhaled into the atmosphere, toxic by-products of natural processes and unnatural lives.

Morning air, on my morning walk, is filled with birdsong and clarity.

In the half hour to and from work my continual mental chatter muffles into every footstep; the obsessive compulsive mind torturing itself, resisting the day ahead or ruminating over the work day events just gone. I notice twinges of self-pity and urges to escape into solitude and oblivion. How easily I elope with these entrenched thought patterns...they carry me away from the present; how easily the comic-tragedy of daily worklife catches my unguarded mind in its sticky web of drama and ingrigue.

I forget to notice the birds, the scent of flowers overhanging a fence, the lofty trees, the hint of incoming weather on the breeze, the undulations of the path under my feet.

Arriving home around 6pm, I feed Buffy, change my clothes and step onto the yoga mat. Hanging forward in Uttanasana like a soft rag doll, my body sighs as it begins to release; my spine opens, my neck lengthens, and my muscles let go of tension as the reversal of gravity waterfalls through them.
I WILL my legs to life, activating the muscle groups out of auto-pilot and into old-fashioned manual.

I stop thinking.

And I begin to feel my body.

Hanging in Uttanasana, legs slightly parted, the weight of my torso falling down through my elbows, I feel the workday tension dissolving away as my mind lets go of its ruminations.
I step back into Dog Pose, breathing slowly, deliberately. Little areas begin to adjust themselves though the pose, stretching, lengthening, aligning, waking up.
Thoughts about work creep in like silent, stealthy intruders. I catch them and banish them immediately. BE GONE. Get out, out, out of my Dog Pose house.
I come back to the breath and my body – my home –the elusive ground of the present.
Stray thoughts and whispers keep luring me away. My mind escapes with them, the habit is strong.
Bringing it back over and over, I return to the present, each time, gratefully, to an INCREASED AWARENESS of the present. Awareness seems to grow stronger each time I exercise my will over my mind.
Finding myself still in Dog Pose I breathe deeply….I step forward…
Practice begins…


Kavita said...


maybe you'll like this version of the Gita?
I prefer longer prose form & have 3 interpretations:
Swami Anand Parthasarathy's, Swami Rama's & one from ISKCON.
Since long I've been wanting to share with you that you can derive all the benefits of asanas from 8 basic pranayamas. Add special ones for special needs, eg. manduka for diabetes, ujjayi for thyroid disorders etc.
I'll be glad to share if you need info. You are so beautiful & your daughter & g'daughter are so lovely too!
This is Kavita from India. Found you through Greenfrog. Your writings come from the heart & my feelings resonate with yours often.

Kavita said...

sorry, what was I thinking when I wrote manduka asana with the pranayamas.

nobodhi said...

Thank you Kavita, I'll look up the Gita references you've suggested.
I have a wonderful book on Pranayama which has detailed descriptions of the main pranayamas. I know it is a subtle and powerful practice but somehow I've never been willing to exchange any precious asana or meditation time for pranayama...
I really appreciate your lovely and helpful comments.

Kavita said...

Oh, well. You're doing better than most anyhow, in spite of everything.
You know what works for you, that's certain. :)