Life in the Pause   

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Card from my son Parker

I’ve been reflecting these days on how when we stop to enjoy how we are getting to where we are going, life happens. In other words when we stop rushing around to one thing or another and take a pause we can experience life in a whole new way. I come from a place of being busy. Then when I trained myself to look at my life as FULL, I felt a little better. I mean it sounded better, it sounded pretty productive, however I think it was the same. I looked at my life in terms of how much I could get done. I measured my self worth from that with not much time to pause.

These days in India are full of self-reflecting. I have goals. I want to finish that epic novel, study, learn and make progress in what I do. I keep myself as a student of yoga here. In the meantime, I think that the real joy is in the process and in the learning, in the connections and in the experience. In terms of measuring progress, well that’s sort of objective, meaning it is not always this linear line that goes up. There is progress in every way we may be moving as wisdom and learning is there.

This week was full of surprises, synchronicity and special moments. They weren’t planned events so to say and they fed me in so many ways bringing joy and a sense of feeling connected. They happened in between my breaths as I took a minute to pause. It was from meeting a new group at a café for breakfast, joining a group on a walk around the lake, lively discussions for a late dinner, seeing old friends in new places, rooftop gatherings, saying yes to an adventure, to following the cue and seeing where you end up, it has all been wonderful and relaxed.

I think about the practice of asana and what Sharath says about patience in the method. It’s about patience in the method and enjoying the journey, our own personal journeys with the practice, and our own personal journeys in this life. I notice and am more aware of the silence in between the breaths and know that therein lies this pause where a lot of what we are yearning for lies. It’s quiet and reflective and peaceful. It’s not scary there; it’s living and experiencing who we are in the pause.

Signed,

Grateful One

It’s All Going to be Okay

It’s 10 days that I’m here in India with lots of things settling in now. I came here for healing, to practice with Sharath and to settle my mind. I have persisted, been patient and worked hard not to judge. The biggest issue was judging myself and not being as compassionate as I could. I have a strong faith in this practice as a healing one. The warmth here feels good on my bones.

The first week is hard for everyone. There is excitement and a continual letting go of any expectations. We are human, we get excited and we are hopeful. We want things to go well and then we are reminded that we are not in control. We just have to do our best everyday. We aim to do our best preparations and move forward.

Registration is always very exciting and there are lots of discussions around start time. I’m comfortable, tell Sharath that I’m in for 3 months and my times are as good as they can get, meaning there shouldn’t be too much in the way of moving me in the time that I am here.   It’s very early and the discipline of the practice starts just after New Year’s Day with led primary.

The consistency with practice is the healer. Each day I have a routine, which includes coffee, a light drip of a hot shower and a yin like session before walking to the Shala. It’s a short walk and I take it briskly as there is a slight chill in the air. I usually bundle up, which feels good. You can’t be attached to anything when you enter that room. You are the “one more” and you go where he nods you to go. Short one, tall one … I’m medium, so today he said tall one and I went as there were only 5 of us waiting. I was the tallest in that bunch! Of course, he did not miss to mention, “You are tall one?” Whatever. I rolled out my mat and smiled inside.

As I explored my final pose and figured I’d learned enough to move on, I went on to back bending. Today with the added poses of intermediate, I question my energy and the quality of my breath. I push up for one and Sharath is standing there. He is busy telling things to others waiting but he’s still at the edge of my mat. Even though back bending is your time, you have to do it without delay, so I go up again and then I am up, all the time working hard not to feel rushed and I still have to drop back on my own. One back, two back and he’s ready for me. I want to be ready so I take some breaths and he nods. He drops me back and on the final one I touch and I walk, he says a little more and I go as I am reminded when I did not keep going and he motioned to me how close I was last year with his thumb and forefinger. I was disappointed then, as I had not trusted myself or could not find the little bit more. This time, I trust, I’m taking charge of that nasagri drishti and I walk and walk and touch my heels. both sides. He’s pleased. No mater what, I am doing the work and it’s all going to be okay.

These things get you thinking. This practice gets you feeling. How does it keep working for me year after year? We keep learning from our experiences and then we continue to learn to surrender with faith and trust. Yes, It’s going to be okay, cause it has to be no matter what. There are lessons in the method all the time. It’s really all going to be okay.