“You shouldn’t have had that halo-halo flavored with vodka and the coffee flavored with rhum yesterday!”
“You’re just too old for this. You should have done this when you were younger!”
“It’s okay, we’ll just have Sthira sukham asanam tomorrow.”
So there I was, lying flat on my back, feeling powerless after the third Urdhva Dhanurasana. I knew I should already be in Chakrasana by now, but I just laid there. Knowing well the consequences, that laying there for more than one (1) exhale will mean having these noises again and again in my head. Noises that wouldn’t have been there if I just continued on. But on the other hand, if I don’t take a break, my heart’s going to pop out of my chest and tears are going to burst out of my eyes. So I just laid there, tapping into the love, kindness, and acceptance from within to drown out the noises and, saying goodbye to dreams of Mysore for now.
For about a year, I used to practice the whole primary series, but recently, I decided to stop at Supta Kurmasana instead, then moving onto the finishing poses. I finally surrendered to the traditional method, where if I could not bind and at the same time cross my feet behind my head, then I stop there. The day I decided to cut my practice, I thought I’d have to endure bruising my ego once again, but surprisingly, more relief filled my soul instead. Acceptance came easily, unlike before where I’d have to self-talk myself into therapy and counseling.
I talked to Arlien about it, and she said that I may have finally grew mature into the practice, or something to that effect. And modesty aside, I guess she’s right.
I used to mull over why everything did not line up for me last November, to study at KPJAYI. And I finally understood that more than the need to master the asanas from the source, to learn from the teacher within through the practice, was what I needed more at the present.
I realized that the only reason I spent a lot on yoga workshops and trainings then, was because I was only trying to satisfy my ego. I felt that if I don’t, then the others, will improve faster than I will. I was after the competition, and the “prestige” that I’m one of the few who learned techniques and poses, from the most popular teachers in the world. And more than competing with others, I wanted to compete with myself. I wanted to be better and stronger, instead of accepting myself where I am at the present. And unless I practice authentically and give it my all on my mat everyday by myself for myself, then KPJAYI will have to stay as a plan, a dream in the distant future.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t aim for KPJAYI anymore. I still do, but not if there’s any hint of ambition, pride, fears and attachment on my intention. I have a deep sense of respect for the practice, maybe not to the point of kissing my teacher’s feet just yet, but a respect and love for what it’s done for me. It got me through some tough barriers and seemingly crazy decisions in my life. The system works for me, right now, like nothing else.
With how fickle my mind is, Ashtanga seems to be only thing that close to constant. Actually not, but it does point me out to those that really matter; that part of me that never changes. That part that’s as bright as the sun. That part that’s as beautiful as the sea. That part that’s as big as the sky.