Wednesday, February 15, 2012

why go?

my alarm woke me at was grey and cold and damp, and i seriously considered just going back to sleep and skipping practice. but my sense of discipline? obligation? curiosity? prevailed, and i got out of bed.

new pose today. marichasana A. only a few more til i start backbending and closing. when i started, i was in a total rush, but now (yes, a measly 5 weeks later) , i am more than happy to wait. hoping this goes more slowly now. i feel like my body has to catch up to all these poses, and their vinyasas. monday, however, was an interesting day. no assists at all. i got to try the (dreaded, if you have my crappy sense of balance) UHP by myself. my teacher was helping someone else, and i decided to just go for it. i was shocked that i could manage the first 2/3 of the posture on each side. getting the leg back to the front, and bending over it again makes me fall. yes, my leg is not straight, but i didnt fall over, which amazed me. and, oh it is much more exhausting when i did it by myself. mentally worrying about keeping my balance as well as that little bit of teetering on each leg is exhausting.

but it wasnt the quality of the posture done by myself which i meant to discuss, but what it feels like to have a practice day with no assists from my teacher. usually i just get the UHP assist, and maybe a verbal instruction on a standing pose, and/or a new pose, but i am not at the part of the series where many assists are needed. after class, it made me think about what is it that i get from going to a shala, when i get very few assists (ironically, i think i get more, or the same number of assists at the big classes at jivamukti as i do at this shala, but i go to the same classes, so my teachers are familiar with my practice there). 

so it begs the question, why go to a shala? why not practice at home, where i might be a bit more easy on myself (ie. go even slower than i do now at the shala). 

the main thing that comes to mind is partaking in the shared energy of the practice. to practice with a group energizes my practice. Hearing other people breath and the general feeling of quiet and focused practice help me to focus on my practice. even though the shala is a small room, i still prefer to be next to someone, rather than have a lot of space around me. Also, just to be around other people who have practiced a long time is inspiring. and also to practice in a space where others have practiced for a couple years. 

so i will stay with the shala. i admit at first, when it seemed so hard just to get through the standing sequence, i thought hard about just working on that part at home, and coming back when i felt stronger. but i think i need the energy and the ritual of practicing at the shala for now.

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