14 June 2011

Return to Ashtanga

Today marked the day that I reclaimed an authentic Ashtanga practice.
I've been building up to this for a couple of months now.
Since starting my new job, I've been gradually setting up new habits, getting up earlier and earlier, rekindling the tapas of discipline.
I've been doing a semi-regular morning practice of sun salutes and some standing poses, occasionally finishing with a couple of backbends and inversions.
Not always a long practice, sometimes half an hour, sometimes one hour.
But it has radically increased my energy and my confidence, and helped to transform the apathy and sorrow I was carrying from Mark's death into a new joy for life.

Daily discipline is the flammable fuel of transformation - a combination of commitment and devotion sets our hearts on fire, it burns away mediochrity and propels us to rise like a phoenix and embody our ultimate dream.

So when I stepped onto the mat yesterday with the intention to do my first full primary series practice in over two years, I was excited to feel that it just might be possible, that one day soon, I may able to do this amazing practice fully and regularly again.

I resolved not to explore the poses too deeply, but instead just let the breath move me, staying a couple of degrees under simmering point, and keeping to 5 breaths in each pose.
Only twice did I have to stop when I couldn't remember the next pose in the sequence. But this was towards the end...it's been a long time since I went further than the seated forward bends.

Poses I hadn't done for a long time came as delightful surprises: Purvottanasana, Janu Sirsasana B and C, Marichyasana B, the uplifting balance of Upavista Konasana B, Urdhva Padmasana with hands supporting the knees...
The practice was amazing. Until I tried, I didn't realise I could still do so many of the poses.
After the finishing inversions I was fully cooked and the only option was a long, deep Savasana to settle all those bubbling juices down.

This is just the beginning...again.

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