I’ve been feeling very grateful these days and I am starting to feel what it may mean to fully embrace Ashtanga yoga. For one thing it does not seem to be so easy, but surely this is worth every effort. I raised my kids while I tiptoed on the path, diving in at times and then feeling that I could only do what I could do, pulling back just enough to make it right. It was a delicate balance back then and this was before I knew about the layers I would start to peel away. What would it mean to “embrace Ashtanga”? To put it simply, it’s getting on the mat, doing your practice and letting go. It means learning very day when you are on the mat and off the mat. It means facing the difficulties in the practice in a way that this yoga is teaching me to do and then bringing it into your life.
These days I have become aware of what is possible with what I’ve got and to also find ways to change and grow. Embracing Ashtanga is to be patient with oneself, to be persistent in what you want to do, not be be hard on yourself and to bring your best self to the mat every day. It is a practice that does not lie to you and surely there are no shortcuts. There is a community that is more like family these days and a built in oneness among practioners.
Today I came up against what I could do and what I wanted to do. I worked very hard to stay in the present and stay with the breath. I would like to skip those things that are difficult and cause me to stumble. I also know that it is through the stumbling that I can continue to grow and continue to embrace the practice. I love the poses and there are days when I love going to the edge. It is that edge that can keep moving as you grow. It just does not stay the same and for that I am grateful. I faced something today in practice that is difficult to fully express into words. I stayed with it, faced the mind stuff and have a sense of coming right up it. I figure if I don’t go right up to it, I will never get through it and so I get to the edge, embrace the practice and its teachings and then life off the mat seems so much easier. This perhaps is the lesson.