I have difficulty internalizing this word. Some words tend to stay stuck as abstractions in my head and this one is one of them. It could be a second language thing or another kind of blockage thing, but this article has done me a solid.
I post it here because I realize some of you are not on Facebook where it is making the rounds. Don’t let that or the length of the article get in the way.
I don’t remember if I mentioned that I banged my right leg pretty hard when I fell on some rocks earlier this month. Walking and sitting is uncomfortable and I pay dearly for lunges or forward bends. So my practice has been abbreviated to mostly what some people call yin yoga and I call pulling my butt to the wall and letting my legs hang out against it. You would think that I abandoned my family or have been shoplifting all my groceries if you could measure the amount of worry and guilt I feel for waiting to practice until walking and sitting feel normal. I worry about eating and drinking the same way as if I was practicing with effort for 90 minutes. I worry that when I get back to full practice I will be panting and heaving. I worry about binding, and all the other things that are asana but not yoga. SO this is my realization: any behavior, be it asana, or overeating, if you use it to alleviate anxiety without healing its source, can become addictive. Any activity that is used as a substitute for connection or for the feeling of being present, separates us from feeling fine about being alive without penalty or paying a price.
Sharath on effort and surrender:
Let’s see: I am surrounded by the beauty of nature while horrified by what the ugliness of human nature is capable of. I scraped a bunch of skin off my right leg when I stumbled on some rocks and have a black and blue right butt to go with it. Restful sleep seldom possible and practice not at all. This morning I get a call from and old girlfriend’s ex husband telling me she drank herself to death somewhere in Florida and writing about it here is about the only thing I can do with what he just told me. It’s only 7:00 am it looks like I’ll be staring at whatever happens to pass by my windows for the rest of the day.
Update: shit. And I just saw that a brave and sweet yogi left her body today. Peaceful journey dear Susan.