Kino MacGregor talks about how Ashtanga brings us from impossibility to possibility to ease. That idea has stuck with me through years of practice, because I’ve seen it happen again and again. Half of the crazy shit I can now get my body to do (pardon my French) was in the yeah, right realm not too long ago. But I’m finding right now that one of the hardest (and, grumble grumble, most rewarding) places to be is between possibility and ease. There’s a pose I’ve been working on for oh, say, a hundred years. Ok, maybe more like five or six. In the last few months I’ve moved beyond the possibility stage– every time I make an earnest attempt at getting into the full posture, I can do it. But I am a loooong way from ease. Which means every time I get to that posture in the series, I have a conversation with myself that goes a little something like this:
Here we go.
Maybe I should take it easy today.
I can do this. I do this every freakin’ day.
There’s a twinge in my back.
This will make it feel better. It always makes the twinges feel better.
Yeah, when it’s over.
Maybe I should check my email. I think I heard my phone vibrate.
It’s sort of cold in here. Maybe I should just modify it and then move on.
Jump forward. Inhale lift arms, exhale go back.
I have to call the bank! I should write that down so I don’t forget.
And so on. 8 times out of 9, the GO. DO. voice wins out, and on the good days this whole inner conversation doesn’t take any more than a minute or so. I long for ease in this posture, even if only because I’m so freakin’ bored with having it take up so much of my mental focus. The whole process of struggling, though, is the clear-as-day reason that they (you know, They) say that yoga is not about the physical pose (though yes, the poses are important). If it weren’t this pose, it’d be another, and difficult times on the mat help prepare us for the difficult times in life.
Now, after the title of this post I figure I’ll probably get some “puppies” search hits, so to appease those of you who came for the puppies: