Those magic changes

Now that I’m back in San Francisco, one of the most common things people ask me about my trip is about my asana practice: has it just exploded? Have I progressed a ton? Is my practice longer now and am I stronger, more flexible, etc? And my first response to those questions was, well, no, actually. The changes, epiphanies, explosions that I experienced on the trip were mental, energetic, emotional but not physical. My practice was steady there: definitely aided by the devoted energy of the room but relatively easy, calm, enjoyable. I never felt challenged, exactly.

After a handful of practices here, though, I think I may have been mistaken. My physical practice is different; deeper, lighter, more focused. There has been an energetic shift, and of course that affects the body. Which maybe just means that I need to reframe my idea of how change happens. Sometimes, through daily struggle we finally get a bind, or a lift, or a dropback, and from then on everything is different. But sometimes the changes are subtler. For example, I remember being frustrated when I was beginning that I could not hold chaturanga dandasana. My hips sagged, my arms shook and I flopped to the floor when attempting it, I felt weak and thought there was no way I’d ever hold it steadily. Now, I can hold it, no problem. I don’t remember when that changed, or any specific day when I realized I could do it. Subtle changes, over time. Practice and all is coming.

These days, I’m just a little puddle of gratitude. For the experience of practicing in the shala, for the energy that feels like magic, for Saraswathi and Sharath and the assistants, for my chanting/philosophy/meditation/Sanskrit teachers in Mysore, Jayashree, Narasimhan, James, Laksmish. This experience continues to be life-changing.

Practice now.

The road to Sanstosha.

This entry was published on April 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm and is filed under yoga. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Those magic changes

  1. Ellie, these posts are wonderful to read. I’m so happy you’re keeping up with your blog–you write really well and are fun to read.

  2. Well said!

    I am looking forward to led class “with Sharath” tomorrow morning!

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