28 April 2013

Day 3 of retreat

Dawn. I walk over the sleepy grey dunes and down onto the beach...a solitary silhouette imprinting soft, cool, sensuous sand.

The sun peeks over the dunes behind me. The full moon is fading, and quiety setting over the ocean, still watching over her watery kingdom.

In the bay, a few early fishing boats; along the shore, hungry, chatty birds that flutter away in waves as I approach.

The beach is breezy, seaweedy, wild and pristine.

Me and the rising sun are waking and walking together.

This is Day 3 of my monthly camping trip.

At the end of the horseshoe bay I can survey and drink it all in, this scene, this lifetime. To sit with a softened mind and loving heart, noble, serene, grateful, is to come home to, and rest in eternity.

From here I look back feeling great sorrow and compassion for that person (me) who gets stuck in the sticky mental web of work, caught like a frantic buzzing fly in emails, messages, deadlines, problems, busyness, the frenzy of going nowhere and trapped in my own mental merry go round.

Out here on the peninsula I calmly disengage once again, bit by bit peeling away the sticky web, breathing in the salty air and the expanse of the early morning sky.

Sensing my approach a lone seagull takes a few quick steps, runs and lifts off, gliding effortlessly over the water and with a turn of her wing she circles around downwind, sailing low and swift across the water on the breeze.

I know that feeling!

It's deep in my body's memory: the initial take off, the gliding turn, the freedom of the ride.

How can I know that? 

Searching back somatically through my memory banks, I recall flying small aircraft in my late teens, but that's not it.
Aaahhh...surfing, that's it! The fast paddle, the take off, riding and turning with the energy of the wave. I miss surfing. 

I'm walking back over the dunes towards the campsite in the sunlit morning now. The shadows seem warmer, the dunes brighter, the morning colours less intimate. The sun's up there shining for everyone now. Our quiet walk together in the half dark dawn rests calm in my heart. 

Returning to the tent, I sit for an hour, relishing the time to just be nowhere in silence.

Morning Yoga

I move deeply and intuitively in and through each asana, sensing the unique subtle sensations, shifts and internal cleansing that comes from each pose.

Standing poses are strong, connected to earth and connected to breath, they've become conduits for drawing a powerful energy in and up through the channels and fortifying the body.

My body/mind needs lotus poses today.

Supta Padmasana challenges my deep internal musclature and psychological holdings. The psoas gradually releases it's gripping as I lower my padmasana legs to the ground. The descent is precarious, skirting the edge of danger. I don't want to do the other side, and this sparks a battle between good and evil, willpower versus bratty ego - good wins out and I do the other side. It's so much easier than the first side.
In Matsyasana, I recall the large fish I picked up on the beach this morning - she was beautiful and I felt deeply sad for her death. Baddha Padmasana seals the sequence.

Yesterday's backbends exposed some deeply held fears and insecurities about who I am and what I'm capable of doing. Today I'm more relaxed and open, my heart less gripped by the subtle anxiety that pervades my everyday life, less caught in the small self and it's dramas. The release is not only physical, but also psychological.

I need to do backbends every day.

Today's backbends are no less challenging than yesterdays, such is yoga practice when mind and body are strongly connected. You go further, deeper, quieter.... You test and challenge and stay longer to explore the restrictions of body and mind. You sense more with that focussed mircoscopic vision and clear awareness that moves around the internal landscape.

Today the energetic shifts in the backbends are small but powerful...Salabhasana, Dhanurasana, Ustrasana, Setu Bandha, all done twice with commitment to staying. Urdhva Dhanurasana three times.

Then the full finishing sequence, long holds in everything.

No Headstand - the tent isn't quite high enough.

I finsh up with Janu Sirsasana, Parivritta Janu Sirsasana and a long Paschimottanasana.

...and a sweet, sweet, seaside Savasana.

13 April 2013

Walk the dog, and be the dog

Sarah wrote a gentle yet inspiring post about caring for ones wellbeing through a daily yoga practice.

Here is a taste:

How much we are willing to do for the wellbeing of another varies from person to person, but many of us will take on tasks of cooking meals, walking dogs, running errands, taking on jobs and all manner of responsibilities to benefit those we care about. 
Can we program each day with the time to take care of our self?

A personal practice, whether yoga or meditation, requires the same approach as walking the dog. 

Imagine that in your practice you are both the dog and the dog-walker.
It doesn't matter what the weather is, or how late you were up last night, that wet nose is there in your face to say, "Aren't we going now?" One simply cannot say to the dog, "not today." Imagine that your health and well being relies upon that half hour, and see your self staring at you with that query of "Are we going now?"

The full post is here

Thank you again Sarah.  Your posts so often guide me back on track.